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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
'Tis the season for giving thanks, and Penn State Athletics would like to
take an opportunity to say thank you to the loyal fans on Thanksgiving.
As you sit down with family and friends to eat your traditional meal while the
Lions and Cowboys host their annual Thanksgiving day home games, Penn State
Athletics would like to thank you, the fans, for the unrivaled support you give
every team on campus. Penn State's teams
would not be the same without the greatest fans in college sports.
As a token of their appreciation, several student-athletes from teams on campus
would like to say thank you and Happy Thanksgiving for the support you give
them throughout the athletic season.
By Christine Nairn, GoPSUsports.com Soccer Analyst
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the final whistle blew at Klöckner Stadium, the Penn State women's soccer
seniors knew that their time in the blue and white jersey had officially come
to an end. Despite one of their best showings of the year, the women's soccer
team's season is over. The Nittany Lions were defeated 1-0 by the Demon Deacons
of Wake Forest due to a late second-half goal.
Penn State fans looked across the field at the scattered players, they could not
help but give a standing ovation their hard work, dedication, and tenacity
displayed throughout the season and in their final game as a team.
Senior midfielder Taylor Schram looked at her teammates and coaches in
astonishment and disappointment.
"We played our hearts out. We put our bodies on the line; we sprinted until we
couldn't run anymore. We are frustrated because we know that we had our
chances, but couldn't capitalize," said Schram.
"It's sad to think that my time at Penn State is over, but I wouldn't trade any
second with this team for anything. I will forever be grateful for Penn State
and it's Women's soccer program," said Schram.
Redshirt junior, Emily Hurd, reflected on her time with the senior class and
their influence on the younger players.
"The seniors are a huge class with many different personalities. It's going to
be impossible to replace them, but I think we can benefit from their hard
learned experiences and implement them into our mentality and playing style in
upcoming seasons," Hurd said.
"They are some of my best friends in their class, so I will miss them everyday
at practice. I hope to make them proud next year and play for them each and
every game," said Hurd.
The Nittany Lions traveled home for Thanksgiving, but will return to State
College next week with one goal in mind...next season.
"The preparations for next year start in the offseason. We are excited for some
down time but it's back to work with strength and conditioning coach Greg
Miskinis. He will prepare us for next season mentally and physically," said
"With every sprint and weight lifted, we will have our seniors in mind and give
that extra effort to make them proud next season."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- After seven years as the head coach of the Penn State
women's soccer team, Erica Walsh knows far too well how intense games in the
NCAA Tournament can get, and how a few bounces here or there can determine the
outcome of a game.
With her Nittany Lions deadlocked in a scoreless battle in the second round of
the national tournament against Wake Forest, Walsh's team would battle their
hearts out yet ultimately not get the bounces they needed, as a goal by Demon
Deacons forwards Sarah Teegarden with less than ten minutes remaining handed
Penn State a 1-0 loss.
"The effort that they gave was fantastic," said Walsh. "They put in the work
and they were tackling, communicating, and certainly put in a winning effort."
The Nittany Lions had numerous chances, getting off 10 shots including a bullet
from senior forward Tani Costa with two minutes remaining that came within a
few inches of tying the game, yet they were unable to get a ball in the back of
Afterwards, Walsh credited the performance of Wake Forest's defense, which was
able to limit a Penn State attack that was coming off a three-goal game against
"On defense they were organized and compact and really took away our wide
players," said Walsh. "We got some good looks and had some good chances we just
couldn't convert any of them."
At the same time, the reigning National Coach of the Year could not have been
more impressed with the job of her own defense, which kept the Demon Deacons
off the scoreboard for 80 minutes in a game that, ultimately, had to be won by
In particular, Walsh praised the effort of senior defender Bri Hovington, who
stepped in front of a number of Wake Forest's 14 shots in an attempt to give
the Nittany Lions and goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom their second straight NCAA
"Bri was on point today, communicating with everyone and blocking shots," said
Walsh. "She was tough to penetrate and did exactly what a senior should do."
