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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sophomore Laura Freigang (Oppenheim, Germany) netted the 21st hat trick in program history within the first 38 minutes of play to lead the No. 10 and third-seeded Penn State women’s soccer team to a 7-0 victory over the Stony Brook Seawolves in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night at Jeffrey Field.
“I just want to start with congratulating Stony Brook,” head coach Erica Dambach said. “I actually looked out at the bench late in that game when we were already up a few goals, the cheer from their bench, the comorbidity within their group was really impressive. They were still going, still fighting and still pushing so it’s pretty obvious to me why they’ve been so successful this year.
I couldn't have been more proud of this group tonight obviously it was a shutout and a lot of goals tonight and the momentum is going in the right direction right now. I think everything’s been building up to this point and these two players to the left of me (Frannie Crouse and Laura Freigang) are driving this group right now, but we keep talking about being 28 strong and we can feel that in everything we’re doing right now.”
With the win, Penn State improves to 13-4-4 on the year, while Stony Brook concludes the 2017 season with an 11-11-0 record. Penn State will now face No. 24 Wake Forest on Friday, Nov. 17. The time and location of that match will be finalized Saturday.
The Nittany Lion offense wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Freigang netted her first goal of the night at 10:36. On the first Freigang tally of the match, Marissa Sheva (Sellersville, Pa.) picked up her third assist of the 2017 season.
Freigang would then add to the Nittany Lion lead almost eight minutes later, this time with an assist from Megan Schafer (Langhorne, Pa.).
The Penn State offense picked up another pair of goals in the first half as Frannie Crouse (Greensburg, Pa.) netted her third goal of the season in the 33rd minute and then Freigang completed the hat trick at 38:00.
At halftime, Penn State led Stony Brook, 4-0, and outshot the Seawolves, 17-0. Heading into the second half, Amanda Dennis (San Diego, Calif.) took over in net for Rose Chandler (Atlanta, Ga.). Chandler did not face a shot attempt in the first half, while Dennis recorded three saves in the final 45 minutes of action.
The Blue & White added to its lead in the 65th minute of action on Charlotte Williams' (Rochester, N.Y.) third goal of the year. On the Williams goal, Crouse picked up her third point of the night as she was credited with the assist.
Freshman Frankie Tagliaferri (Colts Neck, N.J.) closed out the scoring for the Nittany Lions, as she tallied a pair of goals within a 49-second span. Tagliaferri recorded her first goal of the night at 82:49 and then found the back of the net once again at 83:38.
NOTES: Friday’s match was the first-ever meeting between the two programs...Stony Brook is the 88th different program Penn State has played...Penn State outshot Stony Brook, 29-3…Penn State is 8-1-1 when scoring at least two goals this season...Penn State is 8-0-1 at home in 2017…The Nittany Lions are 48-20-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament…Penn State is 38-6-1 in NCAA Tournament matches at Jeffrey Field...The Nittany Lions recorded their 12th shutout of 2017...Freigang’s hat trick Friday was the first since Sept. 4, 2011 (Maya Hayes)...Freigang has scored at least one goal in three-straight matches and in five of the last seven contests...Crouse’s goal Friday was the 36th of her career, which moves her into a tie for 10th all-time at Penn State with Mallory Weber (2012-15)...Schafer tallied her 18th career assist, which moves her into a tie for 22nd all-time at PSU (Tani Costa – 2009-13 & Jess Rosenbluth – 2008-11)...Coach Dambach is now 22-9-1 in the NCAA Tournament at Penn State, and she is now 25-12-1 overall in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach...Penn State is now 17-3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.