Penn State women’s soccer returns home after successful California trip
Entering a two-game California road trip in California undefeated to start the season, Penn State’s road trip didn’t quite go as planned.
The blue and white had opened the season with a 3-0-1 record, having scored two or more goals in all four games leading up to the stretch.
The Nittany Lions had entered the stretch ranked No. 8 in the country, looking as strong as ever on both sides of the ball, with stalwarts Ally Schlegel and Payton Linnehan accompanied by newcomer Penelope Hocking.
Hocking had transferred to Penn State from another California school, USC, and had scored her first goal as a Nittany Lion in the team's last game before the trip against Monmouth.
The trip started with a big matchup against Stanford, who now find themselves ranked No. 6 in a country tied with another Big Ten school in Rutgers.
Stanford, like the Nittany Lions, entered the matchup undefeated with a 3-0 record, allowing its first goal in the prior matchup in a 5-1 win against UC Santa Barbara.
They were able to get back to that shutout form in the Penn State matchup.
The Nittany Lions had no answer for freshman Allie Montoya who scored the first two goals of her career in the game, with one coming in each half.
Penn State only got one shot off in the first half, and even though it picked things up in the second, Stanford still came away with a 2-0 win.
One thing the Nittany Lions can hang their hats on is that two goals to this point remain the lowest goal total that Stanford has scored in a game this season.
The Nittany Lions were back on the pitch three days later, traveling 15 miles down south to take on the Santa Clara Broncos.
After making the NCAA College Cup Semifinals last season, it’s been a tough opening to the Broncos' 2022 season.
The Broncos came into the game with a 1-3 record having every game end in a shutout, including a 7-0 loss against TCU a week before the Penn State matchup.
This game kept the shutout streak alive. Despite getting outshot 18-4, the Nittany Lions were able to win 1-0 via a Santa Clara own goal. Thus the Nittany Lions were able to end their road trip with a 1-1 record without scoring any goals.
This affected the Nittany Lions in the rankings, as well as dropping them down from No. 8 to No. 11 in the country. Penn State returns home on Thursday to take on Liberty.
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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