Women's Soccer vs Iowa, Abello (2)

Midfielder Kerry Abello (2) battles for the ball with Iowa defender Hannah Drkulec (17) during the Big Ten quarterfinals against Iowa at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes 2-0.

The Nittany Lions’ roller coaster of a season has come to a close.

After overcoming a spell of injuries and performance woes over the last three months, the Nittany Lions stumbled upon a mountain simply too steep to climb, succumbing to No. 1 seed Stanford 2-0 in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

The Cardinal poured it on right from the start, registering seven shots within the first 15 minutes of play.

To little surprise, it was the nation’s leading goalscorer, Catarina Macario, who put Stanford ahead in the 30th minute. The junior forward charged at Penn State’s back line and fired a picture-perfect shot from 20-yards out that found the upper left corner.

At the end of the first half, Stanford had tallied 21 total shots, with eight of them on target. 

Goalkeeper Amanda Dennis made seven saves, while Penn State’s outfielders failed to register a single shot in the first 45 minutes.

Stanford never took its foot off the gas pedal, finding the second goal in the 65th minute courtesy of midfielder Maya Doms. The freshman extended her team’s advantage on a shot that was deflected past Dennis. 

The Nittany Lions were unable to throw Stanford off its stride, as the Cardinal’s lead held up for the remainder of the match.

Penn State registered just one shot through 90 minutes, while Stanford racked up 35 total, with 14 on target.

Dennis came up with 12 saves, but it was not enough to see the Nittany Lions through.

Stanford advances to the quarterfinals against No. 2 seed BYU, while Penn State sees its 2019 campaign end the way it started, with a loss to the Cardinal. 

The Nittany Lions finish with an overall record of 17-7-1. 

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.