No. 9 Penn State kept its hot streak going in a one-sided affair.
The Nittany Lions defeated Nebraska 3-0 in Lincoln Sunday, bringing their 2021 record to 8-1-1 and extending their win streak to four games.
The blue and white has now gone unbeaten in its last nine contests.
The victory over the Cornhuskers cements the Nittany Lions as winners of the Big Ten regular season, as Rutgers dropped its contest 1-0 to Wisconsin.
Penn State enters the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed.
Coach Erica Dambach’s squad started off strong, as Frankie Tagliaferri scored her fourth goal of the season in the fourth minute of play.
Just four minutes later, Rachel Wasserman doubled the Nittany Lions’ lead with her first goal of 2021. Ally Schlegel and Payton Linnehan combined for the assist.
Penn State went into halftime in control with a 2-0 lead, having conceded just a single shot to the Cornhuskers.
The second half picked up where the first left off, as freshman forward Elle Kershner extended the Nittany Lions’ lead to three in the 61st minute.
Linnehan came up with the assist on Kershner’s second goal of the season.
Penn State sustained its dominance until the final whistle, as it picked up its second consecutive shutout in the win.
Penn State’s pair of early goals marked the fourth time this season it has scored in the opening 10 minutes.
Setting the tone for the remainder of the match, the Nittany Lions never looked back and demonstrated a complete performance on both ends of the pitch for 90 minutes.
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A month into its season, Penn State can finally say it has won a contest.
Scoring first has proved effective for the blue and white in 2021, as it has picked up wins in five of its six matches when it got on the board before its adversary.
The Cornhuskers never had an answer for the Nittany Lions’ dominance.
New names on the scoresheet
It didn’t matter that Penn State’s leading goalscorers Schlegel and Sam Coffey were held in check for 90 minutes, as other players entered the spotlight to help defeat the Cornhuskers.
Tagliaferri had not found the back of the net since the Nittany Lions’ 3-1 victory over Michigan State March 7.
The senior’s opening goal Sunday gave Penn State early momentum, which paved the way for Wasserman’s premier goal of the 2021 season minutes later.
The junior forward has compiled three assists thus far, but her first goal came at a good time to provide insurance early on.
Kershner has often provided a spark off the bench for the Nittany Lions.
The freshman’s second goal as a substitute cemented Penn State’s dominance in the match.
Unbeaten streak a good sign
When the Nittany Lions opened their season with a 3-2 defeat to Rutgers, the future looked uncertain for a side that fielded a highly inexperienced defense.
However, Penn State responded by winning eight of its proceeding nine matches, with a 2-2 draw against Ohio State being the only blemish.
This nine-game unbeaten streak serves as a positive takeaway for the Nittany Lions, as they head toward the postseason.
While its toughest tests are to come, Penn State has made a habit of winning, which can only strengthen its confidence going forward.
The Nittany Lions will conclude the regular season Saturday against Maryland at Jeffrey Field.
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