Penn State women’s soccer falls to S. Carolina in third round

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LOS ANGELES (WTAJ) – Penn State women’s soccer fell 2-0 to South Carolina in the third round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament.

Scoreless at the half, South Carolina scored off a corner kick. Jyllissa Harris’s initial shot went off the crossbar and it fell to Samantha Chang on the rebound. Chang’s shot put the Gamecocks up 1-0.

South Carolina’s Luciana Zullo scored in the 56th minute. Ryan Gareis found her at the top of the box, and Zullo buried a right footed shot.

Penn State finishes the season with a 12-8-1 record.

Penn State was one of five schools in the country with both men’s and women’s teams playing in the NCAA Soccer Tournament.

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The Penn State women’s soccer program’s season ended in the NCAA Sweet-16 with a 2-0 loss to South Carolina on Sunday.

It was the fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA third round for the Nittany Lions, and the seventh appearance in eight seasons.

PSU finishes the season 12-8-1 and with four wins over ranked opponents – No. 13 West Virginia, No. 3 Virginia, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Purdue. They also drew with No. 11 Southern California, but advanced in the penalty kick shootout 5-3 in the NCAA Second Round.

South Carolina (14-6-1) advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals and will face No. 13 BYU.

How it Happened

The Nittany Lions and Gamecocks had no score at the half with PSU out-shooting SC 6-5. Kate Wiesner, Maddie Myers, and Ally Schlegel  each took two shots, with Wiesner and Schlegel having a shot on target that was saved.

In the 49th minute, the Gamecocks took a shot that deflected off the crossbar but recovered and kicked again into the back of the net to take a 1-0 lead.

South Carolina furthered their advantage to 2-0 in the 56th minute on a ball shot into the top right of the net.

Down 2-0 in the 61st minute, Ellie Wheeler took a shot that was blocked, and Penn State had a corner kick opportunity. Sam Coffey took the corner kick and sent it to Schlegel who headed the ball toward the net, but it was saved by the Gamecocks’ keeper.

The 74th minute saw Coffey strike toward the top left of the net, but it was saved by South Carolina. Coffey took the corner kick and sent a ball to Schlegel who headed it off target.

In the 80th minute, Schlegel tried heading another ball toward the goal, but it sailed off target once more. That would be the final shot for PSU as South Carolina focused on taking time off the clock on their possessions and time expired for their 2-0 win.

Additional Notes

This is the Penn State women’s soccer program’s 27th straight trip to the NCAA tournament and 18th overall appearance in the Sweet 16. 

Penn State is 58-25-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to at least the third round of the tournament for five consecutive seasons and in seven out of the last eight seasons.

Senior captains Kerry Abello and Sam Coffey finish their careers at PSU in the Sweet-16.

Abello has appeared in 92 games for Penn State in her career with 70 starts. In her career she has scored 17 goals and 10 assists for a total of 44 points. In 2020-21 she was named CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. She has also been named to three CoSIDA Academic All-America teams (2018, 2019, 2020-21). Abello was a member of three Big Ten Championship teams and won two Big Ten Tournament Championships.

Coffey has played 102 games in her career with 101 starts. In her career she has 42 goals and 54 assists for 138 points. In 2020-21 she was named Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-America, earned CoSIDA Academic First-Team All-America honors and was named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. She’s been tabbed as a first team All-Big Ten honoree twice (2019, 2020-21) and was a MAC Hermann trophy semifinalist in 2018.

Coffey was also named a United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-American in 2018 and tabbed a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American in 2019. She has been on three first-team All-region squads and dubbed a four-time all-conference honoree. Additionally, she was a member of the 2020-21 Big Ten regular season championship team and the 2019 Big Ten Tournament Championship team.

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