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No. 14 Penn State Women’s Soccer Ties No. 19 Georgetown 2-2 In Season Opener

No. 14 Penn State women’s soccer (0-0-1) kept things square at 2-2 with No. 19 Georgetown (0-0-1) on Thursday night at Jeffrey Field.

The match was headlined by an Ally Schlegel penalty kick conversion and a goal from Rachel Wasserman. Transfer Penelope Hocking and true freshman Amelia White also made huge impacts on the field in their Nittany Lion debuts in Happy Valley.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach rolled out a lineup full of veterans against the Hoyas. The 4-3-3 formation was highlighted by an impressive forward line of Schlegel, Payton Linnehan, and Ellie Wheeler. Cori Dyke held down the midfield at the central defensive spot, in front of Maddie Myers and Jillian Jennings at the center back spots.

Despite the experienced offense, Penn State struggled to find its line and raked up three offsides calls in the first 10 minutes of the match. Schlegel earned the first two opportunities at goal, but failed to stay onside, followed by an offside call on Eva Alonso just minutes later.

In the 12th minute, Schlegel found Kate Wiesner at the top of the penalty box to generate the Nittany Lions’ first shot on goal, however, Wiesner sent her shot right into the hands of Georgetown goalkeeper Cara Martin.

The Hoyas found the back of the net first in the 19th minute. Winger Gia Vicari beat Myers on the sideline and sent a cross to true freshman Henley Tippins. Tippins buried a far-post shot past Penn State goalkeeper Katherine Asman to take a 1-0 lead.

Just two minutes later, Dambach opted to substitute USC transfer Penelope Hocking into the forward line. In her first touches on the ball of the game, Hocking opened up the field to find Payton Linnehan to create a shot on goal. Linnehan’s shot ultimately went over the crossbar.

Dambach sent in two more early substitutions with Texas Tech transfer Cassie Hiatt and freshman Amelia White. There was a great combination of old and new faces on the pitch for Penn State in just the first half.

After trading possession for several minutes, Natalie Wilson sent a long, crossing pass to Hocking, who collided with Martin. The collision earned the Nittany Lions a penalty kick in the 36th minute and Martin received a yellow card. Schlegel confidently took the penalty kick and slotted the shot just left of Martin to tie the game at one.

Neither the Nittany Lions nor the Hoyas created any more threatening opportunities before the halftime whistle paused the game at 1-1.

To kick off the second half, Hocking drew a foul and earned a free kick right outside the penalty box. Hocking slotted a short pass to Schlegel, but Schlegel was unable to maintain possession and complete a shot. Even so, Penn State absolutely dominated the momentum in the opening minutes of the second half.

Shortly after, White and Schlegel each earned new opportunities of their own to keep up the pressure on Georgetown’s back line throughout the first 10 minutes of the closing half.

Despite the momentum, Georgetown picked up its second goal in the 55th minute. Vicari took a shot from distance and Asman was unable to see the ball from behind the defensive line. The Hoyas took the lead at 2-1.

Hocking and Wiesner kept the pressure consistent on the offensive front throughout the second half, but neither could find the back of the net.

In the 68th minute, White flicked a short ball to Schlegel who slotted a fast shot past Martin to earn the tying goal. However, the goal was called back and Schlegel earned her fourth offside call of the game.

Only two minutes later, White dribbled the ball along the goal line and sent a cross to Wasserman. Wasserman took a shot on her first touch and converted to tie the game at 2-2.

Schlegel almost earned her second goal of the match in the 79th minute off a pass from White. Schlegel sent her shot just wide of Martin’s net, but still, Penn State continued to dominate possession and pressure on Georgetown.

Schlegel drew another foul in the final minute of the game to force a Penn State free kick right outside of the Hoya’s penalty box. Dyke tapped the ball for Hocking and the transfer sailed the ball right over Martin’s net.

Hocking’s free kick was the final opportunity for both sides and the game ended in a draw at 2-2.

Takeaways:

  • Penelope. Hocking. This girl can ball. The USC fifth-year transfer made a huge impact on the field in her debut, so her future is looking extremely bright at Penn State. Hocking showcased a lot of confidence and tenacity on the pitch that will likely solidify a consistent spot in the Nittany Lion lineup. She sure is fun to watch.
  • True freshman Amelia White really showed up. The Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year looked cool, calm, and collected on the field and even earned her first assist on the stat sheet. It’s absolutely clear that White and Ally Schlegel have some chemistry on the offensive line. White, along with Hocking, made truly impressive debuts against Georgetown.
  • Cori Dyke, Maddie Myers, and Kate Wiesner looked great in their respective positions. The seniors will absolutely be leaders on the field and in the locker room on the midfield and defensive lines. While the graduations of Sam Coffey and Kerry Abello created a big shift in Dambach’s program, these three will no doubt hold down the consistency of the Nittany Lion team.
  • The Park Avenue Army showed up strong for Penn State’s first soccer match of the season. Keep it up, folks.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will stay put in Happy Valley for their game against Duquesne at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 21, at Jeffrey Field. The match will be available to stream on BTN+.

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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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