Aug. 28, 2010

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 12 Penn State women's soccer excited a record 3,912 fans at Jeffrey Field on Friday night, but couldn't hold on in a 1-1 tie with No. 15 Virginia. Hayley Brock (Acton, Mass.) scored a goal, while Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) tallied an assist.

In an action packed game, Penn State (1-0-1) scored the go-ahead goal in the 57th minute when Christine Nairn's (Arnold, Md.) corner kick found Costa on the left side of the box. Her careful trap and pass to the center of the goal area found Brock who back-heeled in the shot for a 1-0 lead.

Penn State looked to hold on for the win, but Virginia (2-0-1) kept pressing and found an opening in the defense in the 87th minute. Lauren Alwine took through ball from Caroline Miller and slotted it home to equalize.

Each team had their chances in the two overtimes, but no goals could be found and the two teams drew for the first time in the series. Penn State holds a 5-2-1 all-time record against Virginia. Nevertheless, Penn State and Virginia treated the record crowd to exciting soccer. The previous record crowd was 3,098 when the Nittany Lions defeated UCLA, 2-1, in Aug. 2008.

The game got off to a slow start in front of an energized crowd, which featured multiple student groups and several local supporters at Jeffrey Field. UVa had the run of play for the first 15 minutes of the game, including a great chance by striker Meghan Lenczyk from 25 yards out. Her streaking shot destined for the back of the net was neatly saved by `keeper Krissy Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.) and sent over the bar.

Penn State had its best scoring chance of the game in the 32nd minute when Nairn connected with Danielle Toney (Northville, Mich.) inside the penalty area where Nairn was about to be in on net all alone before she was cut down by Virginia defender Maggie Kistner. On the ensuing penalty kick, Nairn's left-footed shot to the left-side of the net was cleanly saved by Uva netminder Chantel Jones (six saves) and cleared away from danger. Just 30 seconds later, Nairn served a corner kick to defender Emma Thomson (Nottinghamshire, England) whose header was saved by Jones.

Freshman midfielder Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.) helped guide the attack in the second half when her header almost found the back of the net but was just wide of the right post off a cross from the left side in the 53rd minute. Just three minutes later, Brock earned her first tally of her collegiate career where PSU had a 1-0 lead.

Penn State had two chances to double the lead in 70th minute. The first was a one-on-one opportunity by Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) that was saved by Jones and another shot 23 seconds later by Schram that was blocked and turned away.

Lenczyk had an opportunity in the 75th minute that went high before a dangerous shot by Amber Fry in the 76th minute required an acrobatic save by Tribbett (four saves) from close range. Uva made a mass substitution in the 84th minute in a last ditch effort to score a tie. A minute after the subs came on, Thomson ripped a shot from 25 yards out on the right wing that saw Jones leap and parry over the bar, keeping the match a one-goal affair. Less than two minutes later, Alwine's goal would tie the game and send the proceedings into overtime.

Penn State had two chances late in the first overtime when Hayes and Thomson each had their shots blocked with 30 seconds left, but the second overtime turned out to be the most entertaining. A back-and-forth affair opened up with both teams sprinting for a deciding goal, but to no avail. Alwine nearly ended the game in the 107th minute, but Tribbett's save on the breakaway chance preserved the win for PSU in the end.

The two teams were even in their shots at 20 apiece, while Penn State held a 7-5 edge in shots on goal. PSU also had an advantage in corners (8-5), while Virginia was the aggressor committing 14 fouls to Penn State's eight.

Penn State returns to action on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. when the Nittany Lions take on William & Mary to conclude the Penn State Invitational. Virginia faces Connecticut at Noon. Gametracker live stats and webcasting through will be available for the PSU-W&M game.