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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Behind four goals from seniors on Senior Day at Jeffrey Field, the No. 14 Penn State women’s soccer team earned a decisive 4-0 victory over the Spartans of Michigan State University Sunday, Oct. 8.
“Another great afternoon here at Jeffery Field with a great crowd honoring THON,” said head coach Erica Dambach. “We're all out here for a great reason. I just want to give a ton of credit to that Michigan State team, those guys battled, fought and scrapped and it made difficult for us. We went into halftime frustrated and pretty disappointed with our play. We came back out and had a better second half and honored our seniors in the way they should be honored.”
The Nittany Lions (9-3-1) tallied 18 shots on net and recorded its seventh multi-goal match of the 2017 campaign. The four goals also marked the fifth contest this season that the Blue and White scored three-or-more goals and the second time it has scored four goals.
Penn State saw goals from three different seniors on the afternoon with Megan Schafer (Langhorne, Pa.) netting the first two goals and both Elizabeth Ball (Richmond, Va.) and Haleigh Echard (Lebanon, Pa.) scoring one each. Senior Brittany Basinger (Purcellville, Va.) also added a point to the senior tally with an assist on the first Schafer goal, while Marissa Sheva (Sellersville, Pa.) and Laura Freigang (Oppenheim, Germany) had one assist apiece.
Redshirt-junior Rose Chandler (Atlanta, Ga.) made two saves in the first half of play and the Nittany Lion defense gave up just four shots in 90 minutes of action.
Penn State created opportunities early against the Spartans and it paid off in the 13th minute when Sheva rushed down the field and passed the ball up to Schafer. The senior forward made a move around the left shoulder of her defender and buried the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, allowing the Blue and White to take the 1-0 advantage.
The Nittany Lions headed into the locker room at the half leading 6-3 in shots with Chandler making two saves against the Spartans.
Schafer extended the Penn State lead to 2-0 in the 59th minute of play when she took a one-timer from six yards out off a pass from Basinger on the left side of the field. Ball added a third goal for the Nittany Lions in the 77th minute when Freigang passed her a ball 15 yards out and she ripped a shot that bounced off the inside of the left post and into the back of the goal.
The Nittany Lions weren’t done yet as Echard put one final goal on the board for the Blue and White with three minutes remaining in the contest when she took a shot from 12 yards out on the outside edge of the box to allow Penn State to take a 4-0 victory over the Spartans.
The Blue and White travels to Piscataway, New Jersey Thursday, Oct. 12 for a Big Ten Conference contest. The match between the two squads is set for 7 p.m. and will be featured on the Big Ten Network.
Notes: Penn State is now 20-5-0 against Michigan State…The Nittany Lion defense recorded its seventh shutout of the 2017 season and second straight shutout after defeating Michigan 2-0 Friday, Oct. 6…The Blue and White has a 143-10-4 overall record when scoring at least two goals under Coach Dambach…The Nittany Lions have an all-time record of 106-6-5 at Jeffrey Field…Schafer takes sole possession of the No. 15 spot in Penn State laurels with 77 career points...Schafer now ties for 15th all-time with 30 career goals...Schafer has netted goals in back-to-back games for the Nittany Lions…Her two goals marked the first time a Nittany Lion has scored two goals in a match since Sheva netted two on August 25, 2017 against Arkansas…Schafer ties for 14th all-time in the Penn State record book with Aubrey Aden-Buie with her 11 game-winning goals...The senior forward also ranks 15th all-time in Penn State women’s soccer history with 63 shots on goals.