Penn State Dominates Ohio State in Big Ten Opener
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For No. 21 Penn State, Big Ten play opened with the best possible scenario. Facing Ohio State for the 30th time, the Nittany Lions improved to 23-7-1 all-time against the Buckeyes, reeling off a dominating 4-0 victory on a cloudy but humid night at Jeffrey Field.
“That was really fun,” head coach Erica Dambach said. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for.”
A sloppy start for both sides, Penn State controlled possession for the majority of the first half but was unable to break through into the back of the Buckeye net until the 31st minute of action.
That was when freshman forward Kim Dubs took control for the Nittany Lions, driving down the right sideline before dumping a pass from sophomore Frankie Tagliaferri into the left side of the net to put Penn State up 1-0.
“Kim Dubs is a very good player,” Dambach said. “She changed the game.”
From that point on, it was a half dominated by the Nittany Lions, as Penn State scored two more goals in less than ten minutes. Charlotte Williams made it 2-0 in the 37th minute after she headed a Dubs cross behind the goalie for her second goal of the season.
In 39th minute, Tagliaferri added a goal to her previous assist, putting the Nittany Lions up three with less than six minutes to go in the first half.
Ohio State had nothing in the tank following Penn State’s scoring run and limped into halftime on the verge of dropping to 3-4 on the year.
From that point on, it seemed as if the Buckeyes were playing to get to the end of the match, not to try and get back in the game.
Coming out of halftime, the Buckeyes didn’t adjust for the Nittany Lions’ attack down the wings, as Penn State’s Kerry Abello put the nail in the coffin, scoring a close-range goal over Ohio State’s goalie Devon Kerr.
“That was all mentality,” Dambach said. “We’ve been pushed around in too many games this year.”
With backups entering the game from each side, Penn State kept attacking, controlling the ball deep in Buckeye territory for a majority of the second half.
“We did exactly what we practiced all week,” Dubs said.
It was a dominant defensive performance all evening for the Nittany Lions, as Ohio State only attempted four shots on goal all night.
In a combined effort, Penn State goalies Amanda Dennis and Sarafina Valenti completed the fifth shutout of the season for the Nittany Lions.
“The preparation has to be the same (for next week),” Dambach said. “Right now, it’s all about mentality.”
Ben Jenkins is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and community & commercial recreation. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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