PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers women’s soccer team (4-2-1) nearly pulled off its second consecutive upset, playing to a scoreless tie with No. 11 Penn State (5-1-2) Sept. 19 at Yurcak Field.
The Nittany Lions, ranked 11th nationally and second in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), outshot the Scarlet Knights 5-2 in the first half, but RU tightened up its marking after halftime, limiting Penn State to just one shot in the final 65 minutes. The two teams struggled back and forth throughout the second half through intervals of pouring rain. Rutgers’ best scoring chance of the match came with less than four minutes to play in regulation on RU’s first corner kick of the night. After a scramble in the box, the ball came out to freshman Tierney Brady (Brick, NJ), who blasted a ball from 20 yards out and hit the post.
Penn State started the first overtime with an excellent chance, when Heidi Drummond was 1 v. 1 with RU keeper Robyn Jones (Titusville, NJ) on the left side of the box. Fortunately for the Knights, Drummond’s shot went just inches wide of the far post. Rutgers threatened late in the first overtime, but Kelly Evans’ (Saddle Brook, NJ) shot could not find the back of the net.
Jones (3-2-1) was superb in goal for the Knights, making two saves. Possibly her biggest play of the game wasn’t a save, though. She won a foot race with a Penn State player 10 yards in front of the goal, knocking a dangerous ball away. The two players collided, but Jones was able to get up and cover the ball with 5:30 to play in the second half to avoid an empty-net Nittany Lion goal.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the win, but it was a very even game,” fourth-year head coach Glenn Crooks said. “I thought it was a great result for us. Last year it was a very similar game, but Penn State won 2-0. Last year we might not have been mentally tough enough to come out with this result, but tonight we were.”
Rutgers was ranked sixth by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and seventh by Soccerbuzz in the Mid-Atlantic Region this week (Sept. 15). Penn State was ranked 11th by the NSCAA, ninth by Soccer America, seventh by Soccerbuzz and fifth by SoccerTimes.com nationally. The Nittany Lions also were rated second by the NSCAA and first by Soccerbuzz in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
RU outshot the Nittany Lions 7-6 during the match, including a 5-1 advantage following halftime. Rutgers was able to keep Penn State All-American Joanna Lohman in check, holding PSU’s leading scorer without a single shot. The tie came on the heels of a 2-1 upset of No. 14 Kentucky on Sept. 13 by the Knights.
Rutgers will host Monmouth Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7:00 p.m.
Rutgers 0, No. 11 Penn State 0; Double Overtime; Sept. 19; Yurcak Field; Piscataway, NJ
Score By Periods
Penn State 0 0 0 0 0
Rutgers 0 0 0 0 0
Shots: PSU 6, RU 7. Corner Kicks: PSU 6, RU 1. Saves: PSU 4, RU 2. Fouls: PSU 8, RU 8. Offsides: PSU 4, RU 1. Yellow Cards: PSU 0, RU 0.