No. 24 Penn State Women’s Soccer Suffers 4-2 Upset To Nebraska

No. 24 Penn State women’s soccer (10-4-2, 5-3-1 Big Ten) was upset 4-2 by Nebraska (7-5-5, 5-2-2 Big Ten) on Thursday night in Lincoln.

Despite a brace by Ally Schlegel, the Nittany Lions couldn’t make up a two-goal deficit that was established early by the Huskers. Penn State outshot Nebraska 18-10, but failed to convert in the end.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach rolled out a familiar lineup for the matchup with the Huskers. Jill Jennings once again secured a spot in the starting 11 for the third straight match over transfer Cassie Hiatt.

Nebraska opened the game by putting a high press on the Penn State backline. Center defenders Jennings and Mieke Schiemann had little room to relax in the first five minutes of the game and it was clear the Huskers were coached to challenge the defense with a high press.

The Huskers’ strategy worked and the team struck first in the third minute. Florence Belzile snuck a shot through the Penn State defenders and surprised goalkeeper Katherine Asman, leaving her with no time to react and notched the scoreboard 1-0.

Penn State was on its back foot for the following minutes and attempted to mitigate an energetic Nebraska offense. The Huskers maintained possession on the Nittany Lions’ half until Payton Linnehan knocked the ball out for a throw-in.

Jordan Zade did a front flip into a throw-in and launched the ball in the direction of the goal. After several deflections, Belzile got another chance at goal and converted a low-driven ball that Asman couldn’t see to go up 2-0 just seven minutes into the match.

Penn State responded in the 18th minute off a Schlegel conversion. Penelope Hocking beat two Nebraska defenders on the left flank and took a far-post shot toward goalkeeper Samantha Hauk. Hauk spilled the save and Schlegel buried the loose ball and minimized the Huskers’ lead to 2-1.

Nebraska had its foot on the gas and scored once again in the 19th minute. Lauryn Anglim lined up for a Husker corner kick and her service went straight to the foot of Sarah Weber. Weber’s first-touch shot slid right past the outstretched arms of a diving Asman, but the goalkeeper couldn’t get a hand on it. Nebraska jumped right back to a two-goal lead at 3-1 just 22 minutes into the game.

Devon Olive made a weak pass intended for Schiemann, but the ball was intercepted by Weber. Weber took advantage of the breakaway opportunity and launched a shot toward the Penn State goal. Asman came up huge and laid out to save Weber’s attempt and keep the score at 3-1.

Gwen Lane made it 4-1 Nebraska in the 34th minute. Lane beat Schiemann in the penalty box and the Husker easily converted a one-on-one with Asman to clinch the team’s fourth goal in a wild offensive match.

Neither team broke the plane for the remaining 10 minutes of the first half and the Nittany Lions went into the locker room down by three goals.

Schlegel opened the second half with a goal in the 54th minute to make the score 4-2 in favor of Nebraska. Hocking took a corner kick and Ellie Wheeler flicked the service on-goal for Schlegel to finish.

Hocking took a shot of her own in the 57th minute and forced Hauk to make a big, diving save. Penn State began to settle into its offense in the second half and put more pressure on the Huskers than in the first 45 minutes.

Hocking booked a yellow card for talking back to the referee in the 60th minute, marking the game’s first card. Just minutes later, the referee dealt Schlegel a yellow card, but it was interestingly called back seconds later in some sort of miscommunication.

Olivia Smith drew a foul in the 73rd minute to set Penn State up for a free kick about three yards outside of the penalty box, but Hocking’s service didn’t bend like she intended and the Huskers cleared the ball and reset.

Schlegel went down in the 83rd minute and required nearly five minutes of medical attention from training staff. The redshirt senior walked off under her own power, but didn’t reenter the game for the remaining seven minutes of play.

Penn State never managed to sneak in another goal and the Huskers took the match 4-2.


  • This was an ununsual game overall. The Nittany Lions didn’t seem to be prepared for a fast-paced Husker lineup and couldn’t recover in terms of speed or intensity. Penn State typically plays well under pressure, but this matchup was an anomaly.
  • Jill Jennings played a rough game tonight. The co-captain received starts against Penn State’s previous two opponents but didn’t look like herself on Thursday against Nebraska. A hesitant center-back is the last thing the Nittany Lions need heading into the postseason.
  • There goes the Nittany Lions’ top-25 ranking heading into the Big Ten Tournament. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but a loss to unranked Nebraska in the closing games of the regular season isn’t a great look. Penn State needs to post a high-scoring win against Iowa on Sunday to roll into the tournament with confidence and energy on its side.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will close out their regular-season schedule on the road at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, against Iowa. Folks can stream the game 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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