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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 10 and third-seeded Penn State women’s soccer team defeated the No. 24 Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 2-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The Nittany Lions will play No. 7 and second-seeded West Virginia in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
“I just want to start by saying congratulations to Wake Forest on a fabulous season,” head coach Erica Dambach said. “Certainly, one of the toughest teams we have faced all season long. Probably the first opponent that has held us to our first shot in the 58th minute of the game; that was just through stingy defense and a team that was working hard. We had a lot of trouble breaking down. A very good side that we beat today.
“Proud of the way our team came together. I didn’t think it was our best performance, but I thought we stayed together. We have been proud of this family and being 28 strong all season long. Over time, our depth started to be in our benefit and wear them down a little bit. As the game wore on, we were able to find our legs and got stronger as the game wore on. As I said, I am just really proud the way our team battled tonight.”
With the victory, Penn State improves to 14-4-4 on the year, while Wake Forest closes out the 2017 campaign with a record of 11-6-4.
After 45 minutes of action, the two teams went into halftime with the score still knotted up at 0-0. The first half featured Wake Forest outshooting Penn State, 6-4, and Nittany Lion goalkeeper Rose Chandler (Atlanta, Ga.) was there to keep the Demon Deacons off the scoreboard with a pair of saves.
After 58 minutes of scoreless play, the Nittany Lions struck first as Alina Ortega Jurado (Waldgirmes, Germany) headed home her second goal of the season at 58:42. On the goal, Maddie Elliston (Omaha, Neb.) crossed the ball into the box from distance and Ortega Jurado headed the ball into the back of the net from six yards out.
A little over six minutes later, Penn State added to its lead on Laura Freigang’s (Oppenheim, Germany) eighth goal in the past eight games. On Freigang’s ninth goal of the season at 65:01, Marissa Sheva (Sellersville, Pa.) brought the ball up field before finding Freigang with space to work with just outside the Wake Forest penalty area. With the ball, Freigang took a few steps before placing the ball underneath crossbar and into the back of the net from just outside the penalty area.
Chandler closed out the second half of regulation with three saves to complete her ninth solo shutout of the season. During the 52nd minute, Chandler was able to make a last-second save on Wake Forest as she picked up the ball off the ground right before it crossed the goal line.
NOTES: Wake Forest leads the all-time series against Penn State, 3-1-0...Wake Forest outshot Penn State, 15-7...The Penn State defense posted its 13th shutout of the season...Penn State is now 49-20-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a record of 14-6-0 in the second round...Megan Schafer played in her 94th career game...Penn State improved to 4-2-1 against ranked teams in 2017...Penn State improved to 9-1-1 when scoring at least two goals this year…Elizabeth Ball moved into fifth all-time at Penn State in minutes played with 7,701...Coach Dambach is now 26-12-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament...Penn State has won four-straight matches and is unbeaten in its last five contests (4-0-1)...Freigang has scored at least one goal in four-straight matches and in six of the past eight matches.