Penn State 2, Santa Clara 1

Nov. 25, 2005

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.) broke a 1-1 tie in the 81st minute and the Penn State women's soccer team held on for a 2-1 victory over Santa Clara (17-5-2) in the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament at Jeffrey Field. The win gives the Nittany Lions (23-0-1) a berth to their third College Cup in program history.

The teams battled to a 1-1 tie in the bitter cold before Penn State's Player of the Year candidate headed in the game-winning goal off a pass from Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.). The goal came just minutes after Weimer helped Penn State tie the game at 1-1, and puts Weimer within two points of tying the Big Ten's career scoring record. That play began when the Broncos' Amanda Poach received a yellow card giving the Nittany Lions a free kick. Goalkeeper Erin Mcleod (Vancouver, BC) took the kick and sent it to Weimer. The senior forward took the ball, turned, and lofted a soft touch pass over several defenders to Carmelina Moscato (Mississaugua, Ontario) who got her head on the ball sending it toward the goal. Several players from both team scrambled toward the ball and the Broncos' Danielle Potts kicked it into her own goal in the 64th minute.

Santa Clara got on the board first in the 57th minute after Micaela Esquivel nailed a shot from the left side of the box. The play started with forward Jordan Angeli who dribbled the ball down the center to the box and took a shot that Penn State blocked. The ball caromed over to Esquivel who converted the goal into the right side of the net.

Despite the initial goal, McLeod proved why she's the only goalkeeper on the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy list during the game, making several remarkable saves to keep Penn State in the match. With 10 seconds left in the contest Santa Clara's Elyse Shelger fired a shot to the left side of the goal that McLeod stopped on a diving play. In the 76th minute she also made an incredible diving stop to preserve the 1-1 tie, blocking a shot by Santa Clara's Tina Estrada, who had broken free in the middle of the field and had a clear chance at the goal. McLeod finished the game with three saves, all in the second period.

For the game Santa Clara recorded eight shots to the Lions' seven. The Broncos also tallied three corner kicks to Penn State's one. For the Broncos, Estrada led the team with two shots while six other players also recorded shots. Jean Rettig (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Weimer each got off two shots while three other players tallied one.

Neither team could find the back of the net in the first half and Santa Clara and Penn State battled through the cold to a 0-0 tie at the break. Penn State controlled the ball for much of the period and tallied three shots, including two on goal while holding the Broncos to no shots on goal.

The Lions had several solid opportunities to get on the scoreboard in the first half. In the 14th minute Allie Long (Northport, N.Y.)beat her defender down the right side and arced a cross over the box that was just out of Zoe Bouchelle's (Cockeysville, Md.) reach. In the 32nd minute Long again dribbled past several Bronco defenders and took a shot from the top of the box that Santa Clara goalkeeper Julie Ryder saved. Ryder also stopped a potential Penn State scoring opportunity in the 31st minute when Sheree Gray sent a low right-to-left cross that Ryder stepped in front of. Penn State's best chance came in the 44th minute when referees awarded the Lions a free kick just outside the penalty box. Rettig took the kick which glanced off a Santa Clara defender in the wall, sending the ball just over the cross bar.

Lion defender Denay Riley (Washingtonville, N.Y.) stopped Santa Clara's best chance when the Broncos' Amanda Poach took a shot late in the first half. Riley got her foot on the attempt to block the shot. Poach later took a ball in the face and left the game for nearly four minutes. The Lions could not convert the 10-on-11 advantage, however.

1 2 F
No. 2 Santa Clara (17-5-2) 0 1 1
No. 2 Penn State (23-0-1) 0 2 2

56:54- Santa Clara, Micaela Esquivel (2) unassisted
63:31- Penn State, Santa Clara own goal
80:39- Penn State, Tiffany Wiemer (32), assisted by Sheree Gray

FOULS: SANTA CLARA 6+3=9; PSU 8+5=13

GOALKEEPING: SANTA CLARA- Julie Ryder (90 minutes, 2 goals against, 2
saves); PSU- Erin McLeod (90 minutes, 1 goal against, 3 saves)

CARDS: PSU- None. SANTA CLARA- Meagan Snell, (25:32), Amanda Poach (63:20) 

-- Courtesy Penn State