Bouncing Back Against the Buckeyes
Starters for Penn State included Basinger, Hurd, Hayes, Rodriguez, Chapic, Weber, Church, Schram, Williford, Hovington and Eckerstrom. Just 6 minutes in to the first half, Penn State sophomore Mallory Weber crossed the ball to senior Taylor Schram who netted the first goal of the game. Finding themselves down 0-1, the Buckeyes responded in the 19th minute when freshman Nichelle Prince received the ball off a header from Michela Paradiso and almost slid one in the back of the net. A very tough save made by Penn State keeper Britt Eckerstrom kept the Lions ahead. According to head coach Erica Walsh, "that was a game-changing save" (www.gopsusports.com).
In the 34th minute, another cross from Penn State’s Mallory Weber resulted in a goal for the Nittany Lions; this time a deflection off the Buckeye defense did the trick. In response to scoring one for the Lions, Ohio State managed to find the other net and get themselves a goal of their own. Indeed, freshman Nichelle Prince was given another chance to score and this time she slotted the ball from 12 yards out.
Though Penn State entered the second half ahead 2-1, it wasn’t long before the Ohio State Buckeyes earned the equalizer. The Nittany Lions couldn’t stop Morgan Wolcott’s header from entering the goal when Ohio State took a corner kick about 10 minutes into the half. Dissatisfied with the even 2-2 score, Penn State senior Maya Hayes took the initiative and managed to score two goals, just minutes apart. The first goal Hayes netted came from intercepting a Buckeye pass in the box, while the second came from a rebound off teammate Taylor Schram’s shot. These back-to-back goals from Maya Hayes mark the senior’s third multi-goal game of the season. Although Penn State only managed to execute a mere 10 shots during the game (it’s second lowest this season), it was enough to earn the victory they needed.
The win improves Penn State’s Big Ten record to 5-2 as they head in to Sunday’s matchup, the last home game of the regular season. The noon matchup against Illinois at Jeffrey Field will be preceded by Senior Day accolades. You definitely won’t want to miss this one!