No. 7 Women's Soccer Takes on BYU Saturday
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Seventh-ranked Penn State women's soccer (5-1-0) will hit the road this Saturday night as it takes on the BYU Cougars at 9 p.m. in Provo, Utah. Penn State takes on the Cougars for the first time ever against what is expected to be a hostile crowd at South Stadium.
Penn State is coming off a strong weekend, where it captured the WVU 90 Minute Classic in Morgantown. In Sunday's victory over Pittsburgh, the Lions used two first half goals from seniors Maddy Evans (Glenside, Pa.) and Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) and a second half goal from senior Christine Nairn(Arnold, Md.) to earn a 3-0 victory over the Panthers. Penn State improved to 9-0-0 all-time against Pitt.
In the 108th minute at West Virginia on Friday, Nairn capitalized with the game-winning goal on a free-kick to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 overtime victory over West Virginia. With 82 seconds remaining in the second period of overtime, senior Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) was fouled 20 yards out and Penn State was rewarded an indirect kick. Nairn gave the ball to junior Emily Hurd(Sammamish, Wash.), who stopped and placed it back for Nairn. The senior laced it home with her left foot into the lower left corner to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 victory.
BYU enters this weekend's match with a 5-1-0 overall record, receiving votes in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. The Cougars are coming off a big 5-0 victory over the University of Texas on Thursday night. BYU opened the season with a 3-2 overtime victory at UC Irvine on Aug. 17 and a 1-0 win at Arizona on Aug. 23. Following a tough 1-0 loss at Utah, the Cougars returned to Provo and upset 11th-ranked Long Beach State by a count of 1-0 on Aug. 30. That was the beginning of a three-match win streak, which includes a 2-0 victory over Colorado College and the win over Texas. The Cougars are outscoring their opponents 12-3 through six contests this season.
Leading the way for BYU on the offensive end is Jaiden Thornock and Michelle Murphy, who each enter Saturday's contest with seven total points on three goals and one assist. Carlee P. Holmoe will be a threat for the Nittany Lions as well, scoring two goals and tallying two assist for six points, which is second on the team. Erica Owens will start in goal for the Cougars, earning 19 saves with a 0.55 GAA on the 2012 campaign.
Following its matchup with the Cougars, Penn State will return home next Sunday as it opens conference play against No. 15 Wisconsin at 1 p.m. The contest will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. The Nittany Lions will welcome back alums for the weekend. Members of the 14-straight Big Ten Championship teams will be recognized at halftime of Penn State football's matchup against Navy on Sept. 15, the day prior to the contest with Wisconsin.
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