WSOC: The Women’s Soccer Team Fails to Defend Its Big Ten Tournament Title
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The defending Big Ten tournament and national champion Penn State Nittany Lions have fallen in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament 2-0 against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Penn State came into the contest the No. 21 ranked team in the country and was the No. 2 seed in the tournament after winning a share of the regular season Big Ten title. Despite losing 2-0, Penn State outshot Rutgers 13 to 7 for the game and only committed 5 fouls to Rutgers’ 11.
Rutgers’ goals came from substitute Erica Murphy in the first half and senior forward Madison Tiernan late in the second half on a dropped ball by Amanda Dennis in wet conditions.
Rutgers will now advance to play Northwestern in the semifinals of the tournament. For the Nittany Lions, they will await the results of the conference tournaments and see how things fall for them in terms of seeding for the NCAA tournament.
Erica Dambach’s team this season was a whole new look compared to the team last season that won the national championship last season. This team consisted of only one senior in Nickolette Driesse and slew of freshman across the board. Penn State was without five of their top players, who are training with the U-20 United States National Team.
With a potential tournament run on the horizon, this group of young players could learn a few things from that experience as well as from those on the team who have already made a run through the tournament.
A player who could really benefit from a tournament run would be freshman goalkeeper Amanda Dennis. After dropping the game-winning goal from Rutgers into the net, Dennis was clearly upset with herself. Any sort of success in a tournament setting would do wonders for her confidence heading in to next season.
For now, the Nittany Lions will have to wait until November 7 at 4:30 p.m. when the NCAA will be announcing who has landed where for the tournament.
David Arroyo is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.