Women’s Soccer Limits Bucknell in 3-1 Win

Story posted October 4, 2012 in Sports, CommRadio by Megan Flood

Taking a break from Big Ten play, the newly christened fourth-ranked Penn State Women’s Soccer team beat on an offensive minded Bucknell squad at Jeffery Field on Tuesday night.

Players both sides to slipped and lost control of the ball on many occasions during the rainy night causing a slippery field. Penn State was able to keep possession for most of the match, only allowing Bucknell a few chances.

The score remained tied at zero until the 38th minute when freshman Raquel Rodriguez found the back of the net with a penalty kick.

Head Coach Erica Walsh was pleased with Rodriguez’s performance. “[Rodriguez] came off the bench and scored a goal immediately, what more could you ask of a bench player?”

Penn State was awarded the penalty kick because of an aggressive play by Bucknell’s goalkeeper, Sandita McDermott, to the back of Penn State’s Tani Costa’s head.

Besides allowing two goals by Maya Hayes later in the game, McDermott was a brick wall for Bucknell.

“[Bucknell’s] Goalkeeper was arguably their best player on the field tonight,” Walsh said.  

McDermott made a total of 11 saves, while Penn State goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom only had to make four.

This was Eckerstrom’s fifth start and fifth win. For a year and half she has been mentored by Erin McNulty (now a graduate student), but has been give the green light to start by Walsh since the Nittany Lions match against Northwestern.

Walsh makes her goalkeeper decision on “the one that is hot.”

“Fortunately for us, both are hot and [the starter] will depend on the opponent, the strengths of opponent and who is playing and training better on that particular day,” Walsh said.

Hayes, who now has nine goals in six games since returning from the U-20 World Cup last month in Japan, struggled a bit in the first half against McDermott.

“I wasn’t expecting anything like that, she put up a great game,” Hayes said. “I take a deep breath and regroup.”

Hayes found her self in multiple breakaways against McDermott, but she could not convert until the 57th minute of the match.

“A goalkeeper cannot block everything, it will fall at some point, you got to keep taking shots,” Hayes said.

Costa hit Hayes with a through ball and Hayes proceeded to run through four defenders before finding the back of the net with a strong left-foot shot.

After a scare in the 60th minute when Bucknell’s Jenna Tryon was able to chip a 25-yard shot past Eckerstrom to make the match a one goal game at 2-1. Hayes found the back of the net again. This time it was a cross in from Emily Hurd in the 73rd minute.

Hayes’ second goal sealed the win for Penn State as they kept possession away from Bucknell for the next 17 minutes.

The women’s soccer team returns to Jeffery Field to resume Big Ten play on Sunday Oct. 7th at 1 p.m against Indiana.

Megan Flood is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email mkf5100@psu.edu.