A year after coming just one game short of winning a National Championship,
going home in the second round in heartbreaking fashion is a tough pill for the
Nittany Lions to swallow.
Despite the disappointment, Walsh was adamant that she wouldn't trade the
experiences that she went through with this group of players for anything.
"I would rather lose with this team than win with any other team," said Walsh.
"Soccer can be a frustrating game but they fought through adversity all season
and became closer as a team."
In a season that ends with their record at 15-7-1, the Nittany Lions certainly
went through a roller coaster of emotions throughout the past few months.
Although their campaign ends on a bitter note, the growth and development that
the team went through will benefit every member of the squad going forward.
"This team was a pleasure to coach every day," said Walsh. "They certainly had
their ups and downs but they took care of every little detail and improved as
the season went along."
The biggest disappointment for Walsh is that her seniors have to end their
season with a bad taste in their mouths after working so hard to get back to
where the team was last year.
Even with their careers coming to an abrupt end, the Nittany Lions senior class
- which includes Emily Carrollo, Tani Costa, Maya Hayes, Bri Hovington, Erin
Kehoe, Lexi Marton, and Taylor Schram - can exit the program knowing that their
impact will not be forgotten any time soon.
"I look around and I see all the seniors hanging around with the freshmen and
influencing them," said Walsh. "They will look back and be proud of how they
transformed themselves as leaders."
Moving forward, Walsh feels as though her team still has as bright a future as
any program in the country.
While they are losing a top-notch group of seniors, the Nittany Lions will
return a number of key veterans next year, including midfielder Emily Hurd,
defender Whitney Church, and forward Mallory Weber, and come next season, the
Blue and White will be as fired up as ever to reach new heights.
"This rising group of seniors has tremendous leadership ability," said Walsh.
"They don't take anything for granted and they have special qualities that will
help our program continue to grow."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVESITY PARK, Pa. - As a star senior at Newark Academy in West Orange,
N.J. in 2009, Maya Hayes had her selection of college soccer programs to choose
from, including Duke, North Carolina, and UCLA.
Despite the wide range of options, there was something about the promise of
the program that head coach Erica Walsh had started at Penn State that Hayes
couldn't walk away from.
"I didn't want to go to another school where I was just going to be another
name going through their program," said Hayes. "I wanted to go to a place where
I could help build a program and make a good team great."
Four years, two All-American selections and 71 goals later, the senior
forward has no regrets about the ride that her decision to come to Penn State
has taken her on.
From her freshman campaign, when the Nittany Lions finished just one game
over .500, to last season when they made the school's first appearance in a
national title game, Hayes has watched the Lions grow as a program.
"It's been a journey and one that I've enjoyed since I got here," said
Hayes. "My expectations have been exceeded and it's been a joy to watch this
As the Nittany Lions have risen as a national power during Hayes's time
with the team, she herself has developed immensely, having gone from a raw,
talented freshman to the third leading goal scorer in Penn State history.
When Walsh watches Hayes play now compared to when she first watched her
suit up for the Blue and White, the differences begin with the refinement that
the two-time Big Ten Forward of the Year has put into her game.
"She's a student of the game and she's become a lot more sophisticated,"
said Walsh. "She reads the play a lot better and her movement has improved as
she's added more variety to her game."
That variety of skills and explosive speed has been terrorizing Big Ten
defenses since 2010, but when Walsh thinks about Hayes's development, she
spends little time dwelling on the goals.
Never the team's most vocal player, Hayes's ascension in the locker room as
a player who others can learn from has impressed the entire Nittany Lions
coaching staff, and it all begins with her work ethic.
"Maya is definitely a lead by example player," said Walsh. "She puts the
work in and people respect her and understand who she is and what she is about."
For Hayes, being a leader has meant understanding the regard that her
teammates hold her in and living up to the expectations that come with being
one of the nation's top goal scorers.
"The older that I've gotten I've learned about the affect that I can have
on people around me," said Hayes. "I've tried to be a bigger influence, not
just with my play but also with my words and doing the little things."
Perhaps the best quality that Hayes has exhibited during her time at Penn
State has been her never-ending desire to continue improving.
