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Schlegel’s Golden Goal Seals 1-0 Win Over Minnesota For Penn State Women’s Soccer

Another match, another crucial goal for Penn State Women’s soccer (6-4-1) forward Ally Schlegel.

Head coach Erica Dambach’s side began a busy road weekend with a 1-0 win over Minnesota (1-8-2) in Minneapolis in a rematch of last season’s Big Ten title game. Schlegel’s eighth goal of the season, scored in double overtime off a rebounded Sam Coffey shot, sealed a golden-goal 1-0 win and a crucial shutout for the Nittany Lions against the Gophers.

How It Happened

Penn State began Friday’s match with a relatively unchanged starting lineup from the XI that faced Michigan State, with Caitlin Haislip stepping into the backline next to veteran center back Kaleigh Riehl. Dambach also seemed to deploy two forwards — Schlegel and Payton Linnehan — for the first time this season in a traditional 4-4-2 formation.

Despite having more attacking options further up the field, the Nittany Lions struggled to create scoring opportunities early in the first half. They were forced to maintain possession in their own half against the high-pressing Gophers, who failed to gain any attacking momentum against Penn State’s solid backline.

A well-worked short corner kick gave Cori Dyke a shot at the edge of the penalty area in the 14th minute, but her left-footed effort was high.

Goalkeeper Amanda Dennis and the Penn State backline dealt with several Gopher corner kicks well, and Riehl’s usual imperious tackling and passing were on full display. Cori Dyke, who has been excellent as Penn State’s defensive midfielder, continued to shine between attack and defense.

Sam Coffey found Maddie Myers on the right side of the field in the 35th minute. The winger’s right-footed shot was just shy of the far post. A brilliant through pass from Frankie Tagliaferri found Linnehan three minutes later, but Minnesota goalkeeper Maddie Nielson came off her line to save the freshman’s shot and keep the score level.

Cracks in Minnesota’s defense began to appear as the half drew to a close, but the Gophers survived a barrage of attacking pressure from the Nittany Lions and entered the break deadlocked with Penn State at 0-0.

Penn State’s attack seemed reinvigorated to start the second half, with Ellie Jean, Kerry Abello and Tagliaferri combining on the wings to produce several dangerous crosses that Coffey and Jordan Canniff couldn’t finish.

Minnesota’s attack remained toothless, but Penn State’s inability to find the final pass created an uneasy stalemate between the two sides. The Gophers found traction in the final 20 minutes of the half with several shots, but Dennis was equal to their efforts for the Nittany Lions.

Tagliaferri found Linnehan again in the 76th minute, but Linnehan scooped her shot over the bar. Schlegel couldn’t outjump Nielson to meet a Coffey corner as the half drew to a close, and the two teams headed to overtime without a goal to separate them.

It seemed the Nittany Lions would end the match five minutes into the first period of extra time when smooth skills from Tagliaferri made space for Dyke to have a shot inside the penalty area. Dyke couldn’t get a clean touch on the cross, and the Gophers were able to clear. Jean made an excellent block on Athena Kuehn’s shot late in the second period of extra time to preserve Penn State’s shutout.

A minute later, the Nittany Lions found their breakthrough. Coffey drove forward and fired a left-footed shot that Nielson parried directly into the path of Schlegel, who followed up perfectly with a clean finish to secure a 1-0 win for Penn State.

Player of the Match

Kaleigh Riehl| Senior|Center Back

Riehl is the ultimate center back — comfortable on the ball, tough in the tackle, and an expert in reading the game and marshaling her fellow defenders. Her play was crucial in assuring that Dennis faced only two shots on goal against the Gophers.

What’s Next?

Penn State travels to Madison to face No. 19 Wisconsin (6-2-1) Sunday, September 29 at 1 p.m. in a match with major ranking and conference implications.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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