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Penn State Women’s Soccer Falls To Virginia 3-2 In Overtime, Ends NCAA Tournament Run

Penn State women’s soccer (15-5-3) suffered a 3-2 overtime loss Virginia (16-3-3) in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night at Jeffrey Field.

Payton Linnehan scored the Nittany Lions’ go-ahead goal in the 29th minute, but the Cavaliers had a response for every Penn State conversion and took the match to move on to the Elite Eight.

How It Happened

Head coach Erica Dambach rolled out her go-to lineup against the Cavaliers.

Penn State opened up the game with the kickoff and the momentum. Virginia couldn’t gain consistent possession of the ball for the first 10 minutes and the Nittany Lions, led by Ally Schlegel, manufactured a goal-scoring opporutunity in just the second minute.

The Cavaliers created their first goal-scoring moment of the match in the 19th minute when Maggie Cagle ripped a shot toward Katherine Asman, but Mieke Schiemann blocked the attempt and sent Penelope Hocking motoring the other way on a counterattack.

Hocking and Payton Linnehan combined to take on the Virginia backline with numbers and dropped the ball back to a trailing Jill Jennings. The center back ripped a shot from distance and connected with the far post rather than the back of the net.

Hocking and Linnehan almost notched the scoreboard again minutes later, but Linnehan’s service to Hocking was just out of reach.

Linnehan’s time finally came in the 29th minute and the Nittany Lions took a 1-0 lead. Schlegel slotted a leading ball into Linnehan’s run and the forward dodged White’s dive, dancing around the keeper, and tucked the ball into the far post.

The Cavaliers only tallied one shot throughout the remaining 16 minutes in contrast to the Nittany Lions’ four. Despite some more offensive pressure and chances from Virginia, Penn State kept its 1-0 lead heading into the locker room for halftime.

Virginia was gifted a dangerous free kick to open up the second half. Samar Guidry’s service almost connected with Haley Hopkins, but sixth-year Hopkins couldn’t get her head on it.

Schiemann and Jennings were put to the test during the first 20 minutes of the second half while the Cavaliers pushed their offense and left little room for mistakes from the Penn State back line. Virginia grabbed eight corner kicks through the first 65 minutes and forced the Nittany Lions to work hard to defend on set pieces.

Freshman Jill Flammia struck for the Cavaliers in the 73rd minute to tie the game at one all. Flammia shot from inside the six-yard line and was rejected by Katherine Asman, but the goalkeeper spilled her save and Flammia cleaned up the loose ball and knotted the Nittany Lions at 1-1 with 15 minutes remaining.

The Penn State back line pushed the ball out of the penalty box in the next possession and sent Schlegel on her way to a breakaway, but the redshirt senior launched her shot over White’s net and out for a Cavalier goal kick.

Super sub Amelia White came into the match, and just minutes into her time on the field, found the back of the net to regain a Penn State lead. Schlegel and Linnehan combined on a counterattack that led to a Linnehan rip to the far post. The shot deflected off the goal post and White tapped the loose ball into the goal to retake the lead.

Cavalier Lia Godfrey came as close as can be to converting Virginia’s tying goal, but instead connected with the goalpost to preserve the Nittany Lions’ lead.

That Penn State lead didn’t last long as Virginia knotted the score at two with as many minutes left in regular time. Cagle beat Ellie Wheeler on the end line and sent a lofting service to Maya Carter. Carter put a confident forehead on Cagle’s cross and easily directed the ball into the back of the net.

The Cavaliers dominated the second half on the scoreboard and, at the final whistle, sent both teams to extra time as a result of Carter’s goal.

Penn State opened the first 10-minute extra time period with possession and almost immediately lost the ball to Virginia. Cagle grabbed the ball and, once again, beat Wheeler on the sideline to send a cross to a crashing Hopkins. Hopkins bodied the ball into the net behind Asman, leaving her no time to respond and put the Cavaliers up 3-2 in the 93rd minute.

Virginia continued to lead the offensive momentum and Godfrey released a powerful shot but was denied by Asman’s outstretched dive.

The Nittany Lions couldn’t respond in the first overtime period despite shot attempts from Cori Dyke and Linnehan and the Cavaliers maintained their 3-2 extra time lead.

Wiesner and Schlegel led Penn State to its first attack in nearly 20 minutes and was quickly dispossessed by a sturdy Virginia defense.

Several shot attempts from a slew of Nittany Lions were rejected by White in the dwindling minutes of the match and Penn State couldn’t notch a goal to keep its season alive. After 110 minutes, Virginia took the match 3-2 to move on to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Takeaways:

  • Mieke Schiemann is a wall. The sophomore was primarily tasked with man-marking Virginia’s Haley Hopkins, the Cavalier’s goal-scoring machine. Schiemann essentially removed Hopkins from Virginia’s offense and cut her off so well that she barely saw time on the ball, especially in the first half. Whatever the Big Ten says, Schiemann is always on our First Team.
  • Katherine Asman is the real hero of this game. The goalkeeper tallied eight saves through 110 minutes of play and kept a high-powered Cavalier offense to just three goals from 22 shots. Like we said, hero.
  • Penn State looked slow in transition in the second half. Payton Linnehan’s opening goal came purely as a result of a numbers-up opportunity and the Nittany Lions rarely pushed numbers offensively in the second half. Virginia’s forwards were dangerous and couldn’t be left unmarked for long, but perhaps a risky offensive push could’ve been quite rewarding for a Penn State lineup searching for a goal.

What’s Next?

That’s the end of the Nittany Lions’ postseason run. See you next season, folks.

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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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