Penn State Beats Stony Brook, Heads to Second Round of NCAA Tourney
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State women’s soccer (16-6-1) came from behind to beat Stony Brook (14-6-1) on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by a score of 3-1.
On a night that saw Penn State dominate possession and shots early and often, it was Stony Brook that shocked the crowd at Jeffrey Field as junior forward Fanny Götesson netted her seventh goal of the season at the 17-minute mark.
The Nittany Lions were unable to find the back of the net in the first half as they trailed 1-0 even though they outshot the Seawolves 13-3. Penn State had multiple scoring chances but couldn't finish when it mattered most.
Redshirt freshman forward Ally Schlegel spoke on the resiliency of the team as they moved into the second half.
“For us it’s just that unwavering belief that we all have,” Schlegel said. “We’ve gone through so much adversity this season, and you can’t tell us that we’re not going to come back, you can’t.”
That belief carried the Nittany Lions to a hot second half start that saw two goals come just 50 seconds apart to capture the lead for the first time in the match.
First, it was junior Frankie Tagliaferri who put a shot past junior keeper Sofia Manner for her fifth goal of the season on a beautiful through ball from Schegel. Then, like a flash of lightning, Sam Coffey darted into the box on a pass from Tagliaferri and put it in the back of the net for her ninth goal of the season. Just like that it was 2-1 Penn State with only five minutes played in the second half.
The initial push from the Nittany Lions put Stony Brook on its heels as relentless pressure from Kerry Abello, Coffey, Schlegel, and Tagliaferri made it difficult for the Seawolves to regain possession.
In the 62nd minute, Abello was given space in the box and finished a shot with her left foot to beat Manner to give the Nittany Lions more breathing room at 3-1.
Penn State maintained possession as Stony Brook only had one shot in the second half as the substitutes that came on in relief did a good job of not missing a beat as they maintained the tempo of play on the pitch.
The Nittany Lions finished out the night and held onto a decisive victory led by a strong resurgence in the second half.
Penn State finished the match by outshooting Stony Brook in an astonishing 25-4 margin as the Nittany Lions constant attack was the key to their 10th win in a row.
Head coach Erica Dambach spoke about the experience and leadership from her team and why it’s been integral through this stretch and is key for higher competition in the NCAA Tournament.
“When the important time comes here at the end of the season, it’s their team,” Dambach said. “They’re going to make us go, and we’re going to go as they do.”
Dambach credited her upperclassmen and players like Schlegel for stepping up when it mattered most and taking control of the team. Since then the Nittany Lions have responded, ripping off an impressive run that has made them one of the hottest teams in the country at the right time.
Penn State will face Arkansas in the second round of the tournament next week.
Andrew Field is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
I am a Junior from Haverford, Pennsylvania which is actually right outside of Philly. I am a huge Philly sports fan as I have passion and excitement for all four Philly teams and also all Penn State sports. I write articles and do podcasts for CommRadio Sports. I also have my own website that I started this summer where I give my opinions and sports takes each week. I hope to one day work in the sports industry or become a writer.