Valiant Effort Comes up Just Short; Nittany Lions Fall to Maryland 1-0 in NCAA Second Round
However, despite Penn State¡¯s valiant effort, the Terrapins scored the lone goal of the game in the 56th minute of play and then held on for the rest of the game to advance to the NCAA Final Four with a 1-0 win over the Nittany Lions in a game played in windy and rainy conditions. Penn State ends its season with a 16-6 record after having advanced to the second round for first time since 2003.
The first half was a scoreless draw although most of the play was on Penn State¡¯s half of the field as the Terrapins controlled the ball for the majority of the half. Maryland outshot the Nittany Lions 5-1 and had two penalty corners to Penn State¡¯s none, but Penn State packed in the defense for much of the half and did not allow a goal. Jen Beaumont (Chalfont, Pa.) made three saves and Maryland¡¯s best opportunity, a semi-breakaway produced an open shot by Nicole Muracco, went wide of the cage. Penn State¡¯s shot came from Allison Scola (Hummelstown, Pa.) on a breakaway but it was kicked away by Maryland keeper Kathryn Masson.
Penn State generated two excellent scoring chances in just the first three minutes of the second half, getting two shots off a pair of penalty corners but Masson was able to save both shots for Maryland.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, the Terps¡¯ Paula Infante took a shot the went off of Beaumont and behind her but Beaumont was able to recover and knock the ball away just before it crossed the goal line to keep the game scoreless.
Maryland broke through for the only goal of the game off of a penalty corner. The ball was passed around a couple of times until Infante shot it from just to the right of the goal near the edge of the circle. The ball, which was shot low, went off of a Penn State stick and was redirected high and into the net above Beaumont. Susie Rowe got the assist.
With just under nine minutes to play, Shaun Banta (Gibbsboro, N.J.) had a chance to tie the game but her shot from the right of goal was wide left as the Maryland defender was able to cut down on Banta¡¯s angle just enough to force the shot wide.
Penn State was outshot 10-4 in the game but had just one fewer penalty corner than the Terps, 3-2. All five of the penalty corners in the game produced scoring chances for both teams but it was Maryland¡¯s one converted chance on one of its three that ended up being the difference in the game. Beaumont made six saves and played an outstanding game to keep the Nittany Lions in the contest while Masson saved three of Penn State¡¯s four shots.
Charlene Morrett, Penn State Head Coach
On the play of her team..
On the difference in the game..
On the season being over..