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Nov. 2, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. - Freshman defender Kori Chapic (Novelty, Ohio) sparked the No. 11 Nittany Lion women's soccer team in the first half in a 3-0 victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten Quarterfinals at Lakeside Field. Chapic scored the opening goal in the 20th minute before assisting the second marker three minutes later. Penn State won its 12th straight match as well.
A tight Northwestern (2-16-1) defense was hard to crack at first with the Wildcats employing all 11 players to stop the potent Penn State (18-3-0) attack. In the 20th minute, Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) drew a foul 23 yards from net with an ensuing free kick by Jess Rosenbluth (Gladwyne, Pa.) getting blocked by the NU defense for a corner kick. That's when Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) sent in a beautiful curling corner kick that found the foot of Chapic for a 1-0 lead.
Penn State went on to double the lead in the 23rd minute as a clearance by the NU defense came to Chapic near midfield. The All-Big Ten Freshman Team honoree lofted a long ball that took a tall bounce over the Wildcat defense right to Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) who slotted home the shot from 12 yards out.
Hayes tallied her 26th goal of the season, moving her into a tie for third in PSU and Big Ten single-season goals with Tiffany Weimer (2004), while adding just the fourth 60-point season in history. Both Weimer (2004, 2005) and Christie Welsh (1999, 2001) recorded 60-plus points in a single season.
The second half saw Northwestern creep out of its shell a little more, trying to eat into the Nittany Lion advantage, thus opening the game. PSU created pressure with a series of through balls to Hayes as Anna Cassell (three saves) made a couple big saves. On the second save, Hayes recovered the rebound and slotted a pass to an open Maddy Evans (Glenside, Pa.) near the top of the penalty area. Evans's shot was knocked down by a Wildcat handball, giving Penn State a penalty kick in the 64th minute. Nairn successfully converted the spot kick even though Cassell got a hand to the shot.
Penn State was content to rest its starters and let plenty of reserves see time on Wednesday night. In all, 23 Nittany Lions made their way into the match and the only student-athlete to play more than 80 minutes was defender Jackie Molinda (Pittsburgh Pa.). Molinda, along with her defensive counterparts, teamed with goalkeepers Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Krissy Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.) combined for PSU's 13th shutout of the year.
Penn State improved to 19-2-0 all-time against Northwestern with its 16th straight win in the series. The Nittany Lions also moved to 11-2-3 in the Big Ten quarterfinals with a 23-6-4 all-time record in the tournament. Overall, Penn State is 8-0-1 in the past nine Big Ten Tournament games dating back to the 2006 edition. Penn State's record when Hayes scores now stands at 15-1-0.
The Nittany Lions will return to Lakeside Field for the Big Ten semifinals against fifth-seeded Minnesota at 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday. Minnesota defeated Wisconsin, 2-0, on Wednesday night.
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