No. 15 Penn State women’s soccer beat Illinois 1-0 Friday afternoon to advance to Sunday’s Big Ten championship.
The Nittany Lions prevailed thanks to an own goal by the Fighting Illini in the 67th minute at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.
How It Happened
Illinois goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham turned in another outstanding performance against the Nittany Lions with seven saves, but Erica Dambach’s squad continued to pepper the net. Penn State finished with an 18-10 advantage in shots.
Charlotte Williams and Frankie Tagliaferri recorded four shots apiece for the Nittany Lions, while freshman midfielder Kim Dubs made her first career start in the victory. She was also the one who kicked the ball before it glanced off an Illinois player and into the net.
Senior midfielder Emily Ogle and Penn State’s entire starting defense played all 90 minutes against the Illini. Kristin Schnurr, Laura Suero, Kelli Beiler, and Casey Ballow came off the bench.
“Amanda Dennis is playing the best soccer of her career right now here at Penn State,” Dambach said. “The team believes in her. I think she’s got a great belief herself. She’s the anchor.”
Player of the Match
Amanda Dennis | Goalkeeper
The San Diego native made four saves in Penn State’s 11th shutout of the season.
The top-seeded Nittany Lions (15-5) will play Minnesota Sunday at noon on Big Ten Network for the conference crown. Penn State beat the Golden Gophers 2-0 on senior day.
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