Penn State Women’s Soccer Falls 2-0 To South Carolina In NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen

Penn State women’s soccer (12-8-1) fell 2-0 to South Carolina (14-6-1) Sunday afternoon in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament in Los Angeles. The loss marks the end of Penn State’s run in the tournament.

The first half looked strong for both the Nittany Lions and the Gamecocks, as the match was scoreless at halftime. The Gamecocks came back strong and scored twice at the top of the second half, and Penn State’s efforts to prevent a shutout were unable to be met.

How It Happened

Penn State made the first move of the game in the second minute after a run across the field from the sidelines by Sam Coffey, who slated the ball to Kate Wiesner. Wiesner made a great attempt for a goal but South Carolina’s Heather Hinz made the save.

The Gamecocks found a stretch where they were advancing offensively on Penn State. Forwards Catherine Barry and Ryan Gareis started to prove their danger for the Nittany Lions as they bother were able to outrun Penn State’s backline. By the 30 minute mark, Penn State and South Carolina were matched at four shots each.

Going into the second half, South Carolina upped its already aggressive attack and put a goal on the board in the 49th minute after a corner kick. The corner kick found a South Carolina player who shot and hit the crossbar, which bounced back into the mix. Samantha Chang knocked it in with an assist from Jyllissa Harris, making the score 1-0.

Just seven minutes later at the 56-minute mark, South Carolina put another goal in and beat Kat Asman in goal. Luciana Zullo had the goal with an assist from Ryan Gareis.

The Nittany Lions were struggling to gain back possession after the two South Carolina goals. But when Penn State was successful, the Gamecocks quickly thwarted their advance towards the offensive field of play.

In an attempt to lessen the gap between scores, Coffey shot a rocket from outside the 18 in the 74th minute that just nearly made it in. Despite having a great shot, Hinz made a huge save and tipped Coffey’s ball over the crossbar, resulting in a Penn State corner kick. Coffey took the kick and found Ally Schlegel with a header, but the ball just couldn’t make it past Hinz.

Penn State’s inability to make something happen after South Carolina’s goals resulted in the 2-0 win for the Gamecocks, sending them forward to the Quarterfinals and ending Penn State’s run in the NCAA Tournament.

Player Of The Match

Kate Wiesner, Defender

Wiesner played the whole field during the match and showcased Penn State’s diversity of play. From holding down the backline, and being the last point of defense that South Carolina struggled to get around in the first half, to making multiple attempts at a goal coming from down the sideline, she was huge in the tactics to stretch South Carolina thin.

What’s Next?

That makes the end of Penn State’s run in the NCAA Tournament this year and ends the season for the Nittany Lions.

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About the Author

Mackenna Yount

Mackenna is a junior food science major from Manitou Springs, Colorado, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She loves food, is addicted to coffee, and can give you random facts or bad jokes that you didn't ask for. Ask her to bake gluten-free goodies so she has an excuse to try out new cupcake flavors. Mackenna can be contacted via Twitter @mackennayount (especially if you want to show off your best dad jokes) or you can shoot her an email at [email protected].

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