Penn State 4, Texas A&M 1 Nov. 19,
Penn State 4, Texas A&M 1Nov. 19, 2005
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 1 seed Penn State (22-0-1) used a four-goal second half to capture a 4-1 victory on the strength of a hat trick from M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.). The victory marks Penn State head coach Paula Wilkins' 100th career victory. With the win, the Nittany Lions advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the seventh time in the past eight years. The quarterfinal game will be played sometime between Friday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 27, at a site and time to be announced by the NCAA.
After having several dangerous chances in the Lions' zone, Texas A&M capitalized on a free kick off a Nittany Lion foul midway through the first half. Taking a free kick on the left side, Linda Pierson took the strike and put the ball into the left side of the box. Aggie Melissa Garey settled the ball and turned, burying a strike high in the upper left corner of the Penn State goal for the 1-0 Texas A&M lead with 18:40 remaining in the first half.
Despite out-shooting Texas A&M 13-2 in the first half, Penn State trailed by one goal at halftime. It was the first time the Nittany Lions had trailed all year.
With the shot advantage at 18-3, Penn State finally got the pay-off on its hard work with a goal in the 55th minute. Weimer and freshman Allie Long (Northport, N.Y.) combined to find sophomore Zoe Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.) for the Penn State conversion at 54:22. The game tied at 1-1, Penn State continued to apply pressure.
In the 73rd minute, Bouchelle found Weimer for the go-ahead goal. The assist was Bouchelle's eighth postseason point after scoring two goals and adding an assist in the early rounds for Penn State. The gamewinner was Weimer's 11th of the season, and her 25th of her career.
Weimer broke away in the 75th minute and came toe-to-toe with Texas A&M defender Lauren Phister. Weimer won the battle, and leaped over a fallen Phister and took off for the goal for a one-on-one with goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak. Spisak couldn't keep the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist at bay, and Weimer bested their senior keeper to the right for her second goal of the afternoon. Spisak had a career-tying 10 saves on the day, but it was not enough to best the Lions' potent offense.
Despite a missed penalty kick, Weimer would not be denied the hat trick. In the final minutes of the game, the crafty striker took a pass from Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.) and knocked it past Spisak for her fourth career hat trick. The 10-point day ties a Penn State record for points in a game held by Christie Welsh. Welsh scored 10 vs. Michigan on Oct. 7, 2001. Weimer is knocking on the door of Welsh's Big Ten record for career points. She now has 31 goals for the season, pushing her to 90 for her career. Coupled with her 32 career assists, Weimer sits at 215 caree points, one behind Welsh's record, set between 1999-2002.
-- Courtesy Penn State