Taking on the Terriers

Taking on the Terriers

Heading into Friday night’s matchup against Boston University, the No. 14 Penn State women’s soccer team had a record of 2-1-1. The 7 p.m. kickoff at Jeffrey Field marked Penn State’s last non-conference home game of the season. Fans in attendance were in for a great evening, especially those willing to scream their lungs out in the “Park Avenue Army” student section. Needless to say, the chanting of the student body and the support of all fans closely aligned with the excitement of the matchup.

The last meeting between the PSU Nittany Lions and BU Terriers was in September of 2009, when Penn State pulled away with a 3-0 win. Friday night’s starters (Basinger, Hurd, Hayes, Rodriguez, Chapic, Weber, Church, Schram, Williford, Hovington and Eckerstrom) came out particularly strong, but the Terriers rose to the challenge, resulting in a nail-biting matchup. Just three minutes into the game, PSU sophomore Mallory Weber executed a beautiful cross to senior Maya Hayes that almost resulted in a goal. This play foreshadowed many scoring opportunities as the game progressed. Indeed, the twelfth minute was marked by another beautiful cross from Weber to Rodriguez who shot the ball just inches above the crossbar. With Penn State junior Koric Chapic attempting a header off a corner kick, Maya Hayes continuously penetrating toward the goal line, and Bri Hovington putting forth an exceptional hustle on defense, the Nittany Lions were bound to get a goal. Despite their efforts and another breakaway opportunity in about the 30th minute (this time for Taylor Schram), Penn State just couldn’t find the back of the net.

soccer hatWith six shots a piece at the half, BU kept hanging in there, putting forth a strong fight especially on defense. Just eight minutes into the second half, however, Taylor Schram put the Nittany Lions ahead 1-0 with assistance from Weber and Rodriguez. The remainder of the second half included a BU free kick that hit the post, continual penetration by the Penn State attack, a yellow card for each team, and a few breakaways by players such as Hayes and Weber. Excellent footwork and crosses from both Emily Hurd and Mallory Peterson added to the excitement. Despite the relentless effort put forth by the Terriers, the Penn State Nittany Lions held strong till the end and emerged with a 1-0 win. As evidenced by the countless young athletes who flocked to the autograph table immediately after the game, the team walks away with another win to be proud of.

Looking ahead to the upcoming week, Penn State will take on another Patriot League opponent, Bucknell University, this Tuesday, September 10th. The next home game will take place on Friday, September 20th when the Nittany Lions take on their first conference rival of the season, Northwestern.