Women’s soccer advances to Big Ten semifinals
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State women’s soccer team (17-2-1) earned a 2-0 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Tuesday (Oct. 30) afternoon in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals at Armstrong Stadium on the Indiana University campus. With the victory, Penn State will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday at 10 a.m. in the semifinals.
Graduate goalkeeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was the story of the game, making a number of incredible saves including a kick save late in the second half. The Canada native improved to 13-2-1 on the year as the starting keeper for the Nittany Lions and made a career-best 14 saves, one shy of the program record.
Redshirt sophomore Emily Hurd (Sammamish, Wash.) and senior Maddy Evans (Glenside, Pa.) each scored goals for the Nittany Lions in the 2-0 win. Junior Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) and freshman Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) each earned assists on the goals.
Despite the 2-0 victory, Iowa did outshoot Penn State by a count of 33-15, which forced McNulty to be active between the pipes for the entire contest. The Hawkeyes has plenty of opportunities and did have nine corner kicks compared to Penn State’s five.
At the 18 minute mark, Penn State would get on the board on a beautiful setup. A fast rolling ball was heading out of bounds down near the corner. The speedy Hayes caught up to the ball and one timed it into the box as it was crossing the end line. Hayes found a wide open Hurd in the box, who buried it for her second score of the season.
Penn State’s second goal came in the 61st minute on a head ball from Evans off Big Ten Freshman of the Year Raquel Rodriguez’s corner kick. The freshman found Evans’ head on the back post, where the senior captain leapt in the air and put it in just below the crossbar. Penn State took a 2-0 lead.
Penn State now improves to 19-0-0 all-time in Big Ten contests against the Hawkeyes and 3-0-0 against Iowa in Big Ten Tournament games.
Friday’s semifinal contest will air live on the Big Ten Network.
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