After consecutive All-American seasons her sophomore and junior years, Hayes
spent the summer before her senior year working harder than ever, in order to
make sure she was prepared for her final campaign.
For a squad that had just lost All-American midfielder and Herman Trophy
Finalist Christine Nairn, the added dedication and devotion was invaluable.
"When you lose a player like Christine your attack changes," said Walsh. "Maya
has had to do a whole lot more which has made her a better and more
After another sterling campaign in which she has added 19 more goals to her
career total, Hayes has led the Nittany Lions into the second round of the NCAA
Tournament looking for one more shot at a national title.
However this season ends up for her and her teammates, the West Orange,
N.J. native hopes that she will be remembered in Happy Valley for more than
just the offensive ability that she has displayed on a regular basis.
"I just want to be remembered as someone who cared and looked out for
everyone," said Hayes. "It's easy to say scoring goals but at the end of the
day it's [your influence] more about the people around you than it is about
When asked what she will remember about her star forward the most, Walsh
doesn't hesitate to say that she will remember Hayes's smile before she thinks
of anything else.
At the end of the day, the spirit that Hayes has brought to the Penn State
women's soccer program only makes the task of replacing her that much harder.
"She's always happy and she makes everyone want to train which makes
training so enjoyable," said Walsh. "A player like her comes around every five
years if you're lucky so you can't just replace someone like her."
By Christine Nairn, GoPSUsports.com Soccer Analyst
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a decisive 3-0 win against Monmouth, the
Penn State Nittany Lions look forward to their next opponent in the NCAA
Tournament. The Lions will take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who finished
ninth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Despite having a 11-6-2 record, The Demon Deacons have put together a number of
solid performances against the Seminoles of Florida State and the Fighting
Irish of Notre Dame. Coach Erica Walsh knows that her team will have to come
ready to play from the opening whistle against their ACC opponent.
has had a great week of practice and we will look to build off of last week's
game, said Coach Walsh. "The seniors know what is at stake and they have been in
this situation before and will guide our underclassmen," said Coach Walsh.
Taylor Schram couldn't agree more with her coach.
"We are excited to test ourselves against an ACC opponent," said Schram. "Wake
Forest will be very good but we like where our team is right now. We will be
firing on all cylinders come Friday and this senior class will do anything it
takes to keep our season going."
forward Maya Hayes is eager to take part in the Big Ten vs. ACC matchup.
"It's always a pleasure to play ACC teams because we know we'll get to play
soccer and play our style of the game. We are looking forward to a great match
against a good Wake Forest team," said Hayes.
forward, Tani Costa, believes that the different leadership types of the senior
class will benefit the Nittany Lions in pressured situations, such as this
senior brings something different to the table. Some lead by communication,
while others lead by example. No matter what type of leadership, we all have
the same goal...we don't want our season to end. We will do whatever it takes,"
The Nittany Lions travel to the University of
Virginia on Thursday afternoon and open up the second round of the NCAA
Tournament on Friday at 4 p.m. against Wake Forest.
VIDEO Feature: Kori Chapic
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa- Heading into the opening game of the NCAA Tournament,
Tani Costa was well aware that she was about to play her final match under the lights
at Jeffrey Field, and the Penn State senior forward was determined to make it
Going up against a Monmouth squad that hadn't allowed a goal in nine straight
games, Costa broke down the barrier in the Hawks defense, scoring twice to help
the Nittany Lions kick off the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 victory.
"The energy before the game in the locker room was absolutely electric," said
Costa. "I felt so confident and happy to have one more chance to play with my
teammates on Jeffrey Field."
With Penn State taking control of possession right off the bat, the Honolulu,
Hawaii native didn't wait long to make an impact, getting the Lions on the
board just over six minutes into the game.
Positioning herself in her favorite spot in front of the net, Costa finished
off a beautiful slotted cross from sophomore forward Mallory Weber to put
Monmouth in an early hole.
"Mallory [Weber] is so fast and she is able to get around almost any defender,"
said Costa. "She put it on the ground perfectly for me and I just did what I
The Nittany Lions would continue to keep the Hawks under fire for the remainder
of the first half, getting 14 first half shots, yet finding themselves unable
to extend their lead.
