WSOC: Penn State draws with Rutgers in Overtime Battle
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2-4, 5-0-3 Big Ten) hosted the Rutgers Scarlett Knights (9-2-4, 4-1-3 Big Ten) at Jeffrey Field Thursday night. The game ended in a 2-2 draw after the teams battled it out in overtime.
The two Big Ten powerhouses are no strangers to each other, as Penn State came in on a two-game win streak against Rutgers.
Megan Schafer gave the Nittany Lions an early 1-0 lead as she stroked the ball low and to the far post, beating Rutgers goalkeeper Alana Jimenez. The Lions continued to dominate the midfield throughout the first half, forcing Rutgers to repeatedly give away possession.
“I thought for long stretches of time we were able to control the play,” head coach Erica Dambach said. “I like this 2016 Penn State team.”
As the first half winded down, the Lions became a little sloppy in the middle third of the pitch, which eventually led to a Madison Tiernan Rutgers goal just a few minutes before the first half whistle.
The unorganized play continued into the second half for Penn State when Elizabeth Ball’s bad pass back to goalkeeper Amanda Dennis allowed Taylor Aylmer of Rutgers to slip the ball right into the Penn State net for a 2-1 Scarlet Knights lead.
“It was just a giveaway,” said Dambach. “It happens to every player on the field but when it happens to the last player, it ends up in the back of the net.
Counter attacks seemed to be the theme of the game on this chilly night. On a quick ball played down field, Schafer was hauled down near the end line resulting in a Penn State free kick. With the initial cross being cleared out, Frannie Crouse gathered the second ball to slot it home to tie the match.
“I’m definitely proud of all the girls. We battled and we were down a goal, we came back and I think it says a lot about us as a team and what we are working at,” sophomore midfielder, Charlotte Williams said.
With only three regular season games left on the schedule, the Nittany Lions look to get back in the win column Sunday when they take on Purdue at Jeffrey Field at 1p.m.
Mason Gallina is a junior majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.