December 4, 2015
Penn State women reach College Cup final
CARY, N.C.--No. 6 Penn State reached the finals of the NCAA Women's College Cup for the second time, taking a 2-0 win over No. 9 Rutgers in the semifinals at WakeMed Soccer Park Friday night.
Sophomore Frannie Crouse (24th minute) and freshman Kaleigh Riehl (79th) scored for Penn State, which will play Duke or Florida State at noon Sunday, the match broadcast on ESPNU.
PSU (21-3-2), which reached the 2012 final, has outscored opponents, 19-0, in the tournament and improved its shutout streaks to seven games and 643 consecutive minutes with its 14th shutout of the season.
Crouse capitalized on a Rutgers (19-4-3) miscue, intercepting a back pass, and looping a deflected shot over Big Ten Conference goalkeeper of the year Casey Murphy for her 11th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Nittany Lions blocked two shots in the 44th minute.
In the second half, the Nittany Lions tallied 10 shots. Murphy made three saves in the second half.
Nittany Lions senior Mallory Weber’s close-range shot hit the post and bounced back to Murphy in the 65th minute.
The swarming Nittany Lion defense did not allow a shot on goal until the 74th minute, when Britt Eckerstrom made her lone save. Five minutes later Penn State scored.
After a corner kick from Emily Ogle, a poor clearance set up Riehl to volley a left-footer for her first goal as a Nittany Lion, on her second career attempt.
Penn State outshot Rutgers, 12-5, and 5-1 in shots on goal.
The Nittany Lions broke the team record of 17 goals in the tournament set in 2005 and have not allowed a goal since the 77th minute of a 3-1 win over Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 1. This was the sixth time PSU has held an opponent to one shot or less on goal this season.
Penn State is 17-0-0 when leading at halftime, 20-0-0 when scoring the first goal, 19-0-2 when outshooting the opposition, 18-0-0 when scoring two goals or more, 13-2-1 against Big Ten opponents. Penn State has won 398 games and leads the all-time series against Rutgers, 9-5-1 (2-1 in the tournament).
PSU coach Erica Walsh has 196 career wins and 22 wins in the tournament and Penn State recorded 21 wins for the eighth time.
Penn State has a 45-19-2 record and 150-70 goal differential in the tournament. Penn State is 5-0-0 in rematches this season.