WSOC: PSU Remains Undefeated in Conference Play
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 16 Penn State women’s soccer team had another stellar weekend, going 2-0 against conference opponents.
After defeating Iowa on Friday night, Penn State was back in action Sunday afternoon against Nebraska.
“Really gutsy performance today against a very good Nebraska team,” said Penn State head coach Erica Dambach. “They made us bend, but we didn’t break.”
Sixteen minutes into the game, Megan Schafer scored her third goal of the season from seven yards out to put the Lions up 1-0 with an assist from Salina Williford.
Only minutes later, Schafer almost repeated with a goal that would have mirrored her first but barely missed the through ball as it rolled just past the left side post.
“I just love when it comes around to conference play,” Penn State forward Megan Schafer said. “It’s just such a physical game, sometimes it’s not the prettiest of games, but I love that.”
Jaycie Johnson netted her second goal of the season in the 39th minute going around the Penn State defenders and deking past Penn State goalkeeper Amanda Dennis, faking right and going left, for an easy shot to tie the game up at 1-1.
Nebraska was gifted with a penalty kick in the 42nd minute, after a hand ball from Alina Ortega-Jurado. Johnson took the kick for the Huskers and put it low right corner put a great sliding save by Dennis kept the game knotted at one heading into the half.
“We scouted her, I knew she was going to go to my left side,” said Dennis. “I was just hoping she was going to stick to the game plan, which she did, and I made the save and kept it at 1-1.”
Penn State opened the second half dominating ball possession but could not get any quality opportunities past the Husker back four.
With 20 minutes left to play, Nickolette Dreisse sent a great ball into a streaking Schafer up the left sideline. Schafer was able to get a good first touch and fend off the defenders chasing her from behind to bring it deep into the Nebraska zone.
Schafer shot the ball just through Nebraska goalkeeper Aubrei Corder as she went sliding down to give Penn State the 2-1 lead.
With that goal, Schafer tied with Rocky Rodriguez for 19th all time at Penn State in career goals with 23.
“Without a doubt Megan Schafer is a Big Ten soccer player at its finest and this is where she thrives,” said Dambach.
Nebraska picked up the intensity with only ten minutes left to play, but Penn State’s back line held strong allowing only one shot on net in the final minutes.
“I feel really good at where we are in the process right now,” said Dambach. “We have to keep focusing on the process but I think we are starting to work through the thirds of the field and getting more attack from different areas.”
Penn State will be back in action at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. against Illinois.
Bria Donnelly is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org