Oct. 13, 2013
Site: State College, Pa. (Jeffrey Field)
Score: #19 Michigan 1, #11 Penn State 0
Records: U-M (10-2-1, 4-1-1 Big Ten), Penn State (10-3-1, 4-2-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Oct. 18 -- vs. Indiana (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Senior Tori McCombs (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) broke a scoreless tie in the 67th minute with her first goal of the season, sending the No. 19-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team to the program's first-ever win at Penn State, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 13) at Jeffrey Field. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin (Greenwich, Conn./Brookfield) made seven saves for her fifth shutout of the season as the Michigan defense stonewalled the conference's No. 1 scoring offense and nation's 11th-ranked team.
With the win, Michigan jumped Penn State (the defending 15-time Big Ten champion) in the conference standings. It is the program's first-ever win in State College (in 13 tries) and first win over Penn State since Oct. 4, 2002. Additionally, the Wolverines handed the Nittany Lions their first home conference loss since October 2010 and got a measure of revenge on the home team after being eliminated in a shootout from last year's NCAA Tournament on the same field.
In the second minute of play, senior Shelina Zadorsky (London, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) sent a ball into the box directly to senior Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian), but her touch on net was saved. In the 26th minute, freshman Madisson Lewis (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) broke down the defense with a run on the far side and slipped a perfect ball in behind the defense to senior Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville), whose left-footed touch from just off the goal line went just wide. U-M's last chance of the first half came in the 42nd minute off a short corner, as Zadorsky's ball into the box found fifth-year senior Holly Hein (Castaic, Calif./West Ranch), but her right-footed touch went wide of the mark. Penn State led in shots, 7-4, in the first half, and each team had two shots on goal.
The best chance for the Nittany Lions came in the 12th minute, as Emily Hurd slipped a ball from the far side into the middle of the box to Mallory Weber, who sailed one high.
McCombs was all over the park in the second half. In the 51st minute, she chased a loose ball down on the far side and sent a cross into to Ezurike, who collected it at her feet, turned left and fired a shot that went just wide of the net. In the 57th minute, Lewis took a run at the right back and attempted to place a ball to a charging Ezurike at the goal line. The ball deflected off two people back to Lewis, who put a shot in between Penn State goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom's legs that went parallel with the goal line but failed to cross over. After Lewis and Ezurike had a near-miss in the 63rd minute, the Wolverines broke through four minutes later.
Ezurike collected the ball on the near side of the 18-yard box and sent a ball into the box at the far post. Eckerstrom dove and may have gotten a piece of it, but the ball fell to McCombs, who ran at the far post and punched it in, breaking the tie. The Wolverines dropped back and defended the remainder of the half, fighting off multiple scoring chances from Penn State to secure the win.
Michigan is back at home next Friday (Oct. 18) for the first time in several weeks, welcoming Indiana to U-M Soccer Stadium. The match will begin at 7 p.m.
2nd -- U-M, Tori McCombs, 66:38 (Nkem Ezurike)
Shots: U-M 7, PSU 21
Shots on Goal: U-M 3, PSU 7
Saves: U-M 7 (Taylor Bucklin), PSU 2 (Britt Eckerstrom)
Corner Kicks: U-M 3, PSU 7
Cards: U-M, Nkem Ezurike, 85:27 (Yellow), PSU, Britt Eckerstrom, 89:15 (Yellow).
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423