UCLA Edges Penn State in Classic
In an epic clash featuring two women’s soccer heavyweights, the UCLA Bruins prevailed in the end, as a second-half goal confirmed after video review stood as the game-winner.
No. 2 UCLA struck first as sophomore forward Ashley Sanchez put the ball past Penn State goalkeeper Amanda Dennis in traffic in the 28th minute. No. 3 Penn State responded quickly however, as Emily Ogle drew a penalty kick on a shot attempt just a minute later,
and placed the ball neatly into the net to even the score at 1-1.
Both teams played fantastic defense throughout the first half, not allowing either squad to hold the ball much in the attacking zone. The first half of action featured some stellar goalkeeping on both sides. With Penn State aggressively attacking as the first half ticked down, UCLA keeper Teagan Micah just barely stopped a shot with her fingertips as the ball rolled slowly towards the right goalpost.
Penn State forward/midfielder Alina Ortega Jurado had a frightening moment midway into the second half, as she collided heads with a UCLA’s Maricarmen Reyes while fighting for a ball in midair. She had to leave the game, and Reyes was shown a yellow card by the referee, appearing as though her physical play was excessive.
The Bruins challenged the Nittany Lions with physical play throughout the match, but especially in the second half, as their aggressiveness resulted in the referees showing the Bruins four yellow cards. In the 69th minute, UCLA took a 2-1 advantage in the 69th minute as midfielder Delanie Sheehan was able to put the ball in the net. PSU keeper Amanda Dennis snatched the ball out of the air and appeared as though she had made what would have been a brilliant save, but the referees, after confirming the call upon video review, believed that the ball crossed the line into the goal.
This goal would prove to be the game-winner, and of course, losing a match on replay is among the toughest ways to lose for the Nittany Lions.
Saturday’s match was the sixth ever meeting between the Penn State and UCLA women’s teams, and counting the results of this match, the all-time record is tied at three games apiece. 2018 is the 25th season for Penn State Women’s Soccer as a Varsity Program, and to celebrate the benchmark of progress for the young but storied program, many alumni of the team returned to Jeffrey Field to reconnect with old teammates and remember their time in State College.
Christie Welsh (Class of 2002) and Hermann Trophy winner, awarded to the nation’s top player in the sport, said in regards to how the 2018 squad looked against UCLA, “it’s awesome to see the team doing well, it’s early but, despite some sloppy stuff on both ends I think it’ll work itself out. She also commented on the advancements in support systems for players: “the technical abilities are at a whole new level, and the facilities and the sports science and training prior to and throughout the year are at another level.”
Up Next: Penn State Women’s Soccer travels to Harrisonburg, Virginia to take on James Madison University on Thursday, August 30th.
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.