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No. 7 Penn State Women’s Soccer Drops First Game Of Season 2-1 To No. 18 UCF

No. 7 Penn State women’s soccer (4-1-0) fell narrowly to No. 18 UCF (3-2-0) by a final score of 2-1 on Sunday evening.

Coming off a huge road victory against No. 13 West Virginia, the Nittany Lions took a trip down to Florida to face the Golden Knights going for their fifth straight victory to begin the season and second in a row against a ranked opponent.

An intense, hard-fought first half had the teams knotted at one, and the slugfest intensified in the second after an extensive delay. However, the Nittany Lions weren’t able to overcome the Golden Knights’ prowess on the defensive end and came up short in the end.

How It Happened

The action in the first half consisted of a lot of aggressive back-and-forth, which is to be expected in a matchup between two ranked opponents.

Penn State dominated time of possession early on and put pressure on the net, but the stout Golden Knights defense prevented the Nittany Lions from getting anything fluid going.

After a takeaway at midfield, Maggie Jenkins received the feed from her teammate who sent a gorgeous assist ahead to Kristen Scott to put the Golden Knights up 1-0 just before the half hour mark.

It didn’t take long for the Nittany Lions to respond, as just four short minutes later Sam Coffey delivered a strike into the upper corner of the net to knot the game at one apiece.

UCF goalie Caroline Delisle let that one get by, but it was almost un-guardable. Delisle made some enormous saves early on to keep the Penn State offensive attack at bay.

UCF would have another great opportunity before the half in the 40th minute, but Katherine Asman denied the Golden Knights and made some big saves earlier in the game to keep it tied heading into the break.

In good old Florida fashion, a two and a half hour storm delay would suspend the match for over two hours. After the long pause, both teams took the field again and would try to make do with the conditions, as the wet pitch and ball added a whole new dimension to the game.

In the 62nd minute, it would be UCF to weather the storm as Kristen Scott secured her brace to put the Golden Knights up 2-1.

Not too long after, Scott would be presented with another golden opportunity, and Ellie Moreno with two shortly following that, but Asman stood strong in the net and made key saves, gifting the Nittany Lions a life line.

However, despite many prime opportunities for Coffey, Ally Schlegel and Payton Linnehan, Penn State’s three-headed monster couldn’t find the back of the net for the equalizer despite threatening.

UCF snaps Penn State’s four-game unbeaten streak to begin the season, as the Nittany Lions drop their first of the campaign.

Player of the Match

Sam Coffey, Midfielder

Coffey netted Penn State’s only goal in the match. Coffey had a handful of chances to tie the game up or take the lead with her powerful boot. However, she wasn’t able to do enough to overcome Delisle’s stellar play in goal.

What’s Next?

Penn State will travel to Charlottesville to face No. 3 Virginia for the final leg of its three-game non-conference road trip. The game’s start time is set for Thursday, September 9 at 8 p.m.

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About the Author

Zach Donaldson

Zach is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer for Onward State and serves as an editor for Penn State’s CommRadio. He hails from Downingtown, Pa., or in other words "just outside of Philly." When he's not watching or ranting about Philly sports, you can probably find him at the gym. If you like sports tweets, follow him on Twitter @zachdonaldson_ and all inquiries can go to [email protected]

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