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Penn State Women’s Soccer Takes Down Purdue 2-1 In Senior Day Victory

Penn State women’s soccer (10-5, 4-4 Big Ten) knocked off No. 19 Purdue (11-3-2, 6-3 Big Ten) 2-1 on Senior Day at Jeffrey Field Sunday afternoon.

Following a first-half defensive struggle, both conference foes found success on the offensive end to close out the contest. Despite trailing 1-0 courtesy of a crafty header from Purdue forward Sarah Griffith, Erica Dambach’s unit responded with two unanswered goals from Jordan Canniff and Ally Schlegel to uplift the underdogs to its fourth ranked victory of the season.

How It Happened

The nationally ranked Boilermakers dictated the match’s pace in the early going, as the visitors fired two shots in the opening 10 minutes on keeper Katherine Asman. After surrendering consecutive attempts from Purdue veteran Sarah Griffith, the Nittany Lions were able to find some offensive firepower of their own in enemy territory.

In a quick switch of momentum, freshman defender Mieke Schiemann delivered a high-arcing through ball right at the feet of Rachel Wasserman, who slashed up the sideline towards the opposing goal. The senior then fired a cross directed towards forward Sam Coffey, who was unable to convert the sharp display of passing into a score.

After Penn State’s short offensive spurt, the Boilermakers continued to control the ball for the majority of the first half. Griffith continued to give Erica Dambach’s defense all it could handle by ripping off five shots individually, including two on goal, in the opening period. Conversely, the Nittany Lions were able to fire just four total shots as a team, with only two of the looks registering as on-goal opportunities.

Despite a last-chance push by the Nittany Lions courtesy of Sam Coffey and Ellie Wheeler, both teams were able to hold off several proven goal scorers in a stout defensive half of play. Although the home squad began the match as underdogs, Penn State was able to weather the storm, and enter the locker room tied at a 0-0 margin.

The possession battle continued to fluctuate back-and-forth to start the second half, but Penn State was able break the long stretch of prolonged ball control with a booming shot by Wasserman. The look, directed at the bottom-right corner of the goal, was just tipped by opposing keeper Marisa Bova, but rewarded the Nittany Lions with a corner kick in return.

Penn State was able to find another shot on goal from Shiemann during the possession, but a stingy recovery from Purdue sparked an offensive burst of its own. Griffith continued her dominant span on the pitch by generating two more shots on goal in a short, two-minute period. Her second attempt, a header off of a cross from Teagan Jones, resulted in the first goal of the match, uplifting Purdue to a 1-0 lead.

Less than five minutes later, Penn State returned the favor by generating a scoring possession of its own. Deep in her zone, Ally Schlegel was able escape Nittany Lion territory by launching a lengthy cross towards the feet of Jordan Canniff. The Maryland native was able to retrieve possession by outlasting the final line of Purdue defenders, and finished the play by covering a low, breakaway strike to tie the contest at 1-1.

The Nittany Lion attack continued its relentless push after by attempting three shots in the following 10 minutes of play. After several sequences of contained possession surrounding the Purdue defensive zone, Sam Coffey shifted past the opposing backline to break free, and deliver a pinpoint cross to Schlegel. The junior then trapped the ball in-stride, and fired a low trajectory bullet to propel Penn State to a 2-1 lead with limited time remaining.

With 13 minutes remaining, Penn State was able to play defensively by allowing just one additional Purdue shot down the stretch. Thanks to a final offensive outburst, the Nittany Lions were able to finish its home schedule with a 2-1 victory over the No. 19 team in the country behind two unanswered scores.

Player Of The Match

Ally Schlegel, Forward

The All-Big Ten selection proved to be Erica Dambach’s most potent offensive weapon throughout the match, with her output resulting in two shots, one assist, and one goal to propel Penn State over the Boilermakers for its fourth ranked victory of the season.

What’s Next?

Penn State will finish its regular season on a two-game road stretch, beginning against Michigan. Kickoff from Ann Arbor is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 21. The matchup will air live on FS1.

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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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