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Oct. 28, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 12 Penn State women's soccer used two second-half goals to outlast a pesky Purdue squad, 2-0, on Friday night in front of a season-high 1,043. Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) opened the scoring, while Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.) added an insurance tally.
Penn State (17-3-0, 10-1-0 Big Ten) won its 11th straight overall on Friday and enters next week's Big Ten Tournament as the top seed. PSU also won its eighth straight over the Boilermakers. The Nittany Lions also capped a perfect home record of 8-0-0 in the regular season.
The Nittany Lions celebrated the final regular season match at Jeffrey Field for their six seniors: Meghan Gill (State College, Pa.), Carly Niness (Berwyn, Pa.), Jess Rosenbluth (Gladwyne, Pa.), Ali Schaefer (Las Vegas, Nev.), Emma Thomson (Nottinghamshire, England) and Krissy Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.). Team manager Alex Pirko was also honored.
The Nittany Lions looked to jump on Purdue (7-11-2, 4-6-1 Big Ten) and seemed to have a great opportunity just eight minutes in as Hayes streaked in off a Schram header all alone. Hayes's shot from 20 yards out was handled by Purdue `keeper Clara Kridler outside the penalty area as a foul was called. Despite Hayes being in an obvious goal scoring opportunity and Kridler representing the last defender, Kridler was only issued a yellow card and PSU was awarded a free kick that Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) pushed wide.
Penn State struggled to mount an attack for the rest of the half, but came out firing in the second. It took just three minutes for the Nittany Lions to get on the board as Hurd took a beaten down header from Schram about 25 yards out and lofted a firecracker of a shot just underneath the crossbar for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Hurd's fifth of the year.
The Nittany Lions continued to pour it on in a half that saw shots 15-2 in favor of PSU as Schram and Hayes combined for a stroke of brilliance. A build up down the left wing saw a ground pass go to Schram at the top of the penalty area and a give-and-go with Hayes put Schram uncontested on goal to put the Nittany Lions up 2-0.
Penn State improved to 11-1-1 all-time against Purdue. The Lions have not conceded a goal to the Boilers at Jeffrey Field since 2005, a span of three games where PSU has out-scored Purdue 7-0. In the past four meetings the Lions have out-scored Purdue 14-1.
For the match, PSU out-shot Purdue 20-5 with a 4-3 edge in shots on goal. Goalkeeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) made three saves as she combined with Tribbett for PSU's 12th shutout of the year.
Penn State will play in the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at either 5:30 or 8:30 p.m. ET at Northwestern. The Wildcats will be the eight seed as the host automatically qualifies for the competition.
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