No. 8 Penn State Women’s Soccer wins 1-0 over Santa Clara
On Sunday night, the No. 8 Penn State Women’s Soccer team (4-1-1) played the final of their two-game California trip, defeating Santa Clara (1-4-0) 1-0.
The Nittany Lions clinched the win with an early goal that bounced off a Santa Clara defender after a Payton Linnehan cross. The goal was the only goal for both sides.
How it happened
The Nittany Lions started the game by rooting deep in Santa Clara’s half and testing their defensive line. The Broncos seemed primed for powerhouses like Ally Schlegel and Penelope Hocking and were able to get the ball closer to Penn State‘s goal.
Santa Clara took the first corner of the night in the 11th minute and decided to play it back. Although it was put back in the 18, the Broncos couldn’t take a shot.
Penn State took control and Payton Linnehan made a nice cross to Hocking, who fired a missile off her left foot but went too far with it.
In the 14th minute, the Nittany Lions rushed on target and Linnehan sent in another cross, this time to Kate Wiesner. Wiesner was blocked by Santa Clara’s Emma Reeves, who failed to hit the ball at the right angle, resulting in an own goal that gave Penn State a 1-0 lead.
Schlegel made a great play in the 34th minute after some changes of possession between the two teams, but Santa Clara’s Makoto Nezu pulled a foul, showing Penn State’s defensive prowess.
Izzy D’Aquila gave Santa Clara her first shot on goal from a header in the 36 minute, but she sent the ball straight into Kat Asman’s hands. Shortly thereafter, D’Aquila tried again, but landed too far to the right.
With just 15 seconds left at halftime, Amelia White nearly landed a second Penn State goal. The white shot just missed the post, so it was 1-0 at half-time.
Both Penn State and Santa Clara start the second half with shots, two from the Broncos and one from the Nittany Lions, in the first three minutes. However, neither side scored a goal.
In the 59th minute, D’Aquila almost equalized with a great shot that Asman couldn’t block, but the ball went just wide. Shots from D’Aquila and an aggressive offensive line were a bigger threat for Penn State in the second half, increasing from four shots in the first half to 16 by the 70th minute.
Kaitlyn MacBean finally gave Penn State the much-needed switch, driving the ball towards the Broncos’ goal, eventually winning them a corner kick. Although it came to nothing, it gave the Nittany Lions an opportunity to play more offensively.
Penn State maintained their 1-0 lead and ended their trip to California with a win in the bag.
player of the game
Kat Asman | goalkeeper
Asman played a great match, especially in the second half when Santa Clara camped in the Penn State half. Saving four goals and keeping their defensive line cool, calm, and collected was just what the Nittany Lions needed to maintain their early lead.
The Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley for their matchup against Liberty on Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. The game can be seen televised on the Big Ten Network.