Minnesota upsets No. 4 Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 4 Penn State women's soccer team fell to Minnesota, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. Penn State falls to 6-2-1 (1-1-0) on the season, while Minnesota improves to 7-1-2 (2-0-0).
"I give Minnesota all the credit in the world," head coach Erica Walsh said. "They came in and battled, they out muscled us, they beat us to the ball too often, and we got a little unlucky and hit the post a few times. But we did not make our own luck today and they did, and I give full credit to Minnesota, they came to play."
Both defenses played tough in the first 30 minutes of play, as both teams combined for four shots on goal. Though, a few minutes later, the Golden Gophers notched the lone goal of the game.
In the 32nd minute, Haley Halverson crossed the ball across the field and into the box to Sydney Squires. Once she took control of the ball, Squires crossed the ball to the left side of the box and Simone Kolander tapped the ball across the goal line for her fifth goal of the season.
Raquel Rodriguez tallied the Nittany Lions best shot opportunity in the first half. From 24 yards out in the 40th minute, Rodriguez fired a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced out of play.
During the first 45 minute of play, Minnesota outshot Penn State, 7-4.
On the season, Minnesota has outscored its opponents by a mark of 12-1 in the first half of play.
The Gophers' goal in the 32nd minute snapped Penn State's scoreless shutout streak of 383:89 minutes.
Throughout the early minutes of the second half, the Gophers continued to place pressure on the Nittany Lion defense as they tallied three shot attempts in first seven minutes of play.
The Nittany Lions hit the crossbar again in the 66th minute, this time off a Frannie Crouse shot. A minute later, Minnesota's Tarah Hobbs made her second save of the match off Elizabeth Ball's shot.
Thirty seconds later, Britt Eckerstrom stepped up for her fourth, and final, save of the match on Squires' shot from six yards out.
Looking for the equalizer, the Nittany Lions made an offensive push down the final stretch of the game. Penn State tallied a pair of shot attempts in the 81st minute.
After an Emily Ogle corner kick, Mallory Weber headed the ball on target, but a Minnesota defender stepped up in the box and blocked the shot attempt. On the rebound, Rodriguez' shot attempt went left of the net.
The Minnesota defense held its ground in the closing minutes of the match as the Penn State offense recorded two more corner kicks in the 86th and 88th minute. Minnesota cleared both corner kicks before Penn State recorded another shot attempt.
In the 88th minute, Ball tallied one more shot attempt, but her shot went wide right.
Overall, Minnesota outshot Penn State, 12-10, and held a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal.