No. 4 Penn State Women’s Soccer Outlasts Ohio State 2-1
No. 4 Penn State women’s soccer (11-0-2, 5-0-1 Big Ten) tied Ohio State (7-4-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten) 2-1 in the annual Wear White game on Sunday at Jeffery Field.
Ohio State came out of the gates flying and was rewarded in the 36th minute after finding the back of the net from a corner. Penn State equalized with just three minutes left in the half thanks to a Kaitlyn MacBean conversion. Penn State held the Buckeyes off and wore them down before MacBean found another goal for the winner in the 87th minute.
How It Happened
In a change from Penn State’s typical lineup, Kaelyn Wolf started on the backline instead of Kate Wiesner.
Ohio State started fast as it put pressure on Penn State early in its attacking third. The Nittany Lions only got relief in an unfortunate event that caused a stoppage of play in the second minute. Payton Linnehan went into a challenge and was slow to get up.
Linnehan, one of Penn State’s stand-out players, had to exit the game, and Amelia White was her replacement.
Five minutes into the match, all of the momentum was in favor of Ohio State. Penn State struggled to keep possession and find a rhythm.
Another Nittany Lion went down and needed help from the trainers in the seventh minute. Cori Dyke fell and took a long time to get up after taking the worst of another strong challenge. She ran off the field on her own and didn’t get taken out of the match.
With 35 minutes remaining, Ohio State had a free kick in the offensive half that was sent into the box. The Nittany Lions cleared the ball before anything happened but still struggled to maintain possession.
Ohio State pressed hard every time Penn State touched the ball. Fifteen minutes into the game, Penn State was still without an offensive possession over the halfway line.
In the 16th minute, the Buckeyes took a shot just inside the box that forced goalkeeper Katherine Asman to make a save. That was Ohio State’s first shot on goal and third total, while the Nittany Lions still had to yet register a shot.
Penn State’s first real chance came with 25 minutes to go in the half when Kaitlyn MacBean decided to do it herself and take on three Buckeye defenders. The move almost paid off as she got by the first two but was taken off the ball just as she entered the 18-yard box.
One minute later, MacBean recorded Penn State’s first shot of the game in a similar fashion.
The first card of the game was shown to Olivia Borgen after she slid into a Buckeye player from behind. Penn State was visibly frustrated with Ohio State’s high press, and Borgen was subsequently taken off for Olivia Damico in the 25th minute.
Penn State had the best chance of the first half with 17 minutes left. A great ball into the box gave MacBean another shot that narrowly went wide following a deflection. This resulted in a Penn State corner that didn’t lead to more offense for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State continued its improvement in play with another opportunity just two minutes later. It looked as though the Nittany Lions would have a clean shot on goal before the play was called back for being offside. Despite the call, Penn State found its footing and saw much more of the ball.
Head coach Erica Dambach looked to get a little bit more out of her squad before the end of the first half by making a substitution in the 33rd minute as Riley Gleason came on for Cori Dyke.
With nine minutes remaining in the half, Ohio State drew first blood off a corner kick. Asman touched the ball first but was unable to clear it far enough. Peyton McNamara found the ball on her foot and struck it through the back line and into the back of the net.
The Buckeyes had another great chance just two minutes later when they attempted to make a successful counterattack. A great play by Asman, coming out of her goal, stopped the attack from producing.
Penn State didn’t give up after the Ohio State goal. It switched to a more attacking style of play which paid off. MacBean went for her signature move taking on the Buckeye back line and toe-poking the ball past the keeper in the 43rd minute.
The first half ended knotted up at one a piece.
The second half started the same way the first one did. Ohio State saw much more of the ball than Penn State thanks to its high press.
Ohio State won a free kick in a position similar to a corner. The ball was lofted into the box, but this time Asman made no mistake in clearing the ball.
Penn State’s first shot of the half came in the 49th minute when Borgen attempted a very ambitious shot from outside the box. The ball was on target but swallowed up by the Buckeye keeper.
With 38 minutes left in the game, Penn State settled in again and put pressure on Ohio State. The Buckeyes didn’t back down, though, and continued to look like the more dangerous team.
In the 54th minute, Ohio State won another corner which continued the trend of Ohio State’s plentiful set pieces. The Buckeyes had seven corners to Penn State’s one.
The Nittany Lions looked to their bench for a spark as they took off MacBean, the goal scorer, and replaced her with Gleason. Two minutes later, they would also replace Borgen with White.
The Penn State squad’s depth was tested in the second half in a very back-and-forth game up to the 63rd minute.
Ohio State had a one-on-one in the box not long after the substitutions, but fabulous defense from Michela Agresti saved the day for the Nittany Lions. Ohio State kept the pressure on and won another free kick in the attacking third, just three minutes later. MacBean, who had just been subbed back on, made sure that nothing came from it.
With 18 minutes remaining, Penn State made another substitution as Eva Alonso came on for Agresti.
Ohio State’s hard pressing seemed to have worn it out with 15 minutes left in the game. Penn State took control of the ball and had a lot of chances. The Nittany Lions struggled to get shots on goal but looked much more dangerous as they tried to find a game-winner.
A sense of desperation crept into the Nittany Lion squad in the 80th minute as three attacking moves ended with long shots right at the keeper.
In the 83rd minute, another long shot was taken by Gleason that just barely went over the net. Gleason caught Molly Pritchard off guard and nearly snuck it in.
With four minutes to go, Asman made two nice saves to keep the Buckeyes from scoring. On the second one, she quickly played the ball to her forwards and generated attacking opportunities for the Nittany Lions.
A corner won by Penn State in the 87th minute was just what the Nittany Lions needed to take the lead. It was taken shortly before Dyke swung the ball into the 18-yard box. The ball found the head of MacBean who scored her second of the game.
Penn State held the Buckeyes off for the last three minutes and won the match 2-1.
- The Penn State bench was the difference-maker in its match today. Ohio State looked noticeably tired at the end of the match, while Penn State was still full of energy thanks to its substitutions. With Ohio State unable to continue its press, Penn State found the winner.
- Despite having seven fewer total shots, Penn State put more intentional opportunities on net than Ohio State. The clinical finishing for the Nittany Lions was the reason for the huge win at Jeffery Field.
The Nittany Lions will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face Purdue in another conference clash at 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 12. Folks can stream the game on BTN+.
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