No. 13. Penn State Women’s Soccer Earns Third Straight Victory, Defeats No. 24 Indiana 2-1

No. 13 Penn State women’s soccer (3-1) earned its third straight win in a 2-1 defeat of No. 24 Indiana (2-2) Thursday afternoon at Holuba Hall.

Goals from Frankie Tagliaferri and Sam Coffey in quick succession were enough to complete the comeback effort for the Nittany Lions.

How It Happened

Penn State controlled the majority of the possession in the first half, but didn’t necessarily test Indiana goalkeeper Bethany Kopel. Only one sequence got the Nittany Lions into the box in the early going, and Rachel Wasserman’s shot was immediately blocked by an Indiana defender.

Erica Dambach’s squad had another opportunity to score around the 27th minute when attacking midfielder Payton Linnehan notched the first shot on goal for either team. However, she fired the ball right into Kopel’s hands, keeping the scoreless deadlock strongly in tact.

After a sustained period of Penn State possession roughly six minutes later, Tagliaferri gave the Nittany Lions their best chance of the half when she hit the crossbar on a promising feed from teammate Ally Schlegel.

Overall, the Nittany Lions weren’t very threatening in the final third, but dominated the midfield and kept the ball on the Hoosier’s side of the field for the majority of the first 45 minutes.

Indiana changed this narrative to start the second period and came out firing on all cylinders. A pretty shot by Hannah Nemeth off a corner kick gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead, but that didn’t last very long.

The Nittany Lions’ impressive response began two minutes later. Tagliaferri hit a low drive off an Indiana defender which was deflected right back to her. She connected on the follow-up and sent the ball straight in between the pipes to transfer the momentum back to the blue and white.

Penn State fully turned the game around five minutes later by taking a 2-1 lead. Schlegel found Coffey on a beautiful through-ball and the senior capitalized on the one-on-one with Kopel by curling the ball into the upper right corner of the net.

The backline held firm to finish out the game despite numerous chances from the Hoosiers. Indiana pressured Kat Asman’s net in the final stretch, forcing a corner kick with two minutes to go that nearly equalized the match.

The victory is Penn State’s first in State College this year, and is perhaps its most high-profile thus far. The Nittany Lions now leap back to the top of the Big Ten standings ahead of Sunday’s match with Michigan State.

Player of the Match

Sam Coffey | Midfielder | Senior |

Coffey’s go-ahead goal in the 61st minute ultimately determined the outcome in today’s matchup. The midfielder has now scored in the last three games for the Nittany Lions and is living up to her No. 2 ranking in the nation.

What’s Next

Penn State hosts Michigan State on Sunday, March 7 at Holuba Hall. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on BTN+.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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