Women’s Soccer Dominates Northwestern to Open Big Ten Play
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Lady Lion senior defender Brittany Basinger dribbled up the left side of the field and ripped a cross into the box that was headed into the back of the net by senior forward Megan Schafer.
“We set the tone really early,” Head Coach Erica Dambach said. “Obviously we put one in the back of the net and our pressure was very good.”
The eighth ranked Penn State Nittany Lions Women’s Soccer team defeated the Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 3-0 in the first Big Ten match of the year on Thursday at Jeffrey Field.
The win moves the Nittany Lions to 5-2-0 for the year and 1-0 in the Big Ten, with Northwestern falling to 3-4-1 on the season and 0-1 in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions’ first goal came from the Schafer header in the fourth minute, with another coming from a perfectly placed ball in the bottom right corner of the net, off of the foot of junior midfielder Emily Ogle. The Ogle goal was a free kick from 24 yards out in the 42nd minute.
“It’s something that the whole team works on everyday in training,” Ogle said when speaking about her free kick goal.
The Lady Lions dominated the first half of play with their control and facilitation through their midfielders. Northwestern was left playing defense for the majority of the first half and this led to a 15-2 shot discrepancy.
The domination of the first half continued into the second. At the 48-minute mark, senior forward Frannie Crouse made a run up the middle of the field and into the box where she found junior midfielder Charlotte Williams. Williams sent the ball into the top corner of the net with her left foot to give the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead.
Northwestern was able to turn things around a bit in the second half, where they were much more aggressive. The Wildcats were able to get off five more shots, and advance the ball into the Penn State half for a decent portion of the period.
One of the few bright spots for the Wildcats was senior goalie Lauren Clem who had seven saves, which moved her into second all-time in school history with 288 career saves. She is now situated behind leader Wendy Scholz.
Many players were able to make an appearance in the game for the Nittany Lions, giving some players some experience that they may not get as they go deeper into their Big Ten schedule.
Penn State will take on Illinois on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jeffrey Field. The Fighting Illini are 3-6-0 in the 2017 season.
Patrick Johnsonbaugh is a sophomore majoring in print journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.