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No. 14 Penn State Women’s Soccer Tops No. 3 Virginia 4-2

No. 14 Penn State women’s soccer faced its third straight top-25 opponent on the road, this time it was ACC powerhouse No. 3 Virginia. The Nittany Lions seemed unfazed and upset No. 3 Cavaliers 4-2.

Coming off of a tough defeat to UFC, the Nittany Lions had something to prove and they came to play. It wasn’t easy, as Virginia put the pressure on Penn State until the end, but ultimately, the Nittany Lions were on a mission and refused to back down.

How It Happened

Following a stagnant start to the first half with a lot of skillful, methodical passing but nothing to show for it, the Nittany Lions got the scoring started courtesy of superstar Sam Coffey. Coffey played Payton Linnehan’s pass off of her chest and topped it off with a dynamic nutmeg finish to put Penn State up 1-0.

Virginia wouldn’t take long to respond, as Diana Ordonez followed suit, playing a Lia Godfrey pass off of her chest and placing it in the back of the net to knot the game 1-1

Godfrey would attempt to set up Hailey Hopkins minutes later, who couldn’t connect thanks to the swift reaction of Katherine Asman. Shortly after, Ally Schlegel was inches away from blasting one past Laurel Ivory, but she was able to get her hand on it and make a fantastic save.

A couple of golden opportunities were missed early on by each team in ode to some stellar goalkeeping.

In the following moments, not Schlegel but Linnehan would make up for it on a Cavaliers miscue. Laney Rouse’s pass back to Ivory wasn’t heavy enough with Linnehan was lurking in the vicinity. She was able to get her foot on it to put the score at 2-1.

Schlegel would get hers, however, just over a minute later, getting her signature header in the box to find nylon via a beautiful cross off the foot of Sam Coffey. Penn State cashed in on its quality looks and the Nittany Lions headed into the locker room up 3-1 over the Cavaliers.

The tough defensive team that Virginia is, coming in had allowed an average of three shots per game. The Nittany Lions were able to triple that in the first half.

In the second, Virginia would bring itself within one as Ordonez got herself a brace off of a gorgeous cross from Alex Spaanstra turned into an equally gorgeous header that snuck under the crossbar to bring the score to 3-2.

That score wouldn’t stand for long, however as Coffey sent a sublime pass ahead to a streaking Schlegel who would poke it past Ivory to go ahead 4-2.

Schlegel wouldn’t get official credit for the goal, but if not for her positioning and sticking with the play, it wouldn’t have happened.

Virginia would threaten for the rest of the match, but Penn State’s lead proved to be insurmountable. Coming into the game, Virginia had only allowed one goal all season. Penn State put up four, and it was more than enough to secure the victory.

Player of the Match

Katherine Asman, Goalkeeper

In a game where you defeat the No. 3 team in the country and put up more goals in one game than they’ve allowed all season, it’s tough not to look at the offense and choose a standout.

But Virginia did have some uncharacteristic miscues that Penn State was able to capitalize on. It was Katherine Asman who was able to stand firm in the net, posting a career-high nine saves keeping Virginia at bay while helping Penn State knock off the undefeated Cavaliers.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will remain in Charlottesville, Virginia, to take on another ACC opponent in N.C. State on Sunday, September 12.

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About the Author

Zach Donaldson

Zach is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He is currently an Onward State contrib. and also serves as an editor for Penn State’s CommRadio. He’s 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 inquires go to [email protected]

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