Sept. 21, 2012
Site: Lakeside Field (Evanston, Ill.)
Score: No. 11 Penn State 4, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (4-4-2, 0-2-0 Big Ten), No. 11 Penn State (7-2-0, 2-0-0 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, September 23 - vs. Ohio State - Noon - Lakeside Field
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern took on the defending Big Ten regular-season champions Friday night at Lakeside Field and junior forward Kate Allen scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season, but the Nittany Lions emerged the 4-1 victors.
"I'm proud of our team's effort and I think we made some good progress today," Northwestern head coach Michael Moynihan said. "It was a much more focused effort than our Big Ten opener and I think the scoreline is a bit misleading. When you look at the first half, we limited their chances, created some good chances of our own, and it was a very even game. It was a fantastic first half performance. I think in the second half we had a few lapses that really cost us, but we still threatened and had some great moments. Penn State has a couple of special players that turned the game for for them. Our organization just broke down on a couple of occasions and you have to give them credit for finding their way through and taking their chances. We are a young team and as we mature, we will have fewer lapses and we will position ourselves better to earn results. There is much to be optimistic about and build on."
Allen tallied her sixth goal of the season in the 59th minute after a Penn State foul on its half of the field set up a free kick opportunity for the Wildcats. Freshman defender Jennifer Korn
took the free kick from about 25 yards out on the far right side of the field and sent in a pass to the far post, finding Allen as she scored off a header. With nine regular-season games remaining, Allen has already matched her career-best total of six goals set during her freshman campaign. She also moves into the NU history books and is tied for ninth all-time with Jenny Dunn
and Alicia Herczeg
with 17 career goals.
Northwestern was aggressive in the first half, challenging the PSU passing lanes and creating turnovers at midfield that led to offensive chances. Sophomore forward KK Barr had the first opportunity of the match for NU in the sixth minute as her shot was saved by PSU goalie Britt Eckerstrom but then slipped out of the keeper's hands out of bounds for the first Wildcat corner kick.
NU had another corner at the 25:36 mark, which set up a good shot that was punched out by Eckerstrom. Allen fired of four of the team's eight shots in the first half, including one that went just wide pass the near right post in the 29th minute.
Penn State got on the board in the 32nd minute as Christine Nairn's shot from the far right side went into the top left corner of the net for her eighth goal of the season.
Nairn gave PSU the 2-0 cushion shortly after the start of the second half (45:35) and Maya Hayes added two more goals in the 4-1 PSU victory.
Northwestern had 13 shots, one off its season-high, while the Nittany Lions finished with 17 chances. Allen led the NU offense with five shots while sophomore midfielder/forward Sami Schrakamp had three looks. Hayes led PSU with six shots and Nairn finished with five.
NU sophomore goalkeeper Anna Cassell had four saves, two in each half, while all five of Eckerstrom's stops came in the first frame.
Northwestern continues Big Ten action at Lakeside Field Sunday, hosting Ohio State at noon.
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