Blasco¡¯s Two Goals Lift Nittany Lions Past Princeton 3-2
After having just one career goal entering Wednesday's game, Natalie Blasco scored two goals, including the game-winner, as Penn State won its fourth in a row 3-2 over Princeton.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; September 6, 2006 - Natalie Blasco, who previously had scored just one goal in her career, scored two goals, including the game-winner, and Shaun Banta also scored a goal and assisted on another as Penn State won its fourth straight game and its first home contest of the year with a 3-2 win over Princeton on Wednesday night. The win is Penn State¡¯s fifth straight over Princeton and improves the Nittany Lions¡¯ record to 4-2 heading into a week-long layoff.
Penn State took an early 1-0 lead and then stretched it to 2-0 just over five minutes before the half. Banta scored the first goal of the game and her second of the year when she tipped in a centering pass from Allison Scola, which came from the right flank as the Nittany Lions were on the attack. Banta redirected the ball between the goalie and the right post. The assist was the second of the year for Scola.
At the 29:54 mark, the Nittany Lions made it 2-0 on Blasco¡¯s first goal of the year. In what was a similar-looking play as the first goal, Banta sent a crossing pass into the circle, but from further out than Scola was on the first goal. Blasco tipped in the pass from Banta, but this time between the keeper and the left post. The assist was also the second of the year for Banta.
The Tigers cut the lead to 2-1 at 41:19 as Nicole Ng one-timed a shot past Jen Beaumont after the ball had bounced around and off several sticks in the circle. Leah Hoagland was credited with an assist on the play. Princeton then tied the game 2-2 on a goal by Hoagland at the 50:06 mark following a penalty corner. After the corner was taken, the ball was passed around a few times before Hoagland gathered in the ball, wound up and took a shot from the left side of the goal and beat Beaumont for the equalizer.
The Nittany Lions called a timeout after Princeton¡¯s second goal and whatever was said in the huddle must have worked as just 48 seconds later, Penn State retook the lead for good 3-2 on Blasco¡¯s second goal of the night. Blasco, a junior whose one goal last season was the only one of her career until tonight, scored her second goal of the night as she redirected Mallory Weisen¡¯s shot from outside the circle past Princeton goalie Allison Nemeth, who appeared to have deflected Blasco¡¯s redirection as she came off her line but was unable to stop it entirely as the ball rolled slowly over the line. The assist was Weisen¡¯s second of the season.
Six different players now have scored two goals this year for Penn State while five different players have two assists. Beaumont and the Nittany Lions did extend their streak of not allowing a goal to 177:08 before allowing Princeton¡¯s first goal. Beaumont made two save to pick up her fourth win of the year while Nemeth made six saves for the Tigers. The Nittany Lions outshot Princeton 16-5, although the Tigers did put four of their five shots on goal. Penn State also had more corners than Princeton, 8-4.
This game wrapped up a stretch in which Penn State played six games in the first 12 days of the season. The Nittany Lions will now have eight days off before returning to the field next Friday night, September 15th against Lafayette at 6:00 p.m. on AstroTurf Field.