Coach Erica Dambach’s squad looked at ease all the way through its first road game of the season.
Penn State earned its second-straight victory by a score of 3-1 against Long Beach State.
Redshirt freshman Ally Schlegel solidified her role on the squad, this time starting with Frankie Tagliaferri. Regular starting midfielder Shea Moyer did not feature in the match as Dambach looked to keep the starting lineup relatively consistent.
Schlegel gave the Nittany Lions a great start 10 minutes into the game. She was on the receiving end of a combined assist effort from Tagliaferri and Payton Linnehan and converted right near the six-yard box.
Sam Coffey showed off her ambidexterity by creating three straight set-piece opportunities with both her feet, but her teammates could not find clean contact with the deliveries.
Continuing with the pattern of strong starts, Kerry Abello was able to double Penn State’s lead two minutes into the second half. Coffey found her with an inch-perfect through ball and Abello calmly slotted it toward the far post.
Coffey quickly made it three in the 53rd minute. She was able to follow rebound after Linnehan’s shot was saved and rocketed a shot past LBSU’s goalie Alemany Sanchez.
A rare Penn State turnover allowed Nadiyah Siqueiros a golden opportunity through on goal, but her attempt to challenge Amanda Dennis at the near post rattled off the woodwork.
Lena Silano provided a service to Aleea Caceres to earn a consolation goal for the 49ers, but it was too little too late.
Here are some quick takeaways from the match.
Win the midfield and you win the game
A philosophy advocated by the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Xabi Alonso came in play again for the Nittany Lions.
Another dominating performance by the Penn State midfield who won a lot of balls back before Long Beach State could set up its attack properly. Despite Moyer not featuring, the team was still able to exercise control on the road and limit the opposition.
Coffey takes control
Coffey dazzles again with a top-notch creative performance.
Her set-piece was consistently threatening, especially with her inswinging corners off both her feet. She also supplied the assist to Abello in the team’s second goal.
Coffey found her second goal of the season as well, capping off a masterful performance from one of the better collegiate players in the nation.
Apart from a key turnover, Penn State’s defense held up extremely well.
It did not have to soak up much pressure as the midfield was controlling the action. The team worked as a unit on the few half-chances on the break that Long Beach State had to rely on.
The game did open up a bit toward the end as the Lions were content to sit back for a bit and see the game out with a comfortable lead — a late consolation goal broke the clean sheet — but it should not take away from a stellar performance by the defensive unit as a whole.