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No. 25 Penn State Women’s Soccer Blanks Wisconsin 3-0

Penn State women’s soccer (9-3-2, 4-2-1 Big Ten) defeated Wisconsin (10-3-2, 5-2-0 Big Ten) 3-0 Thursday night at Jeffery Field.

Penelope Hocking, Payton Linnehan, and Elle Kershner had strong matches and led the Nittany Lions each tallied a goal in the team win. Katherine Asman also tallied two saves on the night.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach selected a familiar lineup for the matchup against the Badgers with the addition of senior defender Jill Jennings to the starting 11.

The Nittany Lions threatened Wisconsin goalkeeper Erin McKinney early on with a long ball from Ellie Wheeler intended for Ally Schlegel, but she was called offside in the second minute.

After a couple of dominating minutes from Wisconsin that earned two corners, Penn State responded in the sixth minute when Kate Wiesner assisted Penelope Hocking for the first goal of the game. It was Hocking’s fifth goal of the season for the Nittany Lions.

In the 14th minute, Hocking found the back of the net when she thought she scored her second goal of the game, however, it was called offside. Similarly, the Badgers thought they equalized in the 15th minute, but the goal was called off with a controversial offside call.

Senior Payton Linnehan created an opportunity with a shot on goal just a few minutes after coming on for injured Kate Wiesner in the 16th minute, but the attempt was saved by McKinney.

In the 29th minute, freshman Olivia Smith started the counterattack that led to a Linnehan goal. The goal gave the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead.

Wisconsin had its best chance of the first half in the 39th minute when the Badgers fired two shots at Penn State goalkeeper Katherine Asman that just missed the back of the net.

The Badgers came out strong in the second half dominating possession. Wisconsin tallied its first shot on goal in the 53rd minute when Dara Andringa headed a shot at Asman.

Smith was given a yellow card in the 75th minute for unsportsmanlike behavior after a free kick was given to the Badgers. A few moments later, Smith delivered a beautiful ball to teammate Rachel Wasserman. Wasserman’s shot was blocked by McKinney.

Penn State played stout defense in the second half to limit the chances for Wisconsin and any hopes of a Badger comeback.

Penn State put the finishing touches on a commanding victory at Jeffery Field when Elle Kershner found the back of the net in the 87th minute to make it 3-0.

Takeaways:

  • Wisconsin tallied five corners in the first half but was unable to fire a shot on goal. This cost the Badgers as they fell behind 2-0 early to the Nittany Lions.
  • Penelope Hocking was crucial for Erica Dambach’s squad, opening the scoring with her goal in the sixth minute and then assisting the Linnehan goal. Hocking was dominant in the final third throughout the match, taking on Wisconsin defenders and creating chances for the Nittany Lions.
  • The match was a very aggressive competition between the Nittany Lions and Badgers. A couple of Nittany Lions went down with injuries throughout the match, including veterans Wisener and Mieke Schiemann due to highly aggressive play. Penn State wants to stay as healthy as possible as the postseason approaches.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will host Michigan at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 16 at Jeffery Field. The match will be streamed on BTN+.

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About the Author

CJ Gill

CJ is a junior from McVeytown, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism and is an associate editor at Onward State. He's a huge Phillies fan, which has its pro and cons come October. You can send all sports takes to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CJGill14.

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