Despite a close score, Penn State dominated South Carolina on Friday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Nittany Lions dominated the No. 3 seeded Gamecocks in West Virginia, coming away with a 1-0 win after given an early lead off the foot of Kristin Schnurr.
Penn State came into the second round of the NCAA Tournament strong, taking complete control of the game right from the start. The Nittany Lions came out fast with clear possession over the Gamecocks.
Despite Penn State maintaining possession in its offensive third for majority of the half, the Nittany Lions struggled to get any dangerous shots off on South Carolina goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski.
The Nittany Lions earned two corner kicks within the first five minutes of play but was unable to capitalize on either.
Penn State saw two wide shots from Kerry Abello and a shot from Marissa Sheva that went just high of the goal before the 30-minute mark.
With 18 minutes left of the half, Schnurr subbed in for Abello and became an instant game changer for the Nittany Lions.
The redshirt junior wasted no time at all. Within just four minutes of the substitution, Schnurr took a low shot on Krzeczowski, giving Penn State a 1-0 lead over South Carolina.
The Nittany Lions held onto possession for the remainder of the half. They got but was unable to increase their lead any further.
The Gamecocks came into the second period as slow as they did the first.
The Nittany Lions dominated possession over the Gamecocks, looking to further their lead early in this period.
Abello took one of Penn State’s most dangerous shots of the game in the first 16 minutes of the second half. The sophomore fired a left footed shot on Krzeczowski but Krzeczowski answered with an incredible save.
The junior goalkeeper made yet another jaw dropping save in the 78th minute. Schnurr fired another low shot that was deflected by the keeper and then went on to make another incredible save seconds later off the foot of Sheva.
Krzeczowski kept South Carolina in this match with some astounding saves. Penn State rattled off 12 dangerous yet unsuccessful shots on Krzeczowski in the second period.
“Possession’s not going to get you anywhere if you can’t threaten the goalkeeper,” coach Erica Dambach said.
Despite some late efforts from the Gamecocks in the last five minutes of the match, Penn State held complete control of the match, coming away with a 1-0 win in Dick Dlesk Stadium.
The Nittany Lions will advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at 3 p.m. against the winner of the West Virginia-Wake Forest matchup.