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Oct. 9, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - No. 18 Penn State women's soccer used two Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) goals en route to a dominating 3-0 win over Indiana at Armstrong Stadium on Sunday. Hayes scored in the sixth and 67th minutes as she moved into the solo lead in the NCAA and Big Ten with her 18th goal of the year in the second half.
"Our commitment to strong defending and capitalizing on offensive opportunities allowed us to win today," Head coach Erica Walsh said. "Maya Hayes was dangerous as always and getting the second goal off a set piece took the wind out of their sails."
Penn State (12-3-0, 5-1-0 Big Ten) received a big boost early on as the Nittany Lions counter attacked the Indiana Hoosiers (6-7-1, 2-4-0 Big Ten) in the sixth minute. Play went down the right side as Ali Schaefer (Las Vegas, Nev.) crossed to Jess Rosenbluth (Gladwyne, Pa.) about 30 yards from net. Rosenbluth took a couple touches and sent a lovely through ball to a streaking Hayes who slipped it past IU goalkeeper Lindsay Campbell (three saves) for the quick 1-0 lead. The helper was Rosenbluth's eighth of the year, tying her for second on the team with Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.)
While Penn State controlled possession for much of the first half, few other quality scoring opportunities arose as the two teams went into the half with a one-goal margin. The second half was a different matter as a renewed sense of urgency on offense paid off in the 65th minute.
The Nittany Lions drew a corner kick on the right wing as Schaefer, who received her first start of 2011 on Sunday, sent the service in and found the tall, leaping Carly Niness (Berwyn, Pa.) as the all-around player snuck the ball in on the far post for a 2-0 lead. The goal was Niness's first since her freshman campaign in 2008 when she scored against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.
Penn State wasted little time in putting the game away as goalkeeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) crushed a ball from her own penalty area that bounced over the IU defense to an on-rushing Hayes. Hayes one-touched a chip over a charging Campbell as the ball found the net for Hayes's 18th tally of the season.
The goal put her alone in first in the Big Ten and NCAA for total goals and furthering her lead in total points with 41. Her 41 points are the most by a Penn State student-athlete since 2005 when Tiffany Weimer tallied a school record 69 points. Weimer also scored 32 goals that year as Hayes has the most goals in a single season since that exciting, undefeated 2005 campaign.
The tally also moved Hayes into a tie for second- most goals by a PSU sophomore in a single season, matching Heidi Drummond (2001) in the stat as Hayes vaulted over Christie Welsh's 17 in 2000. The opening goal of the game represented Hayes's seventh game-winner of the season, tying her for most by a sophomore in Penn State history with Welsh and Katie Schoepfer (2007).
The victory was important for the short-handed Nittany Lions who were missing four regular starters due to injury including All-American Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) who is nursing an upper leg injury at Minnesota last week. Also missing were Bri Hovington (Lothian, Md.) and Maddy Evans (Glenside, Pa.) who went out of the Ohio State match on Sept. 29 with injuries, while Bri Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.) is still working on her return from a knee injury suffered at Wisconsin on Sept. 17.
Penn State improved to 19-1-1 all-time against Indiana and extended its unbeaten streak against IU to 17 games dating back to 1996. The Nittany Lions also moved to 8-0-1 at Armstrong Stadium vs. Indiana. Penn State is also 10-0-0 in 2011 when scoring three or more goals. The six-game winning streak is Penn State's longest since 2007 when the Lions won nine in a row from Sept. 19-Oct. 19.
For the game, Penn State out-shot Indiana 14-6 with a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal. PSU kept intact its streak of assisting every goal as the Nittany Lions 50 helpers on 38 scores. McNulty made two saves for the Nittany Lions as she teamed with Krissy Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.) for PSU's Big Ten leading ninth shutout of the season. PSU also led the game in corner kicks, 6-1.
Penn State returns home to face Nebraska on Friday at Jeffrey Field. A new game time, 8:00 p.m., has been announced due to the PSU Homecoming Parade. The Huskers' visit will mark the first Big Ten competition by any Nebraska side in Happy Valley.
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