Penn State Women’s Soccer Comes From Behind In 2-1 Victory Over Michigan State

Penn State women’s soccer (11-6, 5-5 Big Ten) took down Michigan State (10-4-3, 5-4-1 Big Ten) 2-1 in a massive comeback win Sunday afternoon.

Ally Schlegel and Ellie Wheeler both found the back of the net with header goals to lift the Nittany Lions over the Spartans. This win secures Penn State an opportunity to play in the Big Ten tournament after an uncharacteristically sluggish season.

How It Happened

In the second minute of the match, the Nittany Lions tested opposing goalkeeper Lauren Kozal right off the bat. Ally Schlegel found the foot of Rachel Wasserman in the goal box and a Wasserman shot forced Kozal to make a save. 

Penn State demonstrated an aggressive offense in the first 25 minutes of the half. Several combinations from Schlegel, Wassmerman, and leading goal scorer Sam Coffey kept the Spartans on their back foot for the majority of the first half.

The Nittany Lions’ front line played a high press that left the Michigan State defense disorganized and unable to create any momentum out of the back. Because of this, Penn State was able to maintain the majority of the possession on the Spartans’ half. 

Sam Coffey drew a foul in the 35th minute as a result of a trip from behind. Coffey lofted the free kick high and connected with Schlegel, who was unable to convert the header. 

Finally, Michigan State struck first in the 39th minute. Kerry Abello fouled a Spartan midfielder at midfield to give up a free kick. The ball floated over the goal box and deflected off several Michigan State forwards until Camryn Evans was able to settle the ball and drive it past Katherine Asman. The goal was the Spartans’ first shot on goal in the match.

The Nittany Lions were unable to answer in the remainder of the first half and retreated to the locker room down one goal. The Spartans only shot on goal was the result of a set piece.

Michigan State came out of the break fired up and limited the Nittany Lions’ offensive power. Both teams had several opportunities in the first ten minutes of the second half and the match looked more competitive than it did previously.

Ellie Wheeler forced a huge Spartan save in the 55th minute when she struck a powerful shot to critically test Kozal. Kozal reacted swiftly and tipped the heavy shot over the crossbar.

Cori Dyke drew a foul in the 71st minute to grant Sam Coffey a free kick just outside of the goal box. Coffey’s shot was easily snagged by Kozal.

Schlegel tied it up in the 79th minute. A long ball from Maddie Myers found the forehead of Schlegel who sent it over the punching glove of Kozal.

Ellie Wheeler called the game in the 83rd minute with a huge header goal. Kate Wiesner beat a defender on the wing and sent a cross to the six-yard line. Wheeler’s winning goal was exactly what the Nittany Lions needed to guarantee a post season for Penn State women’s soccer.

Player Of The Match

Ally Schlegel, Forward

In a huge comeback win, Ally Schlegel changed the energy of the game with her crucial header to tie the match. Her tying goal created a huge momentum shift that the Nittany Lions needed in the final minutes of the game. Schlegel was involved in several opportunities throughout the match to ultimately boost Penn State over the Spartans.

What’s Next?

With this win, Penn State has officially secured a position in the Big Ten tournament. The Big Ten quarterfinal matches will begin on Friday, October 29 and last through the weekend. It is unknown at this point what team the Nittany Lions will be face.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a senior from Richmond, Virginia, majoring in journalism. She's an associate editor and talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State, too. You can usually find her on a porch, but if not, feel free to contact Keeley on Twitter @keeleylammm or [email protected].

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