Penn State Ousted by Rutgers in NCAA Tournament
Nov. 14, 2008
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After a hard fought match extending into double overtime, the No. 20 Penn State women's soccer team fell to Rutgers in a 2-1 decision. This was the first time Penn State has fallen in the first round of the NCAA Tournament since a double OT loss to No. 7 William & Mary in 1997. Scoring for the Nittany Lions was Katie Schoepfer (Waterford, Conn.). Penn State finished the season 16-8 overall while Rutgers improves to 13-6-1 and will advance to play No. 4 Oklahoma State on Sunday at noon.
The Nittany Lions faced a determined Scarlet Knight squad right out of the gates and spent ample time clearing the ball before gaining their footing after 10 minutes of play. Penn State picked up a few chances of its own, but Rutgers maintained control of the attack while the Nittany Lion defense and freshman goalkeeper Krissy Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.) diffused huge opportunities for the Scarlet Knights.
Penn State got on the board first after a well executed corner kick late in the second half. Nikki Watts (Hungerford, England) sent the ball sailing into the six-yard box that hit the ground without being disturbed. Before it settled, Carly Niness (Berwyn, Pa.) tapped the ball to Schoepfer who found the back of the net for her 11th goal in the 38th minute.
The Lions got off to a better start in the second half establishing control early. But Rutgers wasn't going to give up easily as the team generated a few more scoring opportunities that were broken up by the Nittany Lion defense. After a Knight corner kick, the ball exchanged hands a few times before settling at the feet of Ashley Jones who fired the ball into the Penn State net.
The Nittany Lion offense realigned and got a few good looks late in the second half as the Rutgers defense bunkered down. The Knights had a good late run putting pressure on the Penn State goal, but the back line once again stifled their efforts as regulation time ran out.
The first overtime stanza was played in similar fashion to the first 90 minutes as each team battled to score first, but the score remained at one each into the second and final overtime period. Rutgers got the golden goal in the 105th minute off a corner kick that was headed in by Jasmine Edwards ending Penn State's season.
The 2008 squad collected dual Big Ten championships for the first time since 2005 and earned the program's 14th NCAA bid in a 15 year history.