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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 15 Penn State women's soccer team (10-4-4) heads to Westfield, Ind., to take on the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-3-1) in the Big Ten Semifinal round. The match between the fifth-seeded Nittany Lions and the top-seeded Buckeyes is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Grand Park on Friday, Nov. 3.
The match will be streamed on BTN2Go.com, but fans must have a cable account to access the stream. The match can also be seen on the Big Ten Network on a tape-delayed basis at 9:30 p.m. (EDT)
On the call for the broadcast will be Dean Linke (play-by-play) and Kate Markgraf (color analyst). Live stats will be available on GoPSUsports.com.
All tickets are general admission ($12 adult/$7 student and youth) and tickets can be purchased on-site at the ticket office (red ticket trailer) outside the northwest entrance to the stadium with gates opening at noon.
LOOKING AT OHIO STATE
No. 9 Ohio State enters the match against the Nittany Lions with an overall record of 15-3-1. The Buckeyes have won the last three matches by scores of 2-1, including a 2-1 double overtime victory over Iowa in the Big Ten Quarterfinal round.
Since the meeting against Penn State on Sept. 30, Ohio State has won six of seven contests and has only allowed four goals.
Offensively for the Buckeyes, Sammy Edwards leads the team in points and goals with 25 and 10, respectively. She has also tallied five assists on the year. Along with Edwards, Eleanor Gabriel is second on the team in points with 17 (7g, 3a) followed by Nikki Walts with 15 (3g, 9a).
In net for Ohio State, Devon Kerr has recorded nine solo shutouts, made 53 saves, has a goals-against average of 0.54, a save percentage of .841, and has allowed only 10 goals.
SERIES HISTORY VS. OHIO STATE
Friday's matchup marks the 30th meeting between the two programs with Penn State leading the all-time series, 21-7-1.
The two teams met earlier this season with Penn State falling at Ohio State, 1-0, on Sept. 30.
Friday's matchup is the fifth meeting between the two teams in the Big Ten Tournament with Penn State holding a 2-1-1 record in those contests.
LAST TIME OUT
After battling with the No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights to a 0-0 draw in a Big Ten Quarterfinal round matchup, the No. 11 Penn State women's soccer team topped the Scarlet Knights, 4-3, in penalty kicks on Oct. 29.
During the match, Penn State outshot Rutgers, 21-8, but could not get past the stout Scarlet Knight defense.
With penalty kicks tied at 3-3 after five rounds, Rutgers' Colby Ciarrocca missed her shot then Maddie Elliston converted on her attempt to send the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten Semifinal round.
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.
After a pair of victories over Michigan and Michigan State, a pair of Nittany Lions brought home weekly honors.
Brittany Basinger was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week for netting one goal and adding one assist on the weekend, while Megan Schafer was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week for scoring four goals in two games.
For Penn State, four Nittany Lions were tabbed with All-Big Ten honors, as Emily Ogle was named to the First Team, Kaleigh Riehl and Megan Schafer received Second Team plaudits, and Charlotte Williams was named to the Third Team.
In the most recent polls, Penn State sits at No. 14 (Soccer America), No. 15 (United Soccer Coaches), and No. 17 (TopDrawerSoccer). The Nittany Lions are also No. 11 in the NCAA RPI.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The 2017 Big Ten Tournament marks Penn State's 22nd appearance. In all, Penn State sports an all-time record of 29-11-5 in Big Ten Tournament matches and has won six tournament titles (1998, 2000-01, '06, '08, and '15).
FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME
For the first time in almost five years, the Penn State women's soccer team played a match that went to penalty kicks on Oct. 29.
After playing to a 0-0 draw at No. 25 Rutgers, No. 11 Penn State defeated the Scarlet Knights, 4-3, in penalty kicks.
For Penn State, it was the first time since Nov. 18, 2012, the Nittany Lions went to penalty kicks (Michigan, 1-1, 3-2).
Sunday's penalty kick round was only the seventh occasion for the Nittany Lions in program history (2-5). Five of Penn State's seven penalty kick matches have occurred in the Big Ten Tournament.
Crouse ranks 12th in points (86), 11th in goals (35), 10th in game-winning goals (13), is sixth in shots on goal (104), is 11th in shots attempted (219), and T-26th in assists (16).
Schafer ranks 16th in points (77), T-15th in goals (30), T-14th in game-winning goals (11), is 21st in shots attempted (147), is T-13th in shots on goal (65), and is T-24th in assists (17).
Along with Crouse and Schafer, a quartet of Nittany Lions have also etched their names into the PSU record books.
Haleigh Echard has netted 46 shots on goal during her career, which ranks 20th.
Salina Williford ranks 21st in shots on goal (45) and is 26th in shots attempted (117).
Emily Ogle's 14 goals rank 23rd all-time, while her four penalty kicks made are third-most in program history.
Junior Charlotte Williams is tied for 24th in assists (17), is 12th in shots on goal (68), and is 22nd in shots attempted (141).
COMING UP CLUTCH
Seniors Frannie Crouse and Megan Schafer have combined for 24 career game-winning goals. Crouse's 13 game-winning goals rank 10th all-time at PSU, while Schafer's 11 game-winning goals are tied for 14th.
Since the start of the 2011 season, the Penn State women's soccer team has scored the second-most goals in the country (390). UVa leads the nation in goals scored during that stretch (446). (Stats courtesy of UVa Sports Info.)
On Sept. 17, Laura Freigang captured a 1-0 victory for the Nittany Lions in a double overtime thriller over Illinois.
Freigang's goal with 42 seconds left in the second overtime session marked the latest goal in a game for Penn State since Nov. 7, 2010, when Ali Schaefer scored a goal with 17 seconds left in double overtime to lift the Nittany Lions to a 1-0 victory over Michigan.
Almost a month later, Freigang netted her second game-winning goal of the season, again in overtime, on Oct. 15. Against the Maryland Terrapins, Freigang captured a 1-0 victory for Penn State with her goal at 94:02.
Following Penn State's match at Maryland, Freigang scored her third goal of the season at 86:14 to force a 2-2 draw against Purdue on Oct. 20. Freigang has scored all three of her goals of the season after the 85th minute of play.
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 addition to Crouse, Megan Schafer posted 17 points on six goals and five assists, while Charlotte Williams netted 16 points on six goals and four 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.
Kerry Abello, Casey Ballow, Shea Moyer, Frankie Tagliaferri, and Emma Thomson make up the Penn State freshman class this fall. The quintet bring numerous accolades and experience with the U.S. Women's National Team youth program to the Nittany Lions.
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.
DEPENDABLE DEFENSIVE DUO
Seniors Elizabeth Ball and Brittany Basinger have been a mainstay on the Nittany Lion backline for the past few seasons. Heading into the Ohio State match, Ball ranks seventh all-time at PSU in minutes played (7,345), while Basinger is 13th (6,633).
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 winner of Penn State-Ohio State will play the winner of No. 6 seed Wisconsin and No. 2 seed Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament Championship match on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. (EST) live on the Big Ten Network.