Visiting Penn State Topples UCLA
LOS ANGELES -- In what was an all-out fight that went into double overtime, No. 4 Penn State (5-0) toppled No. 3 UCLA (4-1) on Sept. 9 with one golden goal in the 105th minute off the foot of M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.). It was the Nittany Lions' second win over a Top 5 team in a week and the third victory over a Top 10 team in Penn State's five-game old season. The gamewinner was the fourth in five games for Weimer, and marked her eighth goal this season.
|Tiffany Weimer's golden goal lifted Penn State to victory over UCLA Sept. 9. (PSU).|
The upset victory is the 14th in Penn State women's soccer history, the fourth ever upset win over a Top 5 team, and the second this year after the Lions' recorded a 5-2 win vs. then-No. 4 Virginia last Sunday. The Lions are now 11-14-2 vs. Top 10 opponents, including an 8-2-1 mark since 2002. The Lions have won their last five straight against Top 10 opponents.
A scoreless first half high on drama and Penn State possession equaled only one shot for the visiting Lions and no goals for either squad. Weimer took the only shot of the half for Penn State, which was on frame but saved by Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson.
In the 17th minute, UCLA forward Kara Lang fired a shot that made Lion fans gasp until they spotted All-America goalkeeper Erin McLeod (Vancouver, B.C.) tracking the shot the whole way, making the dynamic diving save to her left.
For the half, UCLA outshot the Lions 9-1, but Penn State led the possession battle for the half. McLeod tallied three saves in the opening half effort and amassed five for the game.
Weimer provided some excitement early in the second half, narrowly missing putting the Lions on the board again. Penn State applied heavy pressure again in the 61st minute when the Lions put a nice series together that resulted in a Zoe Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.) shot that was blocked. The Penn State offense got the ball back in the box again with pressure resulting in a corner kick. The Lions would come away empty-handed this time, but was beginning to wear the Bruin defense down.
Senior co-captain and central defender Lindsay Bach (Rochester, N.Y.) rolled her ankle with just under 15 minutes remaining, giving the Lion defense a new look as time ticked down. UCLA tried to take immediate advantage, with Lang slipping through the middle and putting a shot on goal, which McLeod was there to stop again.
Penn State put together another great series of passes in the 80th minute, with co-captain Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.) finding Carmelina Moscato (Mississaugua, Ontario), who fired a shot that Henderson was able to muffle again.
A corner kick was generated off a long but dangerous shot by midfielder Jean Rettig (Hummelstown, Pa.) in the 84th minute, but the Lions got nothing out of the opportunity as the end of regulation began to close in on the two Top 5 teams.
With five minutes remaining, UCLA generated a corner kick opportunity off a throw in. The Lions stifled the chance and cleared the ball, but couldn't get it beyond midfield. Bruin Caitlin Ursini eventually got a shot off that went wide before the Lions were on the attack again.
Freshman defender Ali Long (Northport, N.Y.) penetrated the UCLA midfield for a long shot with under three minutes in regulation, but her strike would skip just high and the match would enter overtime with no score.
The first overtime period resulted in no shots for the Lions and two for the Bruins with extremely competitive play from both squads. McLeod made one save in the period to keep the game knotted at 0-0, sending it to the second overtime.
During the second overtime frame, the Lions' offense came alive again, applying pressure to the Bruin defense. Rettig got a touch on the ball in the midfield and found a sprinting Weimer in the right center. The senior striker turned on the afterburners, keeping just a step ahead of her defender the whole way and ripping the game-winning shot into the left bottom corner of the net for the victory.
The win avenged the Lions' 2003 NCAA quarterfinal loss at Drake Stadium, and signaled Penn State's second victory in three tries at UCLA. Penn State's 5-0 start is its best since 1998. That year, the team built on its 5-0 beginning into a 6-0 start before tying Michigan, 1-1, on Sept. 25 in Ann Arbor. The Lions compiled an 11-0-1 record before losing their first game of the season, a 1-0 defeat at Northwestern on Oct. 16.
Penn State meets USC on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 2 p.m. PT to continue UCLA Women's Cup action. The Lions then travel to Maryland on Friday, Sept. 16, for a 5 p.m. match. Penn State returns home on Sunday, Sept. 18, to cap-off the final game of tripleheader action at Jeffrey Field. The Lions meet James Madison at 5 p.m., following two games of Nike Soccer Classic action featuring the Penn State men's soccer team vs. Cal State-Fullerton at 2:00 p.m.
1 2 OT OT FNo. 4 Penn State (5-0) 0 0 0 1 1No. 3 UCLA (4-1) 0 0 0 0 0
SHOTS: PSU- 1+6+0+2= 9; UCLA- 9+3+2+0-=14
CORNER KICKS: PSU- 3+2+0+0=5; UCLA- 2+2+2+1=7
FOULS: PSU- 2+6+0+0=8; UCLA- 7+5+1+1=14
GOALKEEPING: PSU- Erin McLeod (104:13 minutes, 3+1+1+0=5 saves, 0+0+0+0=0 goals against); UCLA- Valerie Henderson (104:13 minutes, 1+3+0+0=4 saves, 0+0+0+1=1 goals against).
CARDS: PSU- Carmelina Moscato (Yellow- 41:38); UCLA- Iris Mora (Yellow- 63:58)
-- Courtesy Penn State