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No. 6 Penn State Women’s Soccer Drops 2-1 To Michigan State In First Big Ten Loss

No. 6 Penn State women’s soccer (7-2-2) fell to Michigan State (8-1-3) 2-1 on Thursday night at Jeffrey Field.

The Spartans dominated for the majority of the game. A late goal from Ally Schlegel rallied some momentum for the Nittany Lions, but didn’t have enough time remaining.

This is the first loss for Penn State in the Big Ten and its conference record drops to 2-1-1.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach rolled out to start a familiar lineup including seven seniors.

The majority of the first half was spent in neutral territory. Both teams were playing at a slow pace and allowed each team to possess the ball in their defensive halves.

After about 20 minutes, both the Nittany Lions and the Spartans created a few chances but none that were very dangerous.

The first shot on goal was generated by Michigan State, but was tipped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Katherine Asman for a corner kick. Penn State managed to clear the corner and avoid any further danger.

Just three minutes later, Penelope Hocking found herself one-on-one in front of goal, but Michigan State goalkeeper Lauren Kozal made a strong save.

With three minutes remaining in the first half, a Cori Dyke free kick was volleyed on net, but ultimately blocked on the goal line by a Spartan defender.

The first half concluded tied at zero after both teams demonstrated minimal offensive action.

Michigan State struck first in the 58th minute. The Spartans’ goal came from a service on the right side of the field. Justina Gaynor was left wide open on the back post and left Asman with no chance to make the save.

In the 70th minute, Jordyn Wickes found the back of the net for Michigan State to double the Spartans’ lead.

In the first 30 minutes of the second half, Penn State produced just one shot. Kozal easily scooped up the Nittany Lion attempt and maintained the Michigan State lead.

In the 82nd minute, Ally Schlegel cut the lead to 2-1 by splitting two defenders and bending the ball into the top right corner over Kozal’s reach.

The Nittany Lions’ goal sparked momentum for the team and a loud finish from the fans at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State generated multiple chances in the final few minutes, but ran out of time and the game concluded at 2-1 in favor of Michigan State.

Takeaways:

  • Penn State’s offense, usually a big strength, created very few chances and were only threatening for a couple moments. Penelope Hocking and Amelia White were particularly quiet on the offensive line, which proved to be unfortunate for Penn State’s momentum up top.
  • The Nittany Lions appeared to be sluggish until the final 10 minutes of the game. Every game in conference is difficult, and a late effort is not going to be enough against the majority of Penn State’s Big Ten opponents.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will travel to Columbus to play another conference game against Ohio State at noon on Sunday, October 2. Folks can stream the matchup on BTN+.

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About the Author

Theo Koch

Theo is a sophomore at Penn State majoring in marketing. He is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both of his parents attended Penn State, so he was born into this. He enjoys watching all sports, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to reach out to [email protected] with any comments, questions, or concerns.

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