No. 16 Lions Trek West to Face Iowa and Nebraska
Oct. 24, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 16 Penn State women's soccer team will look to pick up a pair of crucial victories this weekend as they travel west to take on Iowa and No. 21 Nebraska. The Lions will meet the Hawkeyes on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. (EST) before facing the Corn Huskers on Sunday in a 2:00 p.m. match-up.
The Blue and White (12-3-1, 6-2-0) are currently third in the Big Ten standings, trailing Nebraska by three points and Michigan by one. PSU picked up back-to-back wins over Ohio State and Illinois last week, downing the Buckeyes 4-2 last Thursday before ousting the Fighting Illini by a count of 5-0 on Sunday.
Sophomores Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) and Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.) are also coming off a great week of play. Rodriguez recorded her first multi-goal game last Sunday with two tallies and Weber collected one goal and three assists on the week. The sophomores lead the team in assists this year with seven each and Weber is second on the team in goals and points with six and 19, respectively.
Iowa is coming off a tough weekend that saw the Hawkeyes tie Minnesota, 2-2, on Friday before dropping a hard-fought 2-1 match at Wisconsin on Sunday. Junior Anne Marie Thomas and senior Alex Melin notched goals against the Golden Gophers while Freshman Bri Toelle posted the Hawkeyes' lone goal versus the Badgers.
U of I is led by seniors Ashley Catrell and Melin and juniors Melanie Pickert and Thomas as each have tallied a team-high four goals. Catrell is also second on the team in assists with four. Hannah Clark leads Iowa in goal, having posted a Big Ten-best seven shutouts. The sophomore ranks second in the league with a goals-against average of 0.91.
Penn State owns a perfect 19-0-0 record against the Hawkeyes all-time. The Lions edged U of I, 2-1, in Iowa City last year during the regular season and eliminated the Hawkeyes from the Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, Ind. by a count of 2-0.
Nebraska enters the weekend as the leader in the Big Ten race at 12-3-1 overall and 7-1-0 in league play. The Huskers battled to a 2-1 double overtime victory over Wisconsin last Friday before shutting out Minnesota 1-0 on Sunday. Kylie Greischar and Caroline Gray lifted the Huskers over the Badgers with one goal each and Jordan Jackson netted Nebraska's lone goal in the win over Minnesota.
Jackson, a senior, leads Nebraska's offensive attack with seven goals and six assists while freshman Jaycie Johnson has posted seven goals and two assists. Goalkeeper Emma Stevens leads NU's defensive unit, having amassed a goals-against average of 0.85 in Big Ten action. The senior has collected 61 saves this season.
The Blue and White hold a 2-0-0 record against the Corn Huskers all-time. PSU blew past Nebraska last season, posting a 4-0 shutout, and outscored NU 5-4 in 2011.
Penn State travels to Michigan State next Friday for its final match of the regular season. The Lions will face the Spartans in a 3:00 p.m. match-up at the DeMartin Soccer Complex.