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Nov. 2, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Despite outshooting its opponent and recording eight shots on goal, the Penn State women's soccer team dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Illinois Fighting Illini in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday morning. With the loss, Penn State will next learn of its NCAA Tournament first round opponent on Monday.
Trailing 1-0 with just under ten seconds remaining in the contest, Penn State had a great opportunity as freshman goalkeeper Meghan Kaminski (Doylestown, Pa.) entered the game as a forward in the final minute. Kaminski found an open look right in front of the net and poked it towards the goal where an Illinois defender stepped in front and made a great defensive save on the shot.
Penn State had three big opportunities in the in a nine-minute span form the 13 to 21-minute mark in the first half. At 13 minutes, freshman Raquel Rodriguez chipped a ball into the box and found a wide-open Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.). The senior hammered it and Illinois keeper Steph Panozzo made a great save. Minutes later, juniors Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) and Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.) connected on a beautiful give-and-go in the box but were unable to capitalize. Freshman Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.) had a wide open look that was stopped by Panozzo as well at 21 minutes in.
The lone Illini goal came at the 41-minute mark when Nicole Breece scored her third goal of the season. Megan Pawloski flip threw the ball into the box and Breece chipped the ball over the Penn State keeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba). The lone goal would seal the victory for Illinois.
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