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Penn State Women’s Soccer Wins 1-0 Over Nebraska To Close Regular Season

Penn State women’s soccer (12-6-1, 8-3-0 Big Ten) held on to an early 1-0 lead to defeat Nebraska (4-9-4, 3-5-2 Big Ten) 1-0 Sunday afternoon in Lincoln.

Sam Coffey’s first-half volley put the Nittany Lions ahead, and a solid performance from Cori Dyke, the Penn State backline, and Amanda Dennis secured three points for Penn State. The win solidifies the team’s fourth-place ranking in the Big Ten, which will be crucial to next week’s playoff seeding and should see it host Iowa next Sunday.

How It Happened

Penn State began Sunday’s match in full control, creating its first opportunity of the match in the sixth minute when Sam Coffey’s on-goal volley flew straight into the arms of Cornhuskers goalkeeper Aubrei Corder. Ally Schlegel then slid a diagonal pass to put Kerry Abello one-on-one with Corder, but the goalkeeper made an impressive point-blank save to deny Penn State.

The Nittany Lions found their breakthrough two minutes later. Schlegel nodded a pass into the path of Coffey, who blasted the half-volley into the corner of the net from inside the penalty area to give Penn State a 1-0 lead.

Schlegel almost managed to score a goal of her own in the 24th minute, but blasted Caitlin Haislip’s flicked pass over the crossbar. The Huskers, desperate for a Big Ten playoff berth, almost equalized in the 36th minute when Brenna Ochoa’s close-range shot was denied by Amanda Dennis. Ochoa came close once again just before halftime, cracking a long-range shot off the post and out. Penn State entered halftime with a 1-0 lead that was anything but sound.

Penn State kicked the second half off with a chipped effort from Tagliaferri that hit the crossbar, but the play was called back for offside. The backline, lead by seniors Kaleigh Riehl, Ellie Jean, and Laura Suero did well to repel the Huskers’ sporadic attacks and distribute going forward throughout the early stages of the second half.

With twenty minutes remaining in the match, Nebraska produced a flurry of attacking chances that Penn State ultimately survived. Rachel Wasserman burst forward on the counter attack in the 72nd minute and forced a corner. Coffey almost curled the ensuing corner kick into the net with the help of gusty winds in Lincoln, but her effort bounced off the post and out.

Nebraska refused to let its momentum die, however, continuing to spark dangerous attacking moves that Penn State contained well. Last-ditch efforts from Ortega and a nervous final corner kick failed to hit the mark, and the Nittany Lions finished the match with a crucial three points.

Player of the Match

Sam Coffey| Junior|Midfielder

Coffey’s goal was only the highlight of her stellar performance Sunday afternoon. The midfielder was everywhere on the field in both attack and defense.

What’s Next?

Penn State now enters the postseason, with its official conference tournament schedule yet to be confirmed.

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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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