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No. 4 Penn State Women’s Soccer Blanks No. 19 Indiana 2-0

Penn State women’s soccer (12-0-4, 6-0-3 Big Ten) blanked Indiana (11-2-4, 5-2-2 Big Ten) 2-0 Thursday night at Jeffrey Field in its penultimate matchup. Following tonight’s win, the Nittany Lions posted their longest unbeaten Big Ten stretch since 2012.

Kate Wiesner and Julia Raich found the back of the net for Penn State against a highly aggressive Indiana. Katherine Asman and her back line recorded its ninth clean sheet of the season. Despite the aggression, the Nittany Lions never lost control and dominated the Hoosiers.

How It Happened

Indiana claimed the first shot of the game in the second minute, but the Nittany Lions quickly pushed back.

Kaitlyn MacBean found the first breakaway for Penn State, receiving a through ball and weaving through the defense. Her shot was tipped and saved by Hoosiers goalie Jamie Gerstenberg.

Kate Wiesner set up Olivia Borgen who broke through the middle, but her shot was deflected and Penn State failed to connect with the rebound.

Olivia Rush took a shot outside the 18-yard box for Indiana which lacked power and Katherine Asman easily grabbed.

Penn State won a free kick in the 20th minute after Rush received a yellow card for unsporting. Cori Dyke took the kick, setting the ball up for Wiesner who blasted it into the bottom right to give Penn State the 1-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions kept trying to send chip and through balls down the field for counterattacks, but the balls had too much pace and weren’t being received.

Borgen found another breakaway and took off down the field, but her shot went just wide of the far post. Despite Penn State’s sliding efforts to save the ball, it went out of bounds for a goal kick.

Penn State’s defense remained strong through the half, not letting anyone break into the 18-yard box. Elle Britt took a shot from 20 yards out for Indiana in the 35th minute that flew over the crossbar.

Rowan Lapi took a free kick for Penn State, chipping the ball into the box and hoping for a player to run in and connect. It slipped past Gertsenberg but missed the net, leading to another goal kick.

The first half ended with Penn State controlling possession and leading 1-0.

Penn State came out on fire after halftime and won a corner kick in the 50th minute, its first of the game. Gerstenberg stepped up with a big save for Indiana to deny MacBean.

The Hoosiers posed a threat, continuously running the ball down the right wing. Paige Webber got a shot off, but it was blocked by the defense.

Wiesner intercepted the ball and took off downfield, flying past half Indiana’s midfield. Penn State was called offside, breaking up Wiesner’s momentum but quickly winning the ball back.

Dyke was issued a yellow card in the 58th for unsporting with Borgen following in the 59th to much disapproval from the fans at Jeffrey field.

The next 10 minutes of the game featured a slew of stoppage due to fouls and substitutions. Neither team controlled possession and slowed down play.

Play started to pick up again in the 70th minute when Amelia White received the ball at the right corner flag and attempted to cross it in but was foiled by Gerstenberg.

The Nittany Lions won a free kick in the 74th minute, sending the ball down the sideline to White again. There was a scuffle for the ball and yet another free kick was issued, taken by Dyke. Michela Agresti connected with the ball, heading it into the right corner but Gerstenberg saved it by her fingertips to force a corner.

Olivia Damico controlled the ball off the corner, winding up a shot that curled just wide of the post.

Damico sent the ball through to White who found herself racing after it against Gerstenberg. White pushed it past Gerstenberg before turning and finding Julia Raich at the penatly spot who blasted it into the top left corner in the 81st minute.

Penn State won a corner with two minutes left, opting to pass it around instead of taking a shot. It kept passing around for the rest of the game to secure its 2-0 conference win.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s defense was a brick wall tonight. Indiana was allowed only two shots on goal for the night, rarely even breaking into the box. The backline was always there to reset control and control the tempo.
  • This was a highly physical game, with 17 fouls. Indiana recorded 14 of those fouls and one yellow card while Penn State was issued two yellows. Despite the constant stopping due to fouls, the Nittany Lions never wavered. They kept their control throughout the game, using all the free kicks to their advantages.

What’s Next?

Penn State will return to Jeffrey on Sunday for its final regular season game against No. 21 Wisconsin. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be streamed on BTN+.

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About the Author

Ashley Connington

Ashley is a sophomore studying journalism from New Jersey. She is not okay about Saquon leaving the Giants and was crying on her couch all day. She can't look at all of her Saquon merch and doesn't know when she will recover. You can email [email protected] to send her ways to meet Saquon or watch her obsess over Chelsea FC on twitter @ashconnington.

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