With the Blue and White looking to put more distance between themselves and
Monmouth, Costa would once again come through, this time six minutes into the
second half with the help of fellow seniors Taylor Schram and Maya Hayes.
The Nittany Lions have worked on their ball movement all year, and it showed
during a brilliant series of passes that saw Hayes send a through ball to
Schram who then fed a pass to Costa that the Nittany Lions second leading
scorer finished off from 12 yards out.
"Taylor [Schram] is so tricky and it's really fun to score on a play like
that," said Costa. "It was definitely one of my favorite goals because you
don't get plays that work out that well often."
Not only did the goal give Costa her career-high 10th goals on the season, it
gave the Nittany Lions more breathing room in a contest that they had control
of for virtually 90 minutes.
Monmouth goalkeeper Ashley Lewis, who entered the game having registered 16
shutouts on the year, made nine saves in a valiant effort that eventually came
up short against the Nittany Lions relentless attack.
"When you're only up one goal you can't have a lapse and you have to stay
urgent," said Costa. "We just had to keep our foot on the gas pedal."
As impressive as the offensive was in getting off 25 shots, the Nittany Lions
defense was just as stellar, limiting Monmouth to 11 shots and keeping them off
the scoreboard to register their sixth shutout of the season.
Not only did the Nittany Lions backline stymie the Hawks attack, they also
provided the finishing touches on the team's scoring, with junior defender
Whitney Church heading in a third Penn State goal off of a corner kick from
Schram with 25 minutes remaining.
"We held it strong in the back and it's great to be getting shutouts at the end
of the season when they matter the most," said Church. "On the goal I was just
happy to help out in any way I could and I got a great ball from Taylor [Schram]."
Having entered the tournament as a No. 4 seed after experiencing a number of
tough losses earlier in the season, the Nittany Lions went into Friday night
striving to establish consistency and put forth a complete team effort.
After an excellent week of practice, head coach Erica Walsh had very little to
complain about following her team's victory.
"All around I think it was a really strong performance which is what you need
at this point in the season," said Walsh. "I'm proud of the fight our players showed
For Costa, being able to be the catalyst for her team in her final home match made
the game one of the most memorable ones of her career.
"This one definitely ranks up there because it was my last game on Jeffrey
Field and I was able to help my team get a win and advance," said Costa.
"Playing on this field under the lights and in these conditions is just magical
PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's soccer team opens the 2013 NCAA Tournament tonight
(Fri., Nov. 15) by hosting Monmouth at Jeffery Field. The Nittany Lions (14-6-1)
earned an at large bid after a solid regular season and face a stiff test in
the Hawks (17-1-2) who won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown to earn
NOTES: NCAA Tournament | BLOG:
Lions Prep for NCAA Tournament Action
Penn State will be looking to make an appearance in the second round of the
NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season and 16th time in program history
when they host the Hawks.
These two schools met in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament at Jeffery
Field with the Nittany Lions claiming a 4-0 victory. That was the first meeting
between the two programs in school history.
What To Watch For - Penn State
1. The Nittany Lions have qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year
since 1995 and will enter this postseason as the No. 4 seed in their bracket. The
Blue and White will be hosting an NCAA Tournament First Round Game for the third
straight season and own an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 29-61- at Jeffery
2. Maya Hayes is having a stellar senior campaign and enters the postseason
ranked third in school history in goals scored (71) and points (162). She has
registered 43 points in 2013, scoring 19 goals, including four game winning
goals, and has dished out five assists in 21 starts.
3. After allowing two goals in back-to-back games to close out the month of
October, goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom has allowed only one goal in the last
three contests. The redshirt sophomore earned All-Tournament Team honors after
allowing one goal in 180 minutes in net during the Big Ten Tournament.
To Watch For - Monmouth
1. If there is one thing that stands out about Monmouth it is their eye
popping 0.29 goals against average and 16 shutout victories. The Hawks have
only allowed six goals all season, with two of those coming in a victory over
Seton Hall (3-2) on Sept. 2 and two coming in a loss at Hofstra (1-2) on Sept.
