UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 4 Penn State women’s soccer team (10-1-1, 9-1-1) hosts Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal on Thursday at Jeffrey Field. The Nittany Lions won the first match of the season against the Hawkeyes 1-0.
Penn State is 26-2 all-time against Iowa.
Date: Thursday, April 14, 2021 | Time: 5 p.m. ET
Location: University Park, Pa. | Venue: Jeffrey Field
Series Record: PSU 26-2
Penn State Breakdown
Record: 10-1-1, 9-1-1
Top Assists: Coffey – 9 Assists, Tagliaferri – 9 Assists
Nittany Lions Last Time Out
- Indiana recorded the first two shots of the match, testing Nittany Lions goalkeeper Katherine Asman early. Asman made both saves to keep the Hoosiers off the scoreboard.
- In the 12th minute, Payton Linnehan sent a long pass ahead to Schlegel. Schlegel took one touch to create space and blasted her shot from outside of the box past the outstretched arms of the Indiana keeper to give Penn State a 1-0 lead.
- The Hoosiers continued to press the Nittany Lions back line as they looked for the equalizer. Indiana outshot Penn State 7-6 in the first half but couldn’t find the back of the net as Asman made three saves in the first 45 minutes of action.
- Just 12 second before the half ended, Kristin Schnurr and Elle Kershner teamed up to find an open Frankie Tagliaferri inside the 18 and buried her shot perfectly inside of the far post to make it 2-0 Nittany Lions.
- Out of the half, Linnehan and Tagliaferri had two tremendous opportunities to score but were denied by the Indiana keeper.
- In the 60th minute, Sam Coffey played the ball into space for Rachel Wasserman. Wasserman stretched the Indiana defense and played Schlegel into the box. Schlegel sidestepped the Hoosiers goalie and slotted her shot into the back of the net to give Penn State a three-goal advantage.
- Indiana scored in the 73rd minute to make it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play. The goal by Indiana ended Penn State’s streak of 421 minutes without allowing a goal.
- The Nittany Lions defense held firm for the final 17 minutes of action to keep Penn State ahead and send the program to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
- Penn State will play Iowa on Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal. The Nittany Lions previously defeated the Hawkeyes 1-0 on March 25 in Iowa City.
- Ally Schlegel has scored eight goals in the last six games for Penn State, including four in the last two matches. Schlegel now has 24 goals in 37 matches in her career.
- Frankie Tagliaferri has scored in three straight games following her goal on Sunday. This is the second time this season she has scored in three consecutive games.
- Sam Coffey registered her third straight game with an assist in Sunday’s win. Coffey now has 43 assists in her collegiate career. She is the only player in college soccer with 40 or more assists and is the NCAA Division I active leader in points with 111.
BIG TEN HONORS
Head coach Erica Dambach was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career. Redshirt sophomore Ally Schlegel was named the Forward of the Year, senior captain Sam Coffey was named the Midfielder of the Year and Eva Alonso was named the Co-Freshman of the Year.
Penn State was also well represented on the respective All-Big Ten teams. Schlegel, Coffey and Frankie Tagliaferri all earned first team honors. Payton Linnehan and Alonso were named to the All-Big Ten second team and Alonso was also named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Senior captain Kerry Abello was honored with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Dambach led the Nittany Lions to the program’s 20th Big Ten regular season championship this season. It was the 11th Big Ten regular season championship for the Nittany Lions under the direction of Dambach. Despite the COVID-19 shortened schedule, Dambach led the program to double-digit wins for the 14th consecutive season and continued Penn State’s streak of double-digit wins in every season in program history.
Dambach previously earned the Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2018.
Ally Schlegel followed up her impressive freshman season, which she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, with an equally impressive sophomore campaign. Schlegel led the league in goals for the second-straight season with 11 and led the Big Ten in points with 27. She was also tied for the league lead with 3 game-winning goals. Schlegel’s 11 goals are tied for sixth in the NCAA and her 27 points are tied for seventh.
Schlegel is the most recent Nittany to earn Big Ten Forward of the Year since Maya Hayes won the award in 2011 and 2012.
Coffey earns the second Midfielder of the Year award in her collegiate career. She was named the ACC Midfielder of the Year as a sophomore at Boston College. Coffey netted six goals and added nine assists on the season and tied for the Big Ten lead with teammate Frankie Tagliaferri with their nine assists. She was also tied atop the Big Ten with her three game-winning goals.
Coffey is the NCAA active leader in both points (111) and assists (43). She is the only player in college soccer with 40 or more assists
Alonso follows in Schlegel’s footsteps after being named Co-Freshman of the Year. Alonso has started all 12 games of her freshman season at center back for the Nittany Lions on a back line that has allowed just 10 goals for a 0.83 goals against average. Alonso has played all 1,110 minutes so far this season, which leads the team. Since 2012, Penn State has earned Freshman of the Year honors four times (Raquel Rodriguez – 2012, Emily Ogle – 2014, Schlegel – 2019, Alonso – 2021).
Tagliaferri earns the fourth Big Ten All-Conference honor of her Nittany Lion career and the second time she has garnered first team plaudits. Tagliaferri was named to the All-Big Ten second team in 2019, first team in 2018 and freshman team in 2017.
Tagliaferri was second in the conference with seven goals and tied for the league lead with nine assists. Earlier this season, she tied the Big Ten and school record with four assists in a single game. She is the only player in Big Ten history to have two games of four assists.
Tagliaferri is seventh on the NCAA active career leaders list with 25 assists and is second with 86 games played.
Payton Linnehan earns the second All-Big Ten honor of her career after being named to the All-Freshman Team in 2019. Linnehan started all 12 games, scoring four goals and added six assists for 14 points.
Linnehan also was named the Big Ten Tournament Offensive Most Valuable Player in Penn State’s 2019 Big Ten Tournament championship.
Senior captain Kerry Abello earned the first Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Abello has been a staple for postseason awards for the conference, earning first team honors in 2019 and third team honors in 2018.
Head coach Erica Dambach is among the elite in women’s soccer coaching history. She currently ranks 17th all-time in winning percentage (.711) and 49th all-time in wins (269).
Record: 4-8-1, 2-8-1
Top Scorer: Meike Ingles & Samantha Tawharu – 2 Goals
IOWA LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes won Sunday’s rematch against Minnesota, converting two scores in the first 10 minutes before shutting out the Gophers to advance to the conference tournament semifinals. Freshman Meike Ingles stole a pass from Minnesota goalkeeper Megan Plaschko in the first minute of the game, then quickly booted a shot over the keeper’s head for the first goal. Minutes later, junior Samantha Tawharu intercepted another pass from Plaschko and arced a deep shot from well outside the penalty box and bent it into the goal.