Penn State’s offensive pressure proved to be too much for Loyola Marymount to handle, resulting in a third-straight victory for the Nittany Lions.
The 3-0 victory wrapped up a successful trip to California for Penn State. Previously, the team earned its second win of the year on Friday, defeating Long Beach State by a score of 3-1.
Goalkeeper Sarafina Valenti made her first start of the season, with the rest of the starters remaining the same as the previous game. The Nittany Lions also got to keep their legs fresh, with 19 players featured in this game.
It took Penn State a while to find the back of the goal, but the Nittany Lions were ultimately rewarded in the 24th minute.
Sam Coffey lined up a free kick right from outside the box and slotted a low shot past the wall and just beyond the reach of Lee Erickson’s diving effort toward her left.
Penn State put in a dominating first-half performance, camping inside the box of Loyola Marymount for 17 percent of the time. Coffey was kept busy throughout with 13 corners total in the first half and with one almost ending up in the goal directly as an Olimpico goal if not for Erickson’s reactionary effort.
Kate Wiesner almost found her second goal of her collegiate career with a world-class effort, but her left-footed curling shot destined for the top corner from outside the box was toppled by Erickson and hit the bar.
The Nittany Lions found a blistering start to the second half, as Frankie Tagliaferri found Ally Schlegel, who was in absolutely hot form lately, to double the lead 38 seconds into the half.
The game gradually opened up as Loyola Marymount mounted pressure to try to come back from two goals down. Its high press had been occasionally successful in trapping Penn State at the back, but nothing amounted as the Lions could not make a break off the pressure.
On the other hand, Penn State was able to capitalize on a mistake upon a pressuring effort. Tagliaferri latched on to a soft, unaware back pass toward Erickson.
Erickson came up to try to collect and stop the forward but it was too little, too late as Tagliaferri was able to take the ball around her and finish with a high shot past a defender trying for a last-grasp block in the 70th minute.
The match remained action-packed up until the final whistle, with both teams continued to mount pressure and look for opportunities when the score looked like a foregone conclusion.