Penn State Tops Maryland to End Regular Season
It only took one goal for the regular season Big Ten Champions to defeat the University of Maryland Thursday night. Penn State (17-2, 12-1 Big Ten) overcame Maryland (5-7-6, 3-5-5 Big Ten) at Jeffrey Field with a 1-0 win.
Penn State was once again involved in a defensive struggle against a tough conference opponent, however, they were able to keep control throughout most of the match and come away with a victory.
“We worked hard to try to get this group focused for tonight, obviously there’s some challenges in a game like this,” said head coach Erica Walsh. “Overall [we] kind of gutted it out.”
This game was a must-win for Maryland, as a loss would end their season. Penn State needed to match that energy from the beginning of the match until the final whistle. Redshirt senior Emily Hurd believed they did that.
“We’ve started flat a few games in a row so it was a big focus of ours to come out firing right away and I think we did a lot better job of that tonight,” said Hurd.
The only goal of the night came from freshman Frannie Crouse, who has already become a household name for Penn State this season. A long ball was sent over the defense, and Crouse was able to play it to herself and finish off the run. The Nittany Lions took a 1-0 lead that would prove to be enough for the rest of the game.
“They played the ball in behind and I kind of just took off hoping that it would just keep skipping through the defenders…and I just tapped it right in,” Crouse said.
Walsh praised Crouse for her work ethic and ability to make her teammates better.
“She’s a two-way striker, she is good on the attack, she works her tail off in defending and she just works hard and she creates opportunities for not only herself, but the people around her,” said Walsh.
In the second half, both squads struggled to score and gain any momentum. Penn State had a few shots on goal and the Terrapins really only had one legitimate chance with one minute left in the game.
“I think, naturally, like we did for a little bit, got in a loll,” said freshman Maddie Elliston. “You get comfortable with a 1-nill [lead]…I think we might have let off a little bit, just getting comfortable, but we gotta work on that.”
Penn State holds the number one seed in the Big Ten tournament, as Elliston is preparing like it’s any other game and leaning on the seniors.
“Feeding off the seniors, listening to what they have to say, trying not to be too worried about it, it’s soccer, every game is just another soccer game,” said Elliston. “I’m super excited and nervous but just letting the seniors lead me and playing my game.”
Penn State will play its first Big Ten tournament game on November 5, and the opponent is unknown at this time. Penn State will look to secure its first tournament championship since the 2008-2009 season.
“This is the start of the next leg,” Walsh said. “This is the start of the NCAA tournament for us and making sure that we’re not thinking about it as the end of something, but the start of the next step.”
Alex Passaretti is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
In addition to being a Penn State student, Alexander also contributes sports, music and news articles to Slant News, Inc. as a staff writer. He hosted New York Sports Connection and co-hosted NJ Bias for two years. Alexander hopes to one day pursue a career as a sports broadcaster.