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Penn State Women’s Soccer Dominated In 4-1 Loss At Minnesota

Penn State women’s soccer (7-5, 1-4 Big Ten) fell 4-1 to Minnesota (6-3-3, 2-3 Big Ten) on the road in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon.

After earning its first conference victory on Friday, the Nittany Lions failed to close out the two-game road stand with another victory due to a lackluster performance on both ends of the field.

Minnesota’s offensive output overwhelmed Erica Dambach’s defense, as the Golden Gophers immediately opened to a 2-0 first-half lead behind its commanding veteran presence from upperclassmen Patricia Ward and Izzy Brown. Several mistakes for the visitors compounded into an additional two-goal second half, including an own goal with limited time remaining, to end the forgettable road effort for the Penn State.

How It Happened

Minnesota began the contest as the aggressors by firing three shots, including two on goal, in the opening 10 minutes of play. Although Katherine Asman began the game with an impressive save off of a powerful shot from McKenna Buisman.

Following another opportune look for the Golden Gophers, the home squad was rewarded a corner kick. The high arcing cross courtesy of Makenzie Langdok was then converted into the first score of the match from forward Patricia Ward, carrying Minnesota to an early 1-0 advantage.

The initial goal sparked an offensive turnaround for Erica Dambach’s group, as the midfield attack fired three looks, including one on net by Olivia Damico. The low bullet towards the bottom left corner was stalled by opposing keeper Megan Plaschko, who kept the Golden Gophers’ shut out hopes alive.

After the Nittany Lions’ offensive burst, Minnesota immediately returned the favor with a solid attempt of its own. Forward Izzy Brown blasted a shot towards the top right corner of the Nittany Lion goal, which slid right past the outstretched arms of keeper Katherine Asman to extended the Minnesota lead to 2-0 towards the midway point of the first half.

Both teams played defensively to end the opening half, with neither squad recording a shot in the final 20 minutes of play. In a move of frustration by Dambach, the veteran head coach replaced five of her starters for reserves following a lackluster opening period.

The switch didn’t benefit Penn State, as Minnesota immediately ripped off four shots in a nine-minute span, including one for a goal by McKenna Buisman. The score put the Nittany Lions at a 3-0 deficit, good for its largest of the season.

Although the visiting squad’s struggles didn’t subside, its effort never wavered. The Nittany Lions were able to find rhythm on the offensive end, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Several shots missed high, with other quality attempts, including a powerful boot from Rachel Wasserman, hitting the crossbar.

Despite leading the shot category 7-4 in the second half, the forgettable afternoon ended in an own goal for Penn State at the 73 minute mark. The unfortunate break for the visitors helped Minnesota put the game away with a 4-0 lead late in the closing half.

With under two minutes remaining in the contest, Penn State was able to score its first goal of the game thanks to freshman Riley Gleason. The goal for the California native was perfectly set up by Jordan Caniff, who helped the Nittany Lions avoid subjection to a shutout for the first time this season.

Player Of The Match

Riley Gleason, Midfielder

In the final minute of the match, Gleason was able to put the Nittany Lions on the board end an abysmal afternoon on the pitch on a positive note for the visitors.

The score marked the first of her young Penn State career, and helped showcase a talented member of Dambach’s roster late in the effort.

What’s Next?

Penn State is set to begin a three-game home stand, beginning with a match up against Maryland. Kickoff from Jeffrey Field is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, October 8. 

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania majoring in journalism. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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