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No. 6 Penn State Women’s Soccer Suffers 3-0 Upset To Ohio State

No. 6 Penn State women’s soccer (7-3-2, 2-2-1 Big Ten) dropped its second straight Big Ten match 3-0 to Ohio State (8-2-2, 3-1-1 Big Ten) in Columbus on Sunday afternoon.

Despite a dominant game from the Nittany Lions, Ohio State scored two goals within three minutes of each other, and head coach Erica Dambach’s lineup couldn’t respond. The Buckeyes added an insurance goal in the final minute of the match to overpower the sixth-ranked Penn State squad.

Penelope Hocking and Amelia White manufactured a combined 10 shots, but couldn’t overcome Ohio State on the road.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach rolled out a familiar, strong lineup against the Buckeyes. Penelope Hocking opened up the offense for the Nittany Lions in the third minute with a shot toward Ohio State goalkeeper Katherine Robinson. Hocking’s attempt went high over the crossbar and didn’t test Robinson.

Hocking tallied another shot and forced Robinson to engage and make her first save of the game in the 10th minute. Robinson easily scooped up the low-driven shot, and the Buckeye goalkeeper reset the defense.

Amelia White earned a corner kick in the 13th minute and Kate Wiesner lined up for the service. Wiesner’s corner didn’t connect with anyone, and Ohio State took advantage of Penn State in transition. Emma Sears ripped a shot toward Asman, but the goalkeeper worked efficiently to recover and redirect the shot.

Maddie Myers prevented a Buckeye breakaway opportunity in the 20th minute. Ohio State forward Kailyn Dudukovich beat Mieke Schiemann and Cassie Hiatt in the middle of the field and created a one-on-one opportunity between herself and Asman. Myers recovered heavily and slide tackled Dudukovich to clear the ball before allowing the Buckeye to get a shot off on Asman.

The windy conditions in Columbus proved to be a challenge for the Penn State defense in the first half. The Buckeyes began to find their rhythm with the wind at their backs and put more pressure on the Penn State back line. Cori Dyke and Schiemann struggled to clear the ball from the defensive third of the field because their attempts were heading straight into the wind.

Hocking and White combined toward the goal in the 25th minute and created the Nittany Lions’ best opportunity of the half. White laid the ball off to Hocking and the senior launched a curling, far-post shot past Robinson. Hocking’s bid at goal connected with the back post and deflected back into play, but the Buckeyes cleared it out of the half.

Eva Alonso subbed in for Hiatt in the 28th minute and immediately made an impact. Alonso sent an arcing ball over the Ohio State defense and connected with Ally Schlegel who anticipated her teammate’s service. Schlegel settled and netted the ball, but the referee signaled that the captain was offside and no goal was awarded.

White and freshman Olivia Borgen almost combined for another scoring opportunity just one minute later, but Borgen’s shot was cleared by the Buckeyes’ back line.

In the 40th minute, Rachel Wasserman made a long run down the left flank and found Jordan Canniff at the 12-yard-line. Canniff had too many defenders on her back and couldn’t turn to shoot, and the ball was cleared out of the Buckeye penalty box.

Despite putting the offensive pressure on Ohio State, the Nittany Lions couldn’t manage to convert a goal and both teams headed into the locker room tied at zero.

The Buckeyes looked fierce out of the break and manufactured two goal-scoring opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Neither required Asman to make a save, but the Nittany Lions looked to be on their back foot regardless.

Freshman Olivia Smith released a heavy shot in the 57th minute and forced backup goalkeeper Molly Pritchard to fall on the ball and make a save.

Canniff drew a foul in the 65th minute and earned a Penn State free kick about three yards outside of the penalty box. Hocking rocketed the kick into the Buckeye wall and the ball deflected out for a corner kick.

Ohio State took the lead in the 73rd minute off a Kayla Fischer goal. Ohio State had seen any possession, especially on the Nittany Lions’ half, but Fischer beat Myers and Hiatt on the left wing and forced Asman to come off the goal line. Fischer danced around Asman and buried a shot past the goaltender to earn a 1-0 lead over Penn State.

Sears and Fischer almost made it happen again two minutes later. In a similar fashion, Fischer blazed down the left wing and connected with Sears at the top of the penalty box. Sears’ shot bounced out of Asman’s gloves and Ella Gionnola almost cleaned it up, but Wiesner cleared the ball.

The Buckeyes netted a second goal in the 76th minute to extend their lead to 2-0. Sydney Jones crossed the ball to Maddy Lowe, who was occupying space in the center of the penalty box. Lowe quickly turned and directed the ball toward the goal and, despite several deflections, Lowe’s attempt ricocheted into the goal past Asman.

White tried to respond in the 80th minute, but couldn’t slide her shot past the reach of Pritchard in goal.

Gionnola assisted Sears for Ohio State’s final goal in the last minute of the game and the Buckeyes overcame the Nittany Lions in a decisive 3-0 upset on the road.

Takeaways:

  • Penn State has to convert. After dominating Ohio State’s defensive side for the entire first 45 minutes, the team couldn’t manage to notch a goal. It’s clear that the Nittany Lions have strong offensive talent in Penelope Hocking, Amelia White, and Ally Schlegel, but what’s going wrong right in front of the goal? With 10 shots through the first half, going into halftime scoreless was a bad look.
  • On a similar note, the Penn State midfield and defense need to press higher and transition with its offensive teammates. There’s a reason why Cori Dyke and Mieke Schiemann have combined for four goals this season. The offense needs some help crashing the goal, and there are plenty of folks that can help on that front.
  • Is it time for Erica Dambach to panic? After two straight Big Ten losses to Michigan State and Ohio State, the team’s conference status will suffer, forcing the Nittany Lions to rebound heavily for their five remaining games.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will rest for a week before taking on Maryland at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, in College Park. Folks can stream the matchup on BTN+.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a sophomore journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She also talks about random, fun stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley or send your best Spotify playlist to her email [email protected]

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