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Nov. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The top-seeded Penn State women's soccer team (19-3-1) jumped out to a 2-0 advantage, resulting in a 5-2 win over the Boston College Eagles on Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Jeffrey Field. With the victory, the Nittany Lions host Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday at 7 p.m. on Jeffrey Field.
Junior Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) and freshman Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.) each netted two goals apiece in the victory, while senior Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) tallied a goal and assist. Nairn's goal in the 74th minute moved her into 10th place alone on the school's all-time list for goals with 32. Penn State advances to its second-straight Sweet Sixteen and will host its first third round game since 2007.
"We hit a critical moment when the game went to three and two," said head coach Erica Walsh. "It was just all the team. It was do or die at that point. Everything about our body language was right. So much of it was the crowd, the confidence of playing on Jeffery Field. For the older players, they have been there before and they've had different outcomes. Under their watch it wasn't going to happen again. Everything about their response was spot on."
The Nittany Lions sliced into the school record books yet again on their first goal, as Hayes tallied her team-leading 14th goal just 48 seconds into the contest. That marks the fastest goal in school history, defeating the mark of 56 seconds that was set by redshirt junior Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) earlier this year and Tiffany Weimer back in 2006. Junior Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.) crossed the ball into the box and found Hayes on the far post, where she put it in from about six yards out to give Penn State a 1-0 lead.
The junior sensation was not finished, as she would give the Lions a 2-0 advantage with 17 minutes and change to go in the first half. Nairn played a beautiful ball on the ground up to Hayes, where she knocked it past Boston College keeper Alexa Gaul form 14 yards out to give Penn State a 2-0 edge headlining into halftime.
The quick Penn State scoring would come in the second half as well, as Weber found the back of the net just 44 seconds into the second frame of action. Redshirt sophomore Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) crossed a ball in from the left sideline into the goalie box. The ball found Weber's feet and the freshman jammed it home to give Penn State what seemed to be a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The Eagles would strike back quickly though. Boston College's star player Kristen Mewis would put the Eagles on the board after a takedown in the box forced a penalty kick. Mewis squeezed a ball off the hands off a diving Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) to slim the lead to 3-1. Just under four minutes later, Mewis found the back of the net again on a ball that went off the post and in to shrink the big Penn State lead to 3-2.
The Nittany Lion defense would lock down though and the nation's No. 1 offense would come back to life. Nairn scored in the 74th minute on a shot from nine yards out. Freshman Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) earned the assist, her 10th of the year. Weber sealed it with her second goal of the game with 11 minutes remaining on a ball that deflected on the keeper, who came out off her line.
Tickets prices for Sunday's game are $8 for adults, $5 for students/youth and $3 for groups with 15 or more in their party. Tickets can be purchased at the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office or by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Additionally, fans can purchase tickets at the gate. For complete coverage of Penn State women's soccer, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-soccer.
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