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No. 24 Penn State Women’s Soccer Draws Iowa 1-1 In Regular-Season Finale

No. 24 Penn State women’s soccer (10-4-3, 5-3-2 Big Ten) tied Iowa (5-6-7, 2-3-5 Big Ten) 1-1 on Sunday afternoon in Iowa City.

The Nittany Lions’ singular goal came from Ally Schlegel off a first half fast-break counterattack. Schlegel almost scored a brace but was denied a penalty kick by Iowa goakeeper Macy Enneking. On the other end of the field, goalkeeper Katherine Asman kept a hungry Iowa offense to just one goal despite eight total shots.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach rolled out a familiar starting 11 with her consistent 4-3-3 veteran lineup. The Hawkeyes opened the match pushing the pace on the Penn State defense, but Mieke Schiemann and Jill Jennings locked down the defensive third of the field.

Despite some momentum from Iowa on offense, the Nittany Lions took advantage of every transition in attempt to counterattack. Cori Dyke and Natalie Wilson combined several times to try to catch the Hawkeyes on their back foot, but couldn’t muster up the numbers to counter successfully.

Kate Wiesner and Dyke forced a turnover in the 18th minute that led to Penn State’s first real goal-scoring opportunity of the match. Wiesner sent a through ball to Linnehan and the forward managed to get a shot off after beating two Iowa defenders, but couldn’t put enough pace on the attempt and it went right into the hands of goalkeeper Enneking.

Schlegel opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a left-footed low drive past Enneking to make the score 1-0 in favor of Penn State. Wiesner was credited with the assist to Schlegel.

Penelope Hocking earned a foul in the 30th minute that gave Iowa a dangerous free kick at the top of the Penn State’s penalty box. Six Nittany Lions lined up to create a wall in front of Asman, but Caroline Halonen’s attempt went about 15 yards high of the net.

Rachel Wasserman pushed a counterattack in the 34th minute that almost doubled Penn State’s score. Wasserman slid a through ball to a blazing Amelia White and the freshman cut back a cross right to the six-yard line. Kaitlyn Macbean anticipated White’s cross and was ready to convert but couldn’t get over the ball and her attempt flew high of Enneking’s net.

Most of the first half was spend on the Nittany Lions’ defensive half with Iowa in the driver’s seat, but the Penn State defense was sturdy and its offensive counterparts made the most of every transition and counterattack.

Because of this, the Nittany Lions headed into the locker room leading 1-0 at the halftime whistle.

Iowa finally found the back of the net in the 52nd after knocking on Asman’s door for nearly the entire game. Elle Otto beat Jennings down the right flank and crossed a low-driven ball to Halonen. The graduate student sent a fast-paced one-timer to the far-post and Asman’s outstretched reach wasn’t enough to stop the shot.

Dyke endured a collision in the 59th minute that paused the game while she received nearly two minutes of attention from medical staff. The midfielders seemed to be nursing a shoulder injury, but she walked off the field under her own power. Dyke reentered the game about 20 minutes later.

Asman came up big in the 70th minute and dove on top of a low-driven ball to preserve the 1-1 score.

Myers drew a foul in the 79th minute to set Penn State up with a set-piece opportunity just outside of the Iowa penalty box. The attempt was quickly cleared out by the Hawkeyes and sent up the field toward Penn State’s defensive half.

Hocking drew a foul inside the penalty box with just five minutes left in the game. Schlegel lined up for the penalty kick, but her shot went right down the middle and Enneking blocked the shot and redirected it over the crossbar.

Neither team could grab the go-ahead goal, and the game finished in a 1-1 draw.

Takeaways:

  • Penn State can seriously counterattack. Iowa dominated the offensive momentum in the first half, but Ally Schlegel’s goal purely came from outworking the Hawkeyes in transition and not giving them enough time to react. The Nittany Lions have found themselves playing mostly defense in the last two games, but the ability to counter efficiently can make or break a team, regardless of possession percentages, and Penn State sure knows how to counter.
  • The upcoming Big Ten Tournament will definitely be interesting. Michigan State, Northwestern, Rutgers, Ohio State, and Penn State each maintain a spot in the national top-25 poll heading into the tournament, but the Nittany Lions still fall in the middle of the pack in Big Ten standings behind Nebraska as well. Dambach’s squad was knocked out of the Big Ten Tournament by Michigan in the first round, so despite a probable uncharacteristically low seed, Penn State will most definitely enter the tournament looking for revenge.

What’s Next?

This game marked the end of the Nittany Lions’ regular-season schedule. Now, the team will await seeding for the Big Ten Tournament which will begin on Sunday, October 30. Penn State’s opponent and game time is yet to be determined at this point.

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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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