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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Opportunistic play by the Penn State women's soccer team's freshmen class helped lead the Nittany Lions to a 3-1 season-opening win over West Virginia at the Penn State Invitational on Friday.
Thirteen minutes into the match, freshman Frannie Crouse (Greensburg, Pa.) gave Penn State its game-winning goal. Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) fed a cross to Crouse, which she was able to tuck neatly at the farside post for the 1-0 score.
Raquel Rodriguez (Costa Rica, San Jose) nearly doubled up on Penn State's lead four-and-a-half minutes later. After being pulled down just inside the 18-yard box, the junior was awarded a penalty kick. However, she sent the ball sailing to the right of Hannah Steadman's net.
The Lions sustained pressure and were awarded a corner kick in the 20th minute. Freshman Emily Ogle (Strongsville, Ohio) took the kick and fed the ball perfectly to Kori Chapic (Russell, Ohio), stationed at the farside post. The senior headed in the ball for the 2-0 score.
Ogle continued to show offensive prowess in her first collegiate game with just over a minute left in the half. Classmate Meg Schafer drew the team's second penalty kick of the match and Ogle, taking the kick, forced Steadman down and put the ball in the top farside corner for the 3-0 lead.
Penn State's best opportunity to put four on the board came from another first-year Lion. In the 67th minute, freshman Haleigh Echard (Lebanon, Pa.) went in alone against Steadman, but the ball careened off of the crossbar.
Four minutes later at the 71-minute mark, Britt Eckerstrom (Germantown, Md.)'s shutout attempt was thwarted. Kadeisha Buchanan scored West Virginia's lone goal of the game off of a corner kick by Kelsie Maloney for the final 3-1 count.
The match's start time was moved to 5 p.m. from its original 7:30 p.m. due to the threat of inclement weather. Syracuse and Missouri also played at 5 p.m., resulting in a scoreless 0-0 tie.
The Penn State Invitational continues on Sunday, August 24. Missouri and West Virginia face off at noon and the Nittany Lions host Syracuse at 2:30 p.m. to close out the Penn State Invitational.
For more information on the Penn State Invitational, including live stats and live video links, visit the Penn State Invitational tournament page.