Ann Arbor, MI. – It was a packed house in Ann Arbor on a warm late Friday afternoon as people from all over came to watch the Nittany Lions of Penn State take on the hometown Wolverines. But in spite of the advantages of outshooting their opponent and dominating in the number of corner penalties, the hometown fans were left disappointed with a 2-1 loss.
Both teams started out strong and evenly matched but the Wolverines soon were having the upper hand keeping the ball in play in the Penn State zone for a majority of the first quarter. But the Nittany Lion offense was able to work the ball into the Michigan circle with about 2 minutes to go in the first Penn State forced the first penalty corner of the game.
Mackenzie Allessie sent the ball into Phia Gladieux who fed it to Meghan Reese to give Penn State a big 1-0 lead with just over a minute to go in the first period.
In the second quarter, Michigan forced its first penalty corner of the game and the Wolverines tied the game up on the corner, with Lora Clarke scoring at the 12:58 mark to make the score 1-1. But the Nittany Lions never gave up and took a 2-1 lead with just:29 left in the half when the Junior sensation Gladieux scored unassisted to give Penn State a one-goal lead at halftime. It was Gladieux’s 7th goal and 17th point of the young season.
The Wolverines came out in the third on fire but the Penn State defenders and Senior goalkeeper Brie Barraco did an outstanding job keeping the Wolverines from tying the game. The Wolverines had 5 corners and 7 shots on goal in the third but the Nittany Lions pushed back and would not give in or give up.
In the final stanza, the Wolverines again put much pressure on Barraco but she made save after outstanding save to keep them from tying the game up. With 4;22 left to go in the game the Wolverines pulled their goalkeeper but Penn State’s defense pushed back against the Wolverine player advantage. With a little less than 2 minutes to go Graduate midfielder, Anna Simon received a green card giving the Wolverines a two-player advantage but the stalwart Nittany lions played stifling defense and finished strong for the 2-1 victory.
Michigan outshot Penn State 23-3 in the game and had a 10-1 lead in corners. But Barraco carried the day for Penn State, grabbing 10 saves to only one for Michigan’s goalkeeper Spieker.
Penn State is now 5-1 overall, 1-0 in the Big Ten, while Michigan falls to 3-3, 0-1 B1G. Penn State will remain in Ann Arbor to face Cornell on Saturday, Sept. 17, in a neutral site non-conference contest at 3 p.m.