WSOC: Penn State clinches B1G title in two-goal victory
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Park Avenue Army as well as the rest of the fans at Jeffery Field erupted as the final whistle of a very exciting game blew. The Penn State women’s soccer team (11-3-4, 7-1-3 B1G) shut out the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-6-3, 4-4-3 B1G) 2-0 in their final game of the regular season. The win gives the Nittany Lions their 18th Big Ten regular season title and a ticket to the Championship playoffs.
“That was the first time in ten years that I shed tears after a Big Ten Championship,” coach Erica Dambach said after the game. “Just out of pure pride for what they did all season long.”
The first half was very well contested by both teams. The ball spent most of the first half just inside of Ohio State’s side of midfield, though rarely close enough to be threatening. Penn State did lead in shots taken by the end of the first half six to five. Ohio State’s goalkeeper Devon Kerr had to make the only two saves of the half while her counterpart, Amanda Dennis, was able to more or less relax behind her brick wall of a defense. The only dangerous shot taken at Dennis in the first half was a bullet that ricocheted off the crossbar, sent in by Ohio State’s star player Lindsay Agnew.
“I can’t say enough about the defense,” said Dambach. “They held strong, I thought Elizabeth Ball and Brittany Basinger really held that back line tonight.”
The scoring was started by the Nittany Lions’ freshman forward from Germany, Laura Freigang. Off of a corner kick in the 51st minute by Nickolette Driesse, Haleigh Echard sent it into the Ohio State box toward Freigang who headed the ball over the keeper and in.
After the first goal, both teams heated up. Ohio State was determined to spoil Penn State’s night, and the Lions searched for a second goal to increase their lead.
Penn State’s second goal came in the 72nd minute off the boot of Charlotte Williams. Williams received a pass from Megan Shafer before drilling the ball into the side netting of the Buckeyes’ goal to ice the game.
When asked whether she had ever imagined scoring such an important goal in her first year, Freigang responded with a laugh. “Never!” she said.
The Nittany Lions next play on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Jeffery Field to start off their run at the Big Ten Quarterfinals. Their opponent is yet to be announced. Be sure to tune in to ComRadio’s coverage, starting at 1 p.m.
Tommy Butler is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.