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Oct. 29, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fourth-ranked Penn State women's soccer will open Big Ten Tournament action this Wednesday on the Indiana University campus as it plays the No. 8 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes. Penn State is the No. 1 seed for the 13th-straight time as its freshly coming off its 15th-straight Big Ten title (there was no tournament in 2009 and 2010).
Penn State boasts a 24-7-4 all-time record in 35 Big Ten Tournament games with five titles. Penn State's last conference tournament championship came back in 2008. The Nittany Lions are 11-2-3 all-time in the quarterfinals of the tournament and has defeated Iowa twice, both in quarterfinal contests. The last time the Nittany Lions lost a quarterfinal game came back in 2002 against eight-seeded Illinois.
Penn State closed out the 2012 regular season with a 2-0 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers last Friday evening. Senior goalkeeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) made seven saves in 2-0 win, earning her Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolades. Freshman Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.) scored one of two Penn State goals on the day for the Nittany Lions, earning her Big Ten Freshman of the Week. The seven saves for McNulty were a season-high. Weber is third on the team with 11 goals this season.
The Nittany Lions are undefeated since Sept. 8, posting a 10-0-1 Big Ten record this season. Penn State's 15th conference title marks the most consecutive championships by a Big Ten women's program in any sport.
Earlier this season on Oct. 14, Penn State earned a 2-1victory over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Junior Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.) scored both Penn State goals, which included the game-winner in the 56th minute. Penn State has never dropped a point to Iowa, owning an 18-0-0 mark against the Hawkeyes. In the 18 meetings with Iowa, Penn State has out-scored the Hawkeyes, 67-9.
The Nittany Lions are 1388-22-5 all-time in October for an astounding .851 winning percentage. As for November, Penn State is 62-22-4 all-time (.727). PSU went 4-1-0 in August to up its all-time record to 20-10-2 (.636), while posting a 6-1-0 mark in September to improve to 119-31-13 (.770) all-time.
Iowa comes into Tuesday's contest struggling, winless in seven of its last eight contests. The one victory came this past Saturday in a 2-1 victory over Wisconsin at home. The Hawkeyes are second in the conference in shots, fourth in points, third in goals and tied for seventh in assists.
Leading the way for the Hawkeyes is Cloe Lacasse, who is third in the contest with 33 points. Lacasse has been all over the field for the Hawkeyes this season, leading the team in goals (13) and assists (7). Ashley Catrell has also been influential in the Iowa attack, scoring seven goals to go along with four assists. At the keeper position, Iowa tends to split time with Hannah Clark and Meg Goodson. Both Clark and Goodson average giving up less than a goal per game and have combined for 12 shutouts on the year.
The Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament semifinals will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 2, while the championship game will start at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 4. For the first time, BTN will provide full coverage of the tournament, as the quarterfinals will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network, while the semifinals and finals will be available on both BTN and BTN2Go.
For complete coverage of Penn State women's soccer, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-soccer.
Follow Penn State women's soccer on Twitter: @PennStateWSOC.
Follow Penn State women's soccer on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PSUWomensSoccer.
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