No. 4 Women's Soccer Rolls Past the Spartans, 5-1
Oct. 19, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-ranked Penn State women's soccer team (15-2-0, 9-0-0) picked up its 10th consecutive victory on Friday night with a 5-1 win over Michigan State in front of an outstanding crowd of 2606 at Jeffrey Field. With the victory, the Nittany Lions can clinch its 15th-straight Big Ten title on Sunday with a win or tie over Michigan on Senior Day.
The Nittany Lions will honor eight members of a tremendous senior class on Sunday at 1 p.m. Additionally, it will be Penn State's annual Pink Zone game. Custom and signed long sleeve jersey t-shirts will be auctioned off to benefit breast cancer awareness. There will also be a pumpkin carving contest. All fans interested must bring an already carved pumpkin for a chance to win some prizes. Admission and parking to all Penn State Soccer matches is free.
After heading into halftime with a 1-0 lead, Penn State put together four second half goals, three of which came from freshmen. Mallory Peterson (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) scored her first career goal and also notched her first multi-goal game as she added two late goals for the Nittany Lions.
Senior Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) netted the first goal of the game and junior Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) added one in the second half. Nairn and Hayes now lead the team with 12 goals each. Freshman Malory Weber (Novi, Mich.) notched her 11th goal of the season as well in the victory.
The first 17 minutes of the game were quiet, but the Nittany Lions were the first ones with a legitimate opportunity. Freshman Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) played a beautiful ball up to junior Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa), who hit a sailing ball just wide of the goal. Schram was not done with the pressure though, as she ripped a shot from 11 yards out that Michigan State keeper Courtney Clem made a great save on. Hayes followed with a rebounding header off the crossbar as the game remained tied up at zero.
Penn State would capitalize at the 36-minute mark. Nairn ripped a shot from 21 yards out that the Spartan keeper had no chance on. Senior Bri Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), who made her first appearance since injuring her knee against BYU on Sept. 8, was credited with the assist. The Nittany Lions took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Goals a plenty would come in the second half. Hayes got things started just three minutes into the period as she received a ball from Nairn a touched it to the back post side netting in front of Jeffrey Field's Park Avenue Army student section. Nairn earned her team-leading ninth assist on the play as the Lions took a 2-0 lead.
Michigan State would rally together and cut the lead in half, as Paige Wester scored her third goal of the season as she and Olivia Stander connected on a two-on-one opportunity with 34 minutes remaining in the half.
Despite the Spartan goal, the Nittany Lions would close out the game with three-straight goals to silence Michigan State. Weber was the first one to connect, as her shot from 16 yards out cleared the keeper's head and found top netting 63 minutes in.
Peterson checked into the contest at the 71-minute mark and scored her first career goal with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Freshman Jenna Kalwa (Pennington, N.J.) found Peterson's head on the far post to give the Nittany Lions a 4-1 advantage. Peterson's second goal came four minutes later, a shot from 15 yards out that went near post off the keeper's hands.
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