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Penn State Women's Soccer Notches Big Ten Championship No. 15

by on October 22, 2012 12:10 AM

The fourth-ranked Penn State women's soccer team won its 15th consecutive Big Ten championship and tied Michigan 1-1 in its last home game of the season at Jeffrey Field on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of more than 2,000.

The Nittany Lions went 8-0-1 in Big Ten play. It was the first tie of the season for the Lady Lions.

"We've got to enjoy this even though it doesn't feel right. We can put that disappointment aside for a tie and understand this is nine months of hard work," Coach Erica Walsh said.

Penn State has won the Big Ten championship every year since joining the conference in 1997.

Michigan coach Greg Ryan joked at the end of the game that his assistant asked whether "they just store the Big Ten championship T-shirts at Penn State."

"It's an honor. We're going to celebrate this right now but then we gotta get back to work," Maddy Evans said. 

The game was a defensive test and there was no score at the end of regular play. Postgame, the Penn State players praised their defense after the physical game.

"You can't say enough about our back line. I wouldn't trade them for anything." Christine Nairn said. 

"We continue to put a huge load on our defense and they continue to show up game after game and respond," Walsh said. 

Michigan's Nkem Ezurike, was the only Lady Wolverine to score in the game with 30:29 left in the 2nd half.

Nairn was determined not to lose on her Senior Day. She scored on a penalty kick with 4:57 left in the game.

"We play for those who played before us. Next step is a national championship," Whitney Church said. 

The Lady Lion will play their last game of Big Ten play against the Purdue Boilermakers at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex .

Big Ten quarterfinals begin Oct. 31.

Dakota DeBellis is a student at Penn State and an intern for covering local news and events.
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