13. Ashley Lewis and Jocelyn McCoy have combined to allow just one goal since
2. Monmouth enters the postseason riding a 14 game unbeaten streak and their
.900 win-loss-tie percentage ranks tied for third nationally behind Virginia
(.952) and Denver (.925).
3. Freshman Alexis McTamney leads the Hawks with 27 points on a team-best 11
goals. The MAAC Rookie of the Year has 27 points on 11 goals and five assists.
Half of her 82 shots have been on target this season and she has five game
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa- After a long season spent fine-tuning every detail and working on
consistency, the moment has finally arrived for the Penn State women's soccer
When the Nittany Lions take the field against Monmouth on Friday night at
Jeffrey Field to kick off their NCAA Tournament competition, the real test will
begin and there will be no more second chances.
it and one lapse in judgment could end our season," said senior forward Tani
Costa. "This is the last time the 2013 team will play together and I think
everyone gets that we need to work for each other and not take anything for
the Lions are well aware of the consequences that come with playing in the NCA
Tournament, they are not letting themselves get worked up over the pressure.
State, playing on such a big stage merely increases the anticipation and
excitement to get their NCAA journey started.
really excited to have another opportunity to play under the lights at Jeffrey
Field," said redshirt junior midfielder Emily Hurd. "We've had a couple of days
of rest and we're looking forward to getting back on the field."
being one loss away from having their season end, the Nittany Lions attitude is
one of complete calmness as they look forward to Friday.
to Hurd, the pressure of playing in the NCAA tournament is negated by the
amount of preparation that she and her teammates have put in.
through the season figuring out the details that you need to refine for the
postseason and for games like this," said Hurd. "We've faced a lot of adversity
this season and it has put us in a position to be really prepared."
returned the majority of a lineup that came just one win away from a national title
last season, the Nittany Lions are accustomed to dealing with the intensity of
the players are adamant that they are not thinking about their past successes,
as this is a new year with a new set of challenges ahead of them.
year was great and having the majority of that team back to go through this
journey gives us a lot of leadership," said Hurd. "At the same time this is a
whole new season and a whole new team and we're just going to keep fighting to
play one more game."
the biggest differences from last year is that this group of Nittany Lions will
enter the NCAA tournament with a much bigger chip on their shoulder, having
earned a No. 4 seed in the tournament after being a No. 1 seed a year ago.
falling in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, the Blue and White are
looking to prove that they remain one of the elite programs in college soccer,
not just to the rest of the country but also to themselves.
point that we all want to make is more to ourselves," said Hurd. "We've dropped
a few games and to our standards that is not good enough and I think that
getting a good result on Friday will give us confidence moving forward in the
key seniors, including Costa, forward Maya Hayes, defender Bri Hovington, and
midfielder Taylor Schram set to play their last NCAA Tournament, the Nittany
Lions are not ready to see their season end for the sake of their graduating
seniors themselves are not ready to see their careers come to an end, and have
stressed to their teammates the importance and urgency of these upcoming
think you realize how important (the NCAA Tournament) is as a freshman because
you know you still have three years left," said Hovington. "It's hard to
understand the importance until you've gone though it but I think all of our
players are on the same page."
the intensity of the game is sure to increase on Friday, the Nittany Lions feel
their home field advantage gives them a major edge.
8-1-1 record at Jeffrey Field this season, the Lions are pumped to experience
the atmosphere that the Penn State faithful bring to postseason play.
a huge legacy on Jeffrey Field and playing there brings out the pride in all of
us," said Costa. "Playing under the lights on our field in front of our
community is a magical experience."
Friday will also most likely mark the last time the senior class steps foot on
their home field, and they plan on making the moment count.
this is probably the last time we play on Jeffrey and we want to go out with a
bang," said Hayes. "It'll be a meaningful experience and one where we want to
leave a lasting impression."
