Penn State Women’s Soccer Defeats Indiana 3-1 In Big Ten Regional Weekend Game

No. 6 Penn State women’s soccer (9-1-1) defeated Indiana (6-4-1) 3-1 in the Big Ten’s Regional Weekend game Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field.

Ally Schlegel and Frankie Tagliaferri led the offensive charge for the Nittany Lions, and were responsible for all of the team’s goals against the Hoosiers.

What Happened

Although Indiana jumped out on the front foot and tested Nittany Lion goalkeeper Kat Asman in the early going, it was Erica Dambach’s squad that ultimately struck first.

Payton Linnehan orchestrated a perfect offensive attack in the 11th minute, feeding teammate Ally Schlegel as she cut toward the right side of the field. The scrappy, pink-headband wearing sophomore swooped past two defenders and chipped the ball over an injured Indiana goalkeeper, giving Penn State a 1-0 lead.

Despite the score, the Hoosiers didn’t seem phased and continued to pressure the Penn State backline. In the 14th minute, an Indiana corner kick translated into a header that soared just above the crossbar. A few minutes after that, Indiana got the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside penalty.

The best chance of the half for Indiana to equalize came after an unusual moment of hesitation for Asman, who was caught off her line in the 34th minute. While the goalkeeper initially came out to play the ball that was heading in her direction, she suddenly started to backpedal — leaving a wide open net behind her for Indiana’s Melanie Forbes. Luckily for Penn State, Forbes’s shot just missed the goal and wound up in the side netting to keep the score in tact.

Penn State certainly made it’s opponent pay for these missed opportunities and with just a few seconds remaining in the half, the Nittany Lions made three quick passes that resulted in a Tagliaferri goal. The senior midfielder received a pass from Elle Kershner and ricocheted the ball off her right foot, sneaking it past both a defender and the goalkeeper to improve Penn State’s lead to 2-0.

The Nittany Lions continued to put on an offensive clinic in the second period, and wasted no finding the back of the net again. This time, it was a complete team effort for the score. Sam Coffey played an impressive through ball to Wasserman, who then squared it to Schlegel. The redshirt sophomore was completely cool, calm, and collected as she made a technical finish for her 11th goal of the season (yes, make that 11).

The Hoosiers finally answered with a goal of their own in the 73rd minute, after Anna Bennett let one fly from long range. Her rocket ended up in the upper right corner of the net, cutting the Indiana deficit to 3-1 with just over 15 minutes to play in the match.

The Penn State backline tightened up its defense during crunch time and Asman made some gutsy saves to prevent the Hoosiers from building any sort of momentum from their goal. Ultimately, Erica Dambach’s team was able to close this one out pretty effortlessly, defeating the Hoosiers 3-1.

Player of the Match

Ally Schlegel | Forward | Redshirt Sophomore

This one comes as no surprise. Schlegel’s impressive two goals in today’s game marked her 10th and 11th on the season — the most in the Big Ten. She shined in every aspect against Indiana and showcased her impressive ability to both create and finish plays.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions now advance to the Big Ten semifinals and will host the entire conference tournament at Jeffrey Field. They’ll take on Iowa in the semis this Thursday, April 15. Kickoff time has yet to be announced.

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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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