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Oct. 6, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The No. 7 Penn State women's soccer team registered its first Big Ten loss of the season on Sunday afternoon, falling to Minnesota 1-0 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Lions outshot the Gophers 20-6 and notched seven shots on goal but could not get past Minnesota keeper Tara Hobbs, who collected seven saves.
The Blue and White move to 10-2-1 overall and 4-1-0 in Big Ten play while the Gophers improve to 9-3-1, 2-2-1. Sunday's contest marks PSU's fourth-ever loss to Minnesota and the first since 2007.
Haley Helverson scored the lone goal in the 17th minute of action. The sophomore received the ball right in front of the goal on a cross from Steph Brandt and knocked it into the net from point blank range to put Minnesota up 1-0.
Redshirt Junior Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) and senior Taylor Schram attempted to counter in the 23rd and 24th minutes. Hurd's shot came on goal but was stopped by Hobbs, who picked up her first save of the match. Schram sent the ball flying towards the goal from 25 yards deep but could not get it past a Gopher defender, who blocked it right in front of the net.
Ashley Pafko and Taylor Stainbrook came close to extending the Gophers' lead at the end of the first half. Pafko fired one off from 25 yards out but was stymied by Penn State keeper Britt Eckerstrom (Germantown, Md.), who corralled the ball for a save. Stainbrook had a great look from the corner of the 18 yard box that nearly went into the net but was just high, hitting the crossbar and keeping the score at 1-0 heading into the intermission.
Hurd came out with two quick shots on goal in the second half. The midfielder aimed the first shot from 15 yards out and drilled the second from 20 yards but neither found their way to the back of the net as Hobbs posted two more saves.
Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) had a phenomenal opportunity in the 70th minute, flicking the ball towards the net from eight yards out on a cross from Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.), but Hobbs was prepared once again, making a diving save to preserve Minnesota's lead.
Kori Chapic (Novelty, Ohio) and Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) each had clean looks in the final minutes but were unable to capitalize. Chapic's first attempt from just outside the box was scooped up by Hobbs and the second, a header off of a corner kick, was also stopped by Hobbs, who made another diving save. The Blue and White were awarded another corner kick in the 83rd minute and Costa fired the ball towards the net but Hobbs was there again to make the save, leaving the final score at 1-0.
Penn State returns to Jeffrey Field next Sunday to host Michigan during Homecoming weekend. The match is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.