CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The ninth-ranked Penn State women's soccer team opened its season with flair on Friday night, taking down No. 7 Virginia 3-1 and snapped the Cavaliers' 21-year win streak in home openers.
Freshman Mallory Weber led the Nittany Lions with two second half goals, including the game-winner at the 75- minute mark. Redshirt junior Tani Costa , who is coming off a torn ACL last year, scored Penn State's first goal of the season in the first half. Senior Erin McNulty made three saves in goal.
"I am really happy with this group," said head coach Erica Walsh. "This is a great start to the season for us. We got some great performances from our freshmen. It was big having them step up for us tonight."
Virginia was the first team with a scoring opportunity, as Caroline Miller had a clean look on goal seven minutes in and ripped a shot that McNulty denied. The Cavaliers' only other chance in the first half came at the 36-minute mark. Gloria Douglas crossed a ball in from the far right side that smacked the crossbar as the game remained tied at zero at that point.
Penn State would control the majority of the first half before finally capitalizing with five minutes to go when Costa gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.
Virginia took control in the second half, as the Cavaliers broke through in the 75th minute. Makenzy Doniak scored on a header off a corner kick to tie the game up at 1-1.
Just 22 seconds later, the game would turn back into Penn State's favor as Weber scored on a break-away, with the assist coming from Nairn to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. Weber wasn't finished as she sealed the victory with another break-away in the 87th minute.
Penn State will open its home schedule at 2:30 p.m. Sunday against St. John's.