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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 8 Penn State women’s soccer team (4-2-0) opens its 2017 Big Ten slate against Northwestern (3-3-1) at Jeffrey Field on Thursday, Sept. 14. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start.
The match will be aired live on the Big Ten Network with Dean Linke (play-by-play) and Jackie Manny (color analyst) on the call.
Fans can also watch the stream on BTN2go.com, but must have a cable subscription with the Big Ten Network. Live stats will be available on GoPSUsports.com.
ATTENDING JEFFREY FIELD
Admission and parking for women's soccer regular season events are free. Fans are reminded that there is a no bag policy in place on stadium grounds.
- Student Org Night
- Club Sports Night
LOOKING AT NU
After advancing to the third round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament last season, the Northwestern Wildcats entered the 2017 season ranked No. 23, according to the United Soccer Coaches.
Along with Minnesota and Penn State, Northwestern tied for the 2016 Big Ten regular season title. Each program tallied a record of 7-1-3 last season in Big Ten action.
The Wildcats enter the 2017 Big Ten season with a record of 3-3-1.
Last weekend, Northwestern tallied a 2-1 victory over Missouri (Sept. 7) before falling to Pepperdine, 1-0 (Sept. 10).
In net, All-American Lauren Clem returns for her senior season for the Wildcats in 2017.
Heading into the match against PSU, Clem has tallied 39 shutouts, which is tied for 15th all-time in NCAA history.
On the year for Clem, she has posted a goals against average of 1.11, made 29 saves, tallied a save percentage of .784, and has two shutouts.
Offensively, the Wildcats are led by Madi Kennel, Kayla Sharples, and Marisa Viggiano. Sharples leads the team in points with (six), followed by Viggiano (five), and Kennel (four). All three Wildcats lead the team with two goals scored.
PSU vs. NU
The Penn State-Northwestern series dates back to the 1994 season with the Nittany Lions leading the all-time series, 23-3-0.
Due to a rotating Big Ten schedule, the two teams did not meet last season. Penn State won the last meeting, 3-0, on Oct. 4, 2015, at Toyota Park.
In the meeting in 2015, then-freshman Alina Ortega Jurado scored her first goal as a Nittany Lion during the 89th minute of action.
LAST TIME OUT
The then-No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions dropped a 3-2 contest against the then-No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday, Sept. 10.
After trailing 1-0 heading into the final minutes of the first half, Echard connected on a pass from Williams for her first goal of the season in the 44th minute.
Virginia took back the lead in the 50th minute before Ogle converted her third penalty kick of the season in the 53rd minute.
The Cavaliers captured the go-ahead goal, and the game-winner, during the 62nd minute.
Following her first career two-goal game in a 3-1 victory against No. 8 BYU, junior Marissa Sheva was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 22. Her Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor was the first of her career.
A week later, Sheva netted her second two-goal game of the season in a 4-2 win at Arkansas.
For her two-goal outing at Arkansas, Sheva was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week.
TEN IN THREE
During the first three matches of the 2017 season, Penn State recorded one of its best starts in program history offensively.
For the seventh time in program history, Penn State women’s soccer scored at least 10 goals in its first three matches of the season. The program record for goals scored in the first three games was set back in 1996 (12).
In the most recent polls, Penn State sits at No. 4 (Soccer America), No. 6 (TopDrawerSoccer), and No. 8 (United Soccer Coaches).
Crouse ranks T-12th in points (82), 11th in goals (35), 10th in game-winning goals (13), seventh in shots on goal (95), and is 12th in shots attempted (197).
Schafer ranks 20th in points (69), 17th in goals (26), T-16th in game-winning goals (nine), is 24th in shots attempted (118), 24th in assists (17), and 17th in shots on goal (56).
Along with Crouse and Schafer, a trio of Nittany Lions have also etched their names into the Penn State record books.
Haleigh Echard has netted 43 shots on goal during her career, which ranks tied for 21st.
Emily Ogle’s 13 goals rank tied for 23rd, while her four penalty kicks made are third-most in program history.
Junior Charlotte Williams is tied for 25th in assists (16) and is tied for 18th in shots on goal (55).
Senior Frannie Crouse has scored 35 career goals, 13 of which have been game-winners for the Nittany Lions. Her 13 game-winning goals rank 10th all-time at Penn State.
TOUGH TEST EARLY
The Penn State women’s soccer team will embark on a tough stretch during its non-conference season. The Nittany Lions will open the season against No. 8 BYU (Aug. 18) before hosting Hofstra (Aug. 20).
After the opening weekend of the season, Penn State then travels to No. 17 Arkansas (Aug. 25) and then to Morgantown, W.Va., for a clash with No. 1 West Virginia (Sept. 2).
Following a two-game road trip, the Nittany Lions return home to host No. 6 North Carolina (Sept. 7) at Jeffrey Field and then the non-conference slate comes to a close with a trip to No. 11 Virginia (Sept. 10).
