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No. 20 Penn State Women’s Soccer Heads to No. 21 Northwestern, Illinois

by | Sep 20, 2018 | RRSN News, Soccer Blogs | 0 comments

No. 20 Penn State Women’s Soccer Heads to No. 21 Northwestern, Illinois
No. 20 Penn State heads to the Midwest for a two-match road trip

Sept. 19, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 20 Penn State women’s soccer team (5-3-0, 1-0-0 B1G) travels to the state of Illinois for a pair of Big Ten contests this week. The Nittany Lions take on the No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats (6-1-2, 0-1-1 B1G) on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. (EDT) at Martin Stadium. Penn State closes out the road trip at Illinois (6-3-0, 1-1-0 B1G) on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. (EDT) at Illinois Soccer Stadium.

FOLLOW ALONG
Fans can watch the Penn State-Northwestern match live on the Big Ten Network with Mike Monaco (play-by-play) and Jackie Manny (color analyst) on the call. Fans can watch the Penn State-Illinois match on BTN2Go.com. Viewers must have a login to watch the Penn State-Illinois match.

LOOKING AT NORTHWESTERN
The No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats head into the match against No. 20 Penn State with an overall record of 6-1-2 and a Big Ten record of 0-1-1. Last weekend, then-No. 12 Northwestern played to a 1-1 draw at then-No. 22 Wisconsin (Sept. 14) before falling 2-0 at Minnesota (Sept. 16).

Offensively for Northwestern, Brenna Lovera leads the team in points (10), goals (four), and is tied for the team lead in assists (two) and shot attempts (14).

In net, Mackenzie Wood has started all nine matches on the year. In 2018, Wood has tallied six shutouts, made 29 saves, allowed only four goals, has a goals-against average of 0.42, and has a save percentage of .879.

PENN STATE VS. NORTHWESTERN
The Nittany Lions and Wildcats have met 28 times prior to Thursday with Penn State leading the all-time series, 25-3-0.

The two teams most recently met in the final of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament with Penn State capturing a 2-1 victory in comeback fashion.

LOOKING AT ILLINOIS
Prior to hosting the Nittany Lions on Saturday, Sept. 22, the Illinois Fighting Illini will host Ohio State on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. (EDT). On the year, Illinois has an overall record of 6-3-0, and a Big Ten record of 1-1-0.

During its non-conference slate, Illinois captured a 2-1 win at then-No. 3 Duke (Aug. 19) and a 2-1 win at then-No. 14 Oklahoma State (Aug. 31). Illinois opened up its Big Ten season with a 2-0 win at Minnesota (Sept. 14) before falling 1-0 to then-No. 22 Wisconsin in double overtime.

Offensively for the Illini, Katie Murray leads the team in points (11), goals (four), and is tied for the team lead in assists (three).

In net for Illinois, Jaelyn Cunningham has played all but 14:22 on the season. In 2018, Cunningham has recorded three solo shutouts, made 30 saves, tallied a goals-against average of 1.00, and has allowed nine goals.

PENN STATE VS. ILLINOIS
Saturday’s match marks the 31st meeting between the two programs with Penn State leading the all-time series, 26-4-0. The two teams met last season with Penn State tallying a 1-0 win in double overtime at Jeffrey Field.

THE POLLS
Penn State ranks No. 18 (Soccer America), No. 20 (United Soccer Coaches) and No. 21 (TopDrawerSoccer). In the RPI, Penn State is No. 48.

STRIKE FIRST
Penn State has been very successful when scoring the first goal over the past few seasons. When scoring first, Penn State is 100-3-5 since the start of the 2012 season.

PROTECTING THE NET
Since the start of the 2014 season, Penn State goalkeepers have combined for 51 shutouts.

TOP OFFENSE
The Nittany Lions boast one of the top offenses in the nation over the past few seasons.

Heading into the Northwestern match, Penn State has scored 425 goals since the start of the 2011 season, which ranks third in the nation.

Virginia leads the nation in goals scored since the start of 2011 with 474 followed by Stanford with 433 (Stats courtesy of the Virginia Sports Information Office).

HOME SWEET HOME
The Nittany Lions boast an all-time record of 236-28-13 at Jeffrey Field and in Big Ten conference matches, Penn State is 107-6-6.

Since the start of the 2011 season, Penn State owns a record of 76-8-7 at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State opened the 2018 season with 3,126 fans against then-No. 9 West Virginia, which is the No. 8 crowd in program history at Jeffrey Field.

SECOND HALF TEAM
Just eight matches into the 2018 season and halftime adjustments have paid dividends for the Nittany Lions.

Offensively, Penn State has scored 12 goals in the second half of play compared to eight goals in the first half. Additionally, Penn State has recorded 64 shots in the final 45 minutes compared to 60 shots in the first 45 minutes.

Defensively, Penn State has allowed four goals during the first half, while it has allowed only one goal in the second half.

UP NEXT
The No. 20 Nittany Lions return home to Jeffrey Field for a pair of matches next week. Penn State will host Nebraska live on the Big Ten Network on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. (EDT) and then host Iowa on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 1 p.m.