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Penn State Women's Soccer Downs Bucknell in NCAA First Round

by on November 11, 2016 9:16 PM

Penn State (12-4-4, 7-1-3 Big Ten) took on Bucknell at Jeffrey Field Friday evening in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bison (16-2-2, 8-1-0 Patriot) visited Happy Valley hopeful in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005, but faced a tough showing from the Nittany Lions as they were handed a 6-0 loss.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions began the match with some dominant possession early on, earning several corner kicks that were well defended by Bucknell. However, they didn’t wait long for the breakthrough, as Senior Midfielder Nickolette Driesse opened the scoring in the 15th minute. After multiple passes in the Bison’s box, Frannie Crouse threaded the ball to Driesse, who was waiting outside the box. After several touches, Driesse ripped a thundering shot into the far corner of the net, scoring her first goal of the season in excellent fashion.

Both sides continued to trade shots and possession throughout the half. Bucknell forward Alexis Gannon recorded the most shots for her side, seeing three shots saved by keeper Amanda Dennis.

In the 41st minute, sophomore midfielder Charlotte Williams netted her 5th goal of the season in doubling the Lions’ lead over the Bison 2-0. Williams darted down the middle of the field, successfully beating multiple Bison before curling a shot into the upper right corner of the goal. Williams displayed great vision, taking on several defenders before scoring the first unassisted goal of the night.

Right as the second half began, Penn State broke through and scored their third of the night with a bizarre goal from junior midfielder Haleigh Echard. Crouse dribbled down the middle of the field and fed a sprinting Echard on the left flank, who then crossed the ball into the box. The cross ended up curving towards the far post and ricocheting in to put the Lions up 3-0 in the 46th minute.

Penn State continued their dominance with another goal in the 58th minute by sophomore midfielder Marissa Sheva. After a string of passes in the midfield, Echard cracked a shot on goal which was parried away by Bucknell keeper Jessica Ratner. Sheva was quick to pounce on the rebound, sliding the ball into the lower right corner for her second goal of the season. 

After some contentious play for both sides, Penn State forward Megan Schafer played Williams at the top of the box where she scored her second goal of the night in the 70th minute. Schafer did well to hold the ball in the eighteen while she received support from her Williams, who struck a sitting pass into the top level of the net to make it 5-0.

Strong possession from Penn State led to their sixth goal of the match in the 81st minute with a calm strike from Schafer. As the ball came in from the left flank, Schafer headed it towards goal to see it hit off the crossbar, where she gathered her own rebound and slotted into the net for her sixth goal of the season. This capped the scoring for Penn State, who held Bucknell to only three shots on goal in their clean sheet.

Player Of The Game

Charlotte Williams | Midfielder | Sophomore

Charlotte Williams displayed a dominant performance against the Bison the entire match. Registering seven shots and scoring two, she was able to extend her goal tally to six on the season. Scoring in both the first and second half, Williams was a key figure in the Nittany Lions securing the fantastic win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

What’s Next

With a win over Bucknell, Penn State advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, likely to face No. 3 Virginia in Washington, D.C. next Friday.


This post was originally published by the staff at Onward State. Follow Onward State on Twitter @OnwardState.
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