In action for the first time in the 2018 season, the Penn State women’s soccer team defended Jeffrey Field admirably on Friday night.
The Nittany Lions, ranked fourth in the country, saw off a tough West Virginia team, ranked No. 9, to pick up a 1-0 victory.
The two teams were scoreless for much of the contest, with the Mountaineers getting the better of the opportunities but failing to produce an end product.
In the 80th minute, sophomore Shea Moyer fired a shot from the top-right part of the 18-yard box across the goal to give the Nittany Lions the lead as well as the win.
- Despite allowing 13 shots and five on goal, the Penn State back line was superb on Friday night. Center back pairing Kaleigh Reihl and Maddie Nolf anchored the defense and goalkeeper Amanda Dennis, who spit time last season with Rose Chandler, looked comfortable in between the sticks throughout.
- Erica Dambach has to find a No. 10. The Nittany Lions have an embarrassment of riches in the midfield. Emily Ogle is one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the country and Charlotte Williams is always a threat in front of goal. Tonight, they moved Ellie Jean into the midfield to start and while the three lack nothing for skill, Penn State struggled to unlock the West Virginia defense in the final third. Much like last season, Dambach will need to find someone who can play that final pass if Penn State wants to contend for a national championship.
- The starting striker spot is wide open. After the departure of Frannie Crouse to graduation, Alina Ortega-Jurado got the start for the Nittany Lions as center forward. While Ortega-Jurado was, as usual, strong on the ball, most of the Nittany Lion chances came from Moyer and Marissa Sheva in wide areas. Ortega-Jurado will have to fend off Swiss freshman Kim Dubs as well as Kerry Abello and Frankie Tagliaferri if she wants to remain in the starting 11.