Wavering with the Wolverines
The 1 pm women’s soccer matchup at Jeffrey Field between Penn State and Michigan contributed to the excitement of the weekend. Entering the game, the Nittany Lions were ranked 11th in the NSCAA with a record of 10-2-1, while the Wolverines were ranked 19th with a record of 9-2-1. Five minutes into the first half, Penn State senior Taylor Schram (#19) had a great opportunity to score, but shot just wide of the net. Despite outshooting Michigan early in the game, Penn State couldn’t capitalize on their corner kicks or attempts on net. With 10 minutes left in the half, junior defender Whitney Church (#17) attempted a goal from 30 yards out, but the Michigan keeper demonstrated resilience. Scoring opportunities and excellent defense from both teams kept fans on the edge of their seats as the first half came to a close, ending in a 0-0 tie.
As the second half started, Penn State supporters remained optimistic about their team. The Nittany Lions lead 7-4 in terms of shots taken during the first half. Just 7 minutes into the second half, Penn State almost put themselves on the board with a shot coming from a corner kick. Michigan responded however, and reached the goal line just minutes later. “So Close!” characterized another Penn State scoring opportunity as sophomore Raquel Rodriguez (#11), who has a team-high seven assists this season, took a dangerous shot 13 minutes in to the half. Despite Penn State’s aggressive defense across their back line, Michigan senior Tori McCombs (#8) slipped one past the Nittany Lion keeper with just under 25 minutes left in second half, putting the Wolverines ahead 1-0. Penetration from Penn State sophomore Mallory Weber (#16) in addition to a pair of corner kicks leveraged a number of opportunities for the Lions. Still down 1-0, a through ball from Taylor Schram (#19) allowed Raquel Rodriguez (#11) to beautifully head the ball on net with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, but the Wolverine keeper was behind the ball once again. Yet ANOTHER, scoring opportunity emerged with a cross from the right side of the field, but, what appeared to be a foul on Michigan, prevented Penn State from scoring a well deserved goal. Angry with the refs, some Penn State fans questioned whether these were the same officials from last night’s game. Unlike the football team, however, the very close matchup resulted in 0-1 loss for Penn State.
Another Big 10 rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes, will take on the Penn State women’s soccer team this up coming Thursday. Come out to Jeffrey Field at 7 p.m. and cheer the Lions on to victory!