By Christine Nairn, GoPSUsports.com Soccer Analyst
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On Nov. 12th, the Penn State women's
soccer team got a glimpse of their destiny in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Despite sitting at a 14-6-1 record, the Nittany Lions are ranked 10th
in the Nation in RPI. This means that Penn State's schedule is arguably one of
the hardest in all Division 1 Collegiate teams. This statistic has given the
team a No. 4 Seed as well as home field advantage leading into the NCAA first round
vs. Monmouth University. Check out the video for the Nittany Lion's reactions
to their 2013 NCAA Tournament Draw.
The Penn State Women's Soccer Team needs your help to Pack The Jeff vs.
Monmouth at 7:30 pm at Jeffery Field. Tickets prices are
$8 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for groups of 20 or more.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Ask any member of the Penn State women's soccer team
what gets them fired up the most and they'll most likely respond with playing
any team in the Big Ten.
That is because the Big Ten provides some of the toughest, most physical play
in all of collegiate soccer, and the Nittany Lions are fired up to see some
more of it when they travel to Champaign, Ill. to begin the Big Ten Tournament against
Wisconsin on Wednesday.
"We just need to come out with intensity against our in-conference rivals,"
said senior midfielder Taylor Schram. "All the teams get pumped for these games
so it's just about having intensity that's overpowering."
Having seen their streak of consecutive Big Ten regular season titles snapped
this season, the Nittany Lions have plenty of motivation to fuel them as they
prepare for the conference tournament.
Ranked as the No. 3 seed in the tournament, the Lions are determined
to prove that they remain as formidable as any team in the conference.
"We're playing with a chip on our shoulders which is something that we haven't
always had in the past," said Schram. "Now that we've gotten beat (by
conference opponents) a few times we feel like we have more to play for."
When the tournament kicks off on Wednesday, Schram and her teammates will be
facing a team that they have already had success against this year, having
defeated the Badgers, 2-1, in a hard fought contest on Oct. 4 in Madison.
Despite the victory, the Lions are not allowing themselves to get complacent,
knowing that the Badgers will be looking to even the score after having battled
the Blue and White so close in their previous meeting.
"The last game against Wisconsin we were able to put them on their heels and
set the tone," said head coach Erica Walsh. "This game is going to be a battle
between the midfielders so that's where we'll look to find success."
Even with 11 games of in-conference play under their belt this season, Walsh
and her crew know that it can be hard to judge their opponents just by what
they saw during the regular season.
While teams in the Big Ten always play their hearts out against in-conference
opponents, the level of intensity naturally rises during the conference
tournament, as the stakes get higher.
"The level of play definitely goes up in the tournament because a lot of teams
know that if they don't win the tournament they won't get an NCAA bid," said
Schram. "A lot of teams will play us even harder so it will be a lot tougher
than regular season in-conference play."
Though Penn State is heavy on veterans such as Schram who have experience
playing under the pressure that comes with the Big Ten Tournament, they also
feature younger players like freshman defender Brittany Basinger, who is
excited to encounter postseason play for the first time.
For Basinger, performing well during these next few weeks is especially
important, because she is well aware of how much the rest of the season means
to the seniors.
"This postseason I'm looking forward to getting as many games with these
seniors as possible because of how much they've mentored me this year," said
Basinger. "I heard so much about this tournament and I'm excited to see what
it's all about."
With the conference tournament coming just a week before the NCAA Tournament
begins, Walsh is hoping that her squad continues the momentum they established
by beating Michigan State, 3-0, in their regular season finale.
At this point in their season, the most important aspect going forward for any
team is keeping their performances consistent from game to game.
"For us the Big Ten Tournament is about keeping a winning mentality," said Walsh.
"If we can find consistency over these three games then we'll have achieved a
big goal for us."
Now that the postseason has arrived, the Nittany Lions know there is no margin
for error and Walsh believes they are peaking at the right time.
The key now is keeping that peak steady against the best that the conference and the nation has to offer, and sustaining
their momentum for the rest of the season.
"I think we're finalizing some tweaks and during these Big Ten games we'll be
able get the finer details down heading into the NCAA Tournament," said Walsh.
"I think our team is in a really good place right now."