In what has become a common theme for Penn State, Sam Coffey and Kerry Abello stole the show at Jeffrey Field.
The duo’s effort led the Nittany Lions to their fourth straight win, as they defeated Illinois by a score of 2-1.
The Nittany Lions seem to have hit their stride as they are currently riding their longest win streak of the season. After defeating the Fighting Illini, they improve their record to 10-6-1 and 6-3 in the Big Ten.
The offense nearly got on the board early in the first minute of the match on what appeared to be Peyton Linnehan’s second goal in as many games. The play was ultimately whistled dead after she was flagged for offsides.
Despite the constant pressure applied by Penn State’s offense, the first half was rather uneventful. The Nittany Lions dominated the first half when it came to time of possession but could not produce any results to show for it.
After the first 45 minutes of play, the game remained scoreless.
The Fighting Illini scored early in the second half as Hope Breslin found the back of the net in the 49th minute of the match. It was Breslin’s sixth goal of the season.
Penn State wasted no time responding as midfielder Coffey scored a goal of her own less than a minute later after Peyton Linnehan’s shot hit off of the crossbar.
Abello added a goal of her own off a pass from Ally Schlegel. The score came in the 67th minute of the match and would prove to be the winning score. It was her seventh goal of the season.
Royalty returns to Jeffrey Field
Ali Krieger and Emily Ogle returned home to Happy Valley.
Krieger was announced before the start of the game and was recognized for several of her accomplishments in both her collegiate and professional careers.
She attended Penn State from 2003-2006, where she was one of the top defenders in the nation. While at Penn State she earned multiple honors including Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2003 and was a two time All-American.
She then would go on to be apart of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won both the 2015 and 2019 World Cup.
Ogle was at Penn State from 2014 to 2018 (redshirting in 2016) and was named a captain her final season. She now plays for the Portland Timbers and made her professional debut on June 15 of this year.
Both Abello and Coffey tallied scores in the Penn State win. They are two of the top scorers this offense features, as they are second and third on the team respectively in total goals.
Abello stayed hot as she notched her fourth goal in her last five games. Since she has been featured more prominently on offense, she has been a force to be reckoned with.
The goal marked her seventh score on the season.
Coffey scored her fifth goal in the 50th minute of play. The junior transfer from Boston College is now third on the team with 15 points.
The goal marked her first since September second against Michigan State.
The Illinois offense had chances of their own.
The Fighting Illini had ten shots on goal and three shots on goal. Unfortunately for coach Janet Rayfield, none of these shots could find the mark as the Penn State defense held them to only one score.