No. 6 Penn State Women’s Soccer Eases Past No. 24 Indiana 3-0 In Big Ten Quarterfinal
No. 6 Penn State women’s soccer (13-1-4, 7-1-3 Big Ten) defeated No. 24 Indiana (12-3-4, 6-3-2 Big Ten) 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. This was the second meeting between the Nittany Lions and the Hoosiers, the first one ending in a 2-0 Penn State victory.
Penn State was coming off its first loss of the season and was determined to not let a similar outcome happen again. After both teams settled in, it was all Penn State in the first half as Eva Alonso gave the Nittany Lions the lead in the 21st minute. Just four minutes later, Amelia White doubled the lead in a showcase of her pace. The second half was a little less exciting, but Penn State was able to put the nail in the coffin after a wonderful goal in the 51st minute. Penn State moved on to the next round of the playoffs after the 3-0 win.
How It Happened
Head coach Erica Dambach made one change to her side from the last match against Wisconsin. Payton Linnehan started for Rebecca Cooke, allowing Penn State to go back to its 4-4-2 formation that worked at the start of the season.
The start of the game saw the teams feeling each other out as some sloppy soccer was played. Penn State, with some extra confidence from beating Indiana just 10 days ago, settled in first and had some possessions in the Hoosier 18-yard box.
The first shot on goal came in the fourth minute due to a great build-up from the Nittany Lions. Kaitlyn Macbean was found open in the box and forced a save from Indiana keeper, Jamie Gerstenberg. Another opportunity followed shortly after as Olivia Borgen had a one-on-one in the box but barely lost the ball trying to get around Gerstenberg.
In the 10th minute, the ball fell to a perfectly positioned Linnehan no more than 15 yards from the goal. She tried to take it on the volley but just put the ball over the crossbar. The shot could have been an excellent welcome back for Linnehan, who was already making her presence known to the Indiana backline.
Indiana’s first real chance came with 27 minutes to go in the first half. Sydney Masur took a curving shot from just outside the box. Katherine Asman laid out but was happy to see the ball travel wide right.
The Hoosiers had another chance off a smart clearance, the ball rolled past the Penn State defenders and was run onto by an Indiana attacker. Michela Agresti did not give up on the play on caught up to the ball, making an excellent tackle to save the tie.
Agresti’s tackle turned out to be a two-goal swing for the Nittany Lions when Alonso found the back of the net just four minutes later. Macbean set the goal up getting past two defenders before recording the assist on the goal in the 21st minute.
Penn State was feeling it after the goal a quickly doubled their lead thanks to White. White used her pace to beat an Indiana defender to the ball and then showed enough composure to take an extra touch past the keeper before rolling it into the net. The goal came just four minutes after the first one.
In the next 15 minutes, Indiana got more comfortable on the ball as a lot of back-and-forth play was the story. Neither team had a real chance on goal during this time.
With four minutes to go in the first half, a flurry of Nittany Lions fouls let Indiana see some chances. Back-to-back set pieces led to another one for the first Indiana corner of the match. Penn State’s defense remained disciplined and was able to get out of the half unscathed with the score remaining at 2-0.
Indiana came out of halftime knowing they had to be more offensive and in the first three minutes of play, they were. The first shot of the half was a screamer from Sofia Black that rattled the crossbar with a shot from outside of the box.
The theme of the Nittany Lions being more clinical than the Hoosiers continued even with Indiana seeing more of the ball to start the second half. Penn State’s Macbean had her first chance of the second half and beat the Indiana goalie with a clever cut back to the short side of the net. Macbean found space for the shot by making a stellar move past an Indiana defender.
From the 50th minute to the 60th, the game hit a dead spot as the ball was held in the middle of the field for most of that time. Indiana did have one chance coming in the 61st minute but Asman made a nice save to kill the move.
Penn State’s defense was not going to give up anything easy to give up its three-goal lead. Kaelyn Wolfe and others made some crucial tackles and blocks with 25 minutes remaining in the quarterfinal to keep the Hoosiers at bay.
The first card of the match was shown to Indiana’s Camille Hamm for being unsporting in the 70th minute. The ref was quick to take his card out in what was clearly a tactical foul to stop the Nittany Lions counterattack.
Another yellow was shown a minute later to Olivia Rush, an Indiana midfielder, for an ugly-looking tackle. Once again, the ref was quick to take the card out.
Indiana found its first shot on target with 12 minutes to go in the game. The shot from Paige Webber deflected off Cori Dykes hip which made it difficult for Asman to track but she was up to it, grabbing the ball out of the air.
Penn State remained disciplined for the rest of the match and walked out of the first round of the Big Ten tournament with a dominant 3-0 victory.
- Penn State was much more clinical than the Hoosiers, and it showed on the score sheet. Penn State doubled Indiana’s shots on goal with eight and turned those into three goals
- Agresti and Wolfe might not have been on the score sheet but they were the unsung heroes of this game. Their really impressive defensive play helped Indiana to no goals. The pair also helped push the ball forward whenever they had the chance.
Penn State will travel to Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday, November 2, for the Big Ten semifinals against Iowa. Kickoff time is still to be determined and will be released later this week.
Your ad blocker is on.
Please choose an option below.
Purchase a Subscription!
About the Author
When paired with the Thespian Society by Penn State THON, the world changed for Theresa Illicete.
Fashanu is the Nittany Lions’ most recent First-Team All-American since Micah Parsons in 2019.
Johnson is the second Penn Stater to declare for the NFL Draft.