Penn State Staves Off Indiana Upset Bid, Advances to Big Ten Tournament Semifinals
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State escaped a potential pitfall on Sunday afternoon as it downed the Indiana Hoosiers 3-1 on Jeffrey Field.
The win sends the Nittany Lions, who claimed the Big Ten regular season championship, to the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament, but there were times the Hoosiers nearly caught the Nittany Lions for the upset. In the first half, two Hoosiers goals were waived off for offside, which completely changed the outcome of this game.
Eventually, the Hoosiers did put one through on an incredible curling strike off the foot of Anna Bennett from way outside the box toward the end of the second half, but at that point, it was too little, too late.
Once again, the trio of Sam Coffey, Ally Schlegel and Frankie Tagliaferri dominated the contest and propelled this Penn State squad to the win. Coffey notched a goal and created chances with phenomenal stops in the midfield.
Schlegel was all over the pitch in this contest. Scoring two goals, Schlegel could’ve notched a couple of more on some great setups but either the ball would take a bad deflection or there would be a blown whistle.
The redshirt sophomore continued her stellar campaign, and with these last two goals, she’s scored at least one goal in five of the last six games, three of which have been two-goal performances including Sunday’s contest against the Hoosiers.
After the game, Schlegel jokingly elaborated on her scoring mindset, or lack thereof.
“I don’t think. I literally do not think. I don’t ever want to overdo it,” Schlegel said. “I think when my mind feels that pressure of ‘I have to score,’ I just let that fly elsewhere. I’m not focused on me, I’m just focused on my team as the game goes on. I just try to stay as zen as possible.”
Tagliaferri was her usual self, turning up the tempo and putting some great shots on net, one of which skipped across the left side of the net and caught the corner netting to end the first half. Over the last two games, the New Jersey native has combined for three goals and four assists for an astonishing 10 points, eight of which were against Maryland alone.
Head coach Erica Dambach spoke on the Big 3’s performance this season.
“The Big 3, we kind of go where they [Coffey, Tagliaferri and Schlegel] go right now,” Dambach said. “They’ve been very consistent this season. I think we’ve experienced where one’s down and the other two bring it up. Fortunately, all three of them have had very good seasons so far, so I think iron sharpens iron. They hold each other accountable. They push each other.”
With Rutgers and Iowa both winning each of their contests, Penn State will now face Iowa in its next matchup on Thursday.
Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism to contact him, email email@example.com.