No. 4 Penn State Women’s Soccer Defeats Michigan State 3-1
No. 4 Penn State (10-0-2, 4-0-1 Big Ten) overcame Michigan State (8-2-3, 3-0-2 Big Ten) 3-1 in East Lansing on Sunday. The Nittany Lions extended their unbeaten streak to 10 in the midst of its conference schedule.
Payton Linnehan scored early for the Nittany Lions, and Kaitlyn Macbean extended Penn State’s lead in the first half. The Spartans came out of the locker room motivated in the second half, but fouls and Penn State’s defense kept the home team at bay. Finally, Cori Dyke put the game away with a penalty kick goal.
How It Happened
Penn State struck first early on with a goal by Payton Linnehan and assist by Eva Alonso in the sixth minute. A right-footed strike into the bottom right corner allowed Penn State to take an early lead against the Spartans.
Michigan State had an opportunity to tie up the Nittany Lions, but defender Mieke Schiemann had a clutch goal-line clearance to keep the Nittany Lions in the lead.
Michigan State’s Celia Gaynor was awarded a free kick due to a foul by Natalie Wilson. The shot was off target and allowed Penn State to keep the lead.
Thanks to a poor clearance by the Spartan’s center back, Kaitlyn MacBean was granted an easy tap-in to extend Penn State’s lead to 2-0 in the 26th minute. By the end of the first half, Penn State clearly led in offensive momentum and outshot the Spartans 8-4. The half ended with Penn State completely controlling the match in East Lansing and up 2-0.
Michigan State caught Penn State’s back line sleeping and found Raegen Cox at the far post for an easy finish to put the Spartans on the board out of the locker room in the 54th minute.
A yellow card on Penn State’s Schiemann for unsporting behavior allowed Michigan State to continue its second half momentum. Throughout the second half, the Spartans kept the pressure up on the Nittany Lions, desperate to tie the game.
Deep into the second half, Linnehan drew a foul on Mimi Hallier, which resulted in a yellow card in the 71st minute.
An aggressive play in the box by Olivia Damico drew a foul that gave captain Cori Dyke the opportunity grant Penn State its insurance goal. Dyke snuck the ball into the left side netting, while Michigan State keeper Kaitlyn Park dove the opposite way and gave Penn State a two goal cushion with 11 minutes remaining.
The Nittany Lions closed the match with a 3-1 finish to extend their undefeated conference streak to 4-0-1.
- Penn State’s defense stepped up in the second half to hold off the Spartan’s desperation to get back into the game. A backline held by Mieke Schiemann is a strong one, and between her and goalkeeper Katherine Asman, the duo maintained its dominance.
- Penn State rebounded well after settling for a draw against Michigan on Thursday. The group came out hungry, and a goal in the first six minutes of play demonstrates the Nittany Lions’ grit and Payton Linnehan’s skill.
The Nittany Lions will return home to play Ohio State at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, at Jeffrey Field. Folks can tune in to the game on BTN+.
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