With matches against No. 6 West Virginia, No. 6 North Carolina and No. 8 Virginia, Penn State women’s soccer played three-straight matches against teams ranked in the top-10 in the United Soccer Coaches poll.
The three-match top-10 stretch is the first of its kind for PSU since the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
The Nittany Lions return 22 letterwinners to the program for the 2017 season, including seven starters from the 2015 College Cup Final.
Of the 108 points tallied as a team last season, the Penn State offense returns 97 of those points. Offensively last season, Frannie Crouse paced the Nittany Lions with 27 points on a Big Ten-best 12 goals and she added three assists.
In net, Rose Chandler returns to the team after sitting out last season after joining the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Along with Chandler, Amanda Dennis is back for her sophomore season. As a true freshman last year, Dennis went 12-5-4, recorded seven solo shutouts, posted a goals against average of 0.92, and tallied 59 saves.
The Penn State women’s soccer class of 2021 is comprised of five members. Though it is a small class, it is a highly touted class; according to TopDrawerSoccer, the Nittany Lion freshman class is ranked No. 4 overall.
The quintet bring numerous accolades and experience with the U.S. Women’s National Team youth program to the Nittany Lions.
THE B1G SLATE
The 2017 Big Ten regular season schedule features Penn State playing six road matches and five matches at Jeffrey Field. Penn State opens the conference slate with fellow 2016 Big Ten champion No. 23 Northwestern on Sept. 14 at Jeffrey Field. The opening weekend of conference action continues with the Blue & White hosting Illinois on Sept. 17.
The Nittany Lions then head on the road for three matches against Iowa (Sept. 22), No. 22 Nebraska (Sept. 24), and Ohio State (Sept. 30). Following Penn State’s road trip, the Nittany Lions return home to host Michigan (Oct. 6) and Michigan State (Oct. 8).
The final stretch of conference play begins with a pair of matches at No. 21 Rutgers (Oct. 12) and Maryland (Oct. 15). Penn State then returns home for its regular season home finale against Purdue (Oct. 20) before heading to Madison, Wis., to close out the regular season against Wisconsin (Oct. 25).
Due to a rotating schedule, Penn State will not play Indiana or Minnesota during the 2017 regular season.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Nittany Lions have posted an all-time record of 227-26-12 at Jeffrey Field, which includes a Big Ten
Conference record of 102-6-5. Since the start of the 2011 season, Penn State has a record of 67-6-6 at Jeffrey Field.
Penn State kicked off its 2017 campaign with the fifth-best crowd in program history at Jeffrey Field.
Against No. 8 BYU on Aug. 18, 3,570 fans came out to witness the Nittany Lions capture a 3-1 victory.
Heading into her senior year, Ball has played in 72 matches, which includes 71 starts, scored six goals and added one assist.
Basinger will be a redshirt senior in 2017 as she received a redshirt during the 2014 season. Heading into 2017, she has posted 71 starts in 71 games played, netted 14 points on four goals and six assists.
#PSWS ON BTN
The Nittany Lions will have three regular season matches broadcasted live on the Big Ten Network (BTN) during 2017.
BTN is scheduled to broadcast the North Carolina-Penn State match (Sept. 7), the Northwestern-Penn State match (Sept. 14), and the Penn State-Rutgers match (Oct. 12).
PICKED TO DEFEND
Prior to the start of the 2017 season the Nittany Lions were picked to win the Big Ten regular season title.
Since the beginning of the coaches’ preseason poll in 2003, the Nittany Lions have been picked to win the conference every season.
The 2016 season saw Minnesota, Northwestern, and Penn State all tie for the league title.
Heading into the match against Northwestern, Ball ranks 15th all-time at PSU in minutes played (6,435), while Basinger is 20th (5,868).
Heading into the 2017 season, six Nittany Lions have received preseason honors.
TopDrawerSoccer announced its Preseason Top-100 list and its Preseason Best XI Teams.
Ogle and Riehl were also named to the TopDrawerSoccer Best XI First Team, while Crouse was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Best XI Second Team.
Along with the Big Ten and TopDrawerSoccer honors, Crouse and Ogle were named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY
The 2017 Penn State women’s soccer roster is bolstered with numerous Nittany Lions with national team experience with their respective countries.
Last fall, six Nittany Lions competed at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, as five Penn Staters represented the United States and Laura Freigang was a member of the German National Team. For the United States, Rose Chandler, Maddie Elliston, Ellie Jean, Emily Ogle, and Kaleigh Riehl donned the Red, White & Blue.
Along with the Penn State presence at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, a handful of Nittany Lions have taken part in competitions/training camps for their respective national teams at different age levels since the start of the calendar year.
The opening weekend of Big Ten action continues with Penn State hosting Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 17. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. start at Jeffrey Field.