Penn State Unable to Get by Purdue in Home Finale

posted October 20, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Joe Esquivel-Murphy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --- Purdue’s Maddy Williams netted two goals, becoming the school’s all-time goal scorer, as the Boilermakers tied the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions 2-2 at Jeffrey Field on Friday night. Elizabeth Ball and Laura Friegang both scored for Penn State.

Williams opened the scoring with a beautiful curling shot from 24 yards out that beat goalkeeper Rose Chandler in the 14th minute. Ball equalized with a shot from Emily Ogle’s corner kick that found its way into the back of the net in the 64th minute.

The record-breaking goal came 10 minutes later off a counter attack that Williams was able to score outside of the box from the left side. Freigang was Penn State’s lifesaver, as she tucked in a shot from the six-yard box to tie the score in the 87th minute, but hit the post in double overtime that would have won the game.

Penn State saw its record go to 10-3-3 (6-1-3 in the conference), while Purdue’s record is 9-6-2 (4-4-2.)

The tension in Jeffrey Field was palpable, as Penn State was eagerly sent numbers forward trying to get an equalizer late in the second half. The chances were there, as the Nittany Lions took 23 shots on the night to only four for the Boilermakers.

The service into the box was decent, as many of the corners sent in by Ogle were too close to goalkeeper Erika Yohn. Freigang was dangerous in the area, creating numerous chances for teammates, but unable to string that final ball onto goal.

Her presence in the box was felt all night as the Purdue back line was struggling to contain her movement. With the game on the line, Freigang was the player with the best track record for scoring late goals, as she scored the winner against Maryland the game before. Head coach Erica Dambach talked about Freigang’s ability to score late in games.

“She’s proven that she can score goals late in games,” Dambach said. “She’s become kind of our go-to player in those moments and she wants the ball.”

Freigang got the ball late when Penn State needed her as she took a wayward ball from Frankie Tagliaferri and tapped it in past Yohn. When the ball hit the back of the net, Jeffrey Field erupted into cheers as Penn State would avoid losing to Purdue for the first time since 2003.

The reaction from the Purdue players was the opposite as many players were in disbelief that the game had been tied. Yohn played the game of her career in goal, making timely saves that could have made the game get out of hand.

Sarah Clarke had bottled up Freigang for most of the night, forcing the Penn State midfielder to take difficult shots amongst a crowd of people. The defense as a whole played well, except for its zone marking on corner kicks throughout the night.

Penn State’s opening goal came off a corner as Ball was unmarked from about 15 yards and put it in the back of the net. The last-ditch defending by the Boilermakers kept them alive for the eighth and final spot in the Big Ten tournament, while the Nittany Lions will probably fall just short of a conference title.

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email jje5139@psu.edu.