Sept. 20, 2013
||#9 Penn State 3, Northwestern 2 (2OT)
Jeffrey Field, University Park, Pa.
Box Score | Box Score
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It took more than 100 minutes to decide Friday night’s match featuring Northwestern and No. 9 Penn State at Jeffrey Field. The Wildcats battled against a Nittany Lion squad that made the NCAA finals a year ago, taking the 2-2 tie into double-overtime but PSU’s Whitney Church scored the game-winner in the 107th minute, giving PSU the narrow 3-2 victory.
“It was a heartbreaker but coming in here I don’t think anyone expected us to give Penn State much of a game and our players were determined to make it a good game and give them a fight," Northwestern head coach Michael Moynihan said. "I thought we did a phenomenal job just bottling them up and making it difficult for them. They have some dynamic attacking players, particularly Maya Hayes, who’s athletically, just a phenomenal player. I thought we did a great job eliminating her space and her touches on the ball. They had a lot of shots that were not on target, way over the goal, from distances, but also we had more corner kicks than them and generated some really good chances. I thought tonight's game was very encouraging; very proud of the team and the effort."
Northwestern had a strong performance from senior forward Kate Allen who scored her first two goals of the season and now has 20 career goals to tie for third in program history. The senior captain gave the Wildcats a boost a right out of the gate, scoring her first goal of the season, on NU’s first shot of the match, in the fourth minute. Allen scored off a shot from about 12 yards out into the top of the net and Sami Schrakamp was credited with the assist.
Freshman goalkeeper Jenna Hascher had a busy first half in net and already matched her career high for saves before the frame was over. Penn State had 10 shots in the opening period, seven on goal, and the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week made all seven saves, which tied her career high. The Wildcats had four shots in the first frame with Allen taking three on goal.
Allen expanded on NU’s lead in the 78th minute, scoring her second goal of the match with Georgia Waddle assisting on the score. Penn State battled back and shortly after, Church tallied her first goal of the night at the 79:31 mark.
With the Wildcats leading 2-1, PSU’s leading goal-scorer Maya Hayes got on the board with her 10th goal of the year, evening things up at 2-2 in the 84th minute. Penn State had four more shots to end the half but Hascher stayed strong in net as the teams went to overtime.
"Kate Allen actually had a fantastic chance to win it in regulation, but it just missed the post by inches late in the game," Moynihan added. "After we had given up two goals we just continued to fight and even had some decent looks in overtime."
PSU had the 4-0 advantage on shots in the first overtime but was unable to convert any chances as the match went to a second overtime. Northwestern’s lone look of the frame came off a shot by Margo McGinty that was saved by PSU keeper Britt Eckerstrom. Penn State scored on one of its three shots of the second overtime as Church tallied her game-winner at 106:25.
The Northwestern defense fought through 29 Penn State shot attempts, 14 on goal, while the Wildcats were credited with 11 shots, eight on goal. Hascher set a new career high with 11 saves against the defending Big Ten champions. Allen finished with a match-high seven shots, including six on goal, scoring twice. She now has 48 career points, which also ranks in the top-10 in program history, moving her into a tie for seventh.
NU has the remainder of the weekend off from competition and returns to Big Ten action next weekend at Lakeside Field. Northwestern hosts Nebraska on Friday, Sept. 27 and Iowa comes to town Sunday, Sept. 29.
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