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Penn State Athletics | September 23, 2022

No. 17 Penn State blanks No. 4 Rutgers in its first loss of the year

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Editor's note: This article originally appeared on gopsusports.com.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On a chilly and rainy night, the No. 17 Penn State women's soccer program used a total team effort to upend No. 4 Rutgers, 2-0, spoiling the Scarlet Knights' perfect record on Thursday at Jeffrey Field.
 
Rutgers entered the match 9-0, and alongside No. 1 UCLA (8-0), was one of two women's soccer programs in NCAA Division I with a perfect record midway through the regular season.

LATEST RANKINGS: UCLA holds top spot, rest of top 10 shakes up
 
But the Nittany Lions (6-1-2, 1-0-1) changed that note with goals from redshirt senior Ally Schlegel and senior+ Penelope Hocking plus a clean sheet performance by redshirt senior Katherine Asman.
 
"It feels great, that's a good team; that's obviously a really good team- they're dynamic, they're fast, they're fun," head coach Erica Dambach said after the win. "Great support from this hearty crowd to stay in it even after the sideways rain came in. 
 
"It was a very complete performance from our group, from top to bottom, from the starters to the game changers that came on, to the bench, it was just a really fun night here." 
 
HOW IT HAPPENED

Penn State struck early in the eighth minute as Hocking drove toward the box splitting three Scarlet Knights. She delivered a cross to senior Kate Wiesner who took a shot that was saved; however, the keeper could not wrap it up. Schlegel took advantage to put the ball in the net for the 1-0 early lead.
 
The Nittany Lion defense did its part, holding RU without a shot until the 19th minute. The Scarlet Knights first good luck would not happen until the 25th minute with a strike from the top of the arc. Asman made a diving save to her right to punch the ball to the endline. Sophomore Mieke Schiemann headed away the ensuing corner kick to put PSU back in possession.
 
The Scarlet Knights would take the next six shots of the half, three off-target and three on goal, but could not convert as Asman made two more saves and the PSU defense blocked a shot.

MORE UPSETS: No. 18 Notre Dame lands upset, hands No. 2 Virginia first loss
 
Eight minutes into the second half, PSU struck again. Schlegel stole the ball in the center circle and sent a through ball to Hocking who out-raced three defenders to put the ball in the goal with her left foot.
 
RU's final shot came in the 56th minute with a long-range boot on a free kick that went right into the gloves of Asman.
 
Asman would finish the match with six saves en route to her fifth clean sheet of the season.
 
"I think it feels pretty amazing," Asman said. "For us coming into this game, we didn't view it as an upset. I think for us we came in knowing that we could absolutely compete with them. 
 
"For us this was about playing the way that we play soccer and knowing that if we played Penn State soccer, we would be able to absolutely outplay them and get a win on Jeffrey tonight."
 
With an assist and goal against Rutgers, Schlegel moves to 94 points in her career. The redshirt senior said the team felt very satisfied with their performance tonight.
 
"I think it's the first time for us that it's felt like, a full performance, front-to-back, and I couldn't be more proud of the group," Schlegel said. "This is just a big one for us moving forward."
 
NEXT UP
The Nittany Lions stay at Jeffrey Field to host Illinois at noon on Sunday, Sept. 25.

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