Penn State added another win to its Big Ten resume on Wednesday night.
The Nittany Lions took down Indiana 3-0, adding their third conference win of the season, and are working their way back to .500 in the Big Ten at 3-4.
With the defensive start to the game, it took a while for both teams to get on the board. The blue and white broke the ice with a goal from junior midfielder Jordan Canniff scoring the first goal of the match in the 41st minute.
Unlike the first half, the second half took no time getting the wheels rolling.
In the 55th minute, redshirt junior Ally Schlegel was fouled inside the area awarding Penn State a penalty. The Nittany Lions’ leading scorer, fifth-year senior Sam Coffey took the penalty kick and fired it in, putting the blue and white up 2-0.
Penn State was not done yet. In the 66th minute, Canniff was able to find the back of the net for her second time of the night, extending the Nittany Lion lead to three.
The rest of the match was like the first half with both teams unable to put goals on the board.
With the score remaining the same at full time, Penn State defended home turf and picked up the win.
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Chess match start
Coming into the game, Indiana allowed the least goals in the Big Ten with five, so a scoreless first half was evident.
The Hoosiers five-back system really inhibited Penn State’s best strikers early.
Early on every time the Nittany Lions’ top scorers Coffey and Schlegel started to get something going offensively, they were immediately met with five or more Indiana defenders.
In Penn State’s last matchup with Maryland, things clicked for the blue and white early on with Coffey scoring a hat trick in the first half.
Today was a different story, Penn State’s early aggressive attack was halted by Indiana and afforded the Nittany Lions few clear opportunities.
In the first half, the blue and white only had two shots on net with one of them being the first goal of the game from Canniff.
In total, Penn State fired off six shots, which was five less than the Nittany Lions’ last first half against Maryland.
Indiana struggles offensively
The headline all season for Indiana has been its brick wall defense, but it has been mediocre in the scoring department.
Coming into the game, the Hoosiers were the No. 8 ranked offense in the Big Ten scoring 23 goals on the season.
Indiana’s attack had a tough time against the Penn State defense.
In the 2021 campaign, the Nittany Lions’ defense has allowed the fifth-most goals this season with the blue and white letting up five goals to Minnesota alone.
However, the Hoosiers could not take advantage of a shaky Penn State defense.
Indiana had a total of seven shots in the game with only four shots on Nittany Lion redshirt junior goalkeeper Katherine Asman.
Down the stretch, Indiana will have to figure out how to produce offensively.
New scorers come alive
All season for Penn State, one or two players have carried the load offensively for coach Erica Dambach’s side.
One of those scorers was the Nittany Lions’ veteran Coffey who, coming into the match, led the blue and white with seven goals.
Coffey made her presence known yet again, scoring her eighth goal of the season on a penalty kick.
Other than Coffey, there have been few other names firing shots in the back of the net.
Tonight, other Penn State attackers were in the spotlight.
Canniff scored the first goal of the game, which set the tone for the rest of the match. Her goal was only her second of the season.
Later on in the match, Penn State forward Schlegel went down with an injury and was subbed out, but Canniff filled right in scoring her second goal of the night.
The two goals Canniff scored on the night boosted her to tied with Schlegel as Penn State’s third-highest scorer.
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