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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 15 Penn State women's soccer team (11-4-4) takes on the Northwestern Wildcats (12-6-2) for the 2017 Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday, Nov. 5. The match between the fifth-seeded Nittany Lions and the second-seeded Wildcats is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.
The match will be streamed live on BTN2Go.com, but fans must have a cable account to access the stream and also can be seen on the Big Ten Network on a tape-delay at 2 p.m.
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 10 a.m.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Penn State will be vying for its seventh Big Ten Tournament title, while Northwestern is in search of its first Big Ten Tournament title. The winner will receive an automatic berth in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
LOOKING AT NORTHWESTERN
Northwestern enters the Big Ten Tournament title match with an overall record of 12-6-2 after posting a 2-1 double overtime victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Semifinal round.
After tallying a record of 7-3-1 during the Big Ten regular season, Northwestern earned the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Northwestern has won six-straight contests heading into Sunday and has allowed only one goal since Oct. 12.
Offensively, Marisa Viggiano and Brenna Lovera lead the Wildcats in points with 12 and 11, respectively. Lovera also leads the team in goals with four, while Viggiano also leads the team in assists with eight.
In net for the Wildcats, Lauren Clem has played every minute of the 2017 season (1854:17), has made 87 saves, posted 10 solo shutouts, has a goals-against average of 0.78 and has a save percentage of .845. After allowing three goals against Penn State on Sept. 14, Clem has only allowed five goals since.
SERIES HISTORY VS. NORTHWESTERN
Sunday's match marks the 28th meeting between the two programs with Penn State leading the all-time series, 24-3-0.
The two teams met earlier this season with Penn State topping Northwestern, 3-0, on the opening day of Big Ten action on Sept. 14.
Sunday's matchup is the fifth meeting between the two teams in the Big Ten Tournament with Penn State holding a 3-1-0 record in those contests.
LAST TIME OUT
Penn State enters the match against Northwestern after capturing a 1-0 double overtime victory over the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Semifinal round.
Despite outshooting the Buckeyes, 24-4, it took 110 minutes of action for the Nittany Lions to bring home the victory.
With 42 seconds left on the clock in the second overtime period, sophomore Laura Freigang captured her third game-winning goal of the season to give the Nittany Lions the 1-0 victory.
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. 10 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 30-11-5 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 (105), is 11th in shots attempted (220), 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 (149), is 13th in shots on goal (67), 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 is tied for 20th.
Salina Williford is tied for 20th in shots on goal (46) and is tied for 25th in shots attempted (120).
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 (69), and is 22nd in shots attempted (146).
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 (391). 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 would once again play the hero in an overtime thriller, as she captured her third game-winning goal of the season with 42 seconds left on the clock in double overtime to give No. 15 Penn State a 1-0 victory over No. 9 Ohio State in the Big Ten Semifinal round on Nov. 3.
Freigang has scored all four of her goals this 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.
The quintet bring numerous accolades and experience with the U.S. Women's National Team youth program to the Nittany Lions.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Nittany Lions have posted an all-time record of 231-26-13 at Jeffrey Field, which includes a Big Ten Conference record of 106-6-6. Since the start of the 2011 season, Penn State has a record of 71-6-7 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.
Among the national leaders in attendance, Penn State ranks sixth in overall attendance (14,748) and fifth in average attendance (1,844).
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.
Heading into the Northwestern match, Ball ranks seventh all-time at PSU in minutes played (7,454), while Basinger is 12th (6,720).
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.
No. 15 Penn State will find out its first opponent in the 2017 NCAA Tournament live on the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Monday, Nov. 6, at 4:30 p.m. live on NCAA.com.