No. 13 Nittany Lions Rally to Defeat Oklahoma State, 4-2
Sept. 13, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. - After trailing 2-0 early in the first half, the No. 13 Penn State women's soccer team rallied to defeat Oklahoma State 4-2 on Friday night at Cowgirl Stadium. Senior Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) led the Lions with two goals while junior Kori Chapic (Novelty, Ohio) and sophomore Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.) netted one apiece.
Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) also came up big for the Blue and White, tallying assists on three of Penn State's four goals.
"Oklahoma State was giving us a hard time in wide spaces so we changed our tactic to have Tani play in front of them a little bit and she made a big difference for us," said Penn State head coach Erica Walsh. "She was excellent tonight, this was the best I've seen her play this season."
Penn State improves to 5-1-1 and has won its last four matches while the Cowgirls drop to 3-2-2.
"It was a beautiful night and a good crowd," said Walsh. "Obviously they got on top of us early but at about the 27 minute mark Britt Eckerstrom (Germantown, Md.) made a game-changing save and swung the momentum of the game. The crowd quieted down and the leadership got very good."
Oklahoma State's Allie Stephenson got the Cowgirls on the board early. The sophomore fired the ball in from 20 yards out in the sixth minute on an assist by Joanna Robertson.
Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) had a great look from 18 yards out at the 15:13 mark but was unable to capitalize as OSU keeper Rosa Medina came up with the save.
The Cowgirls extended their lead to 2-0 eight minutes later as Krissy Killon made a great play to beat Eckerstrom, scoring from eight yards out.
The Nittany Lions had another great scoring opportunity in the 23rd minute as freshman Brittany Basinger (Purcellville, Va.) attempted to bury one in but they were stymied by Medina once again as the keeper made a terrific save to keep PSU scoreless.
Chapic netted her first goal of the season to get Penn State on the board in the 24th minute. The Junior drilled the ball in off of the far post from 30 yards out, putting the score at 2-1.
"Kori started taking over the game after were down 2-0," said Walsh. "Her energy in the middle of midfield is fantastic for us right now. I was really impressed with our resilience, we created chance after chance as soon as we gave up those goals."
Oklahoma State fired off three close shots over the next five minutes as Madison Mercado and Stephenson made attempts to regain the momentum but were stopped by Eckerstrom, who made three stops, including an excellent diving save.
The Lions picked up the pace towards the end of the second half, netting two goals in a two minute span. Weber notched the equalizer at the 35:34 mark, flicking the ball into the net from five yards out on a cross from Costa. Hayes tallied the third goal of the match, blasting the ball over Medina's head from 20 yards out to give Penn State its first lead of the evening at 3-2.
The Blue and White came out quick in the second half, attempting two shots in the first three minutes of action. Hurd made an attempt that sailed high in the 46th minute and Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) got a clean look at the 48:18 mark but was stopped by Medina.
The Cowgirls got their first real opportunity of the half in the 67th minute as Courtney Dike went for a header inside the box but was blocked by the PSU defense. Eckerstrom tallied a great save three minutes later as Haley Maurice attempted a shot right in front of the goal.
Hayes earned her second goal of the game with just six minutes remaining. The senior received the ball on a long pass from Costa before breaking away from a Cowgirl defender and beating Medina in a one on one situation to give the Lions a 4-2 advantage.
Oklahoma State had one more scoring opportunity as Stephenson made an attempt in the final minute. Eckerstrom came up big with her seventh save of the game, leaving the score at 4-2 in Penn State's favor.
The Nittany Lions finish out their three-game road trip at Tulsa on Sunday in a 2 p.m. (ET) match-up. Penn State returns to Jeffrey Field next Friday to host Northwestern in its Big Ten opener.