BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Penn State womens soccer team opened the Big Ten Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Iowa on Wednesday afternoon at Indianas Jerry Yeagley Field.
Maddy Evans and Emily Hurd scored the Nittany Lion goals while Erin McNulty had a busy day at the other end of the field, making 14 saves for the shutout. McNultys personal-best save total, including a kick save late in regulation, was one shy of the program record.
No. 3 Penn State (17-2-1) will face Illinois on Friday morning in the semifinals after the Illini beat Minnesota 3-2 in penalty kicks in Wednesdays first semifinal.
Hurd opened the scoring 17:22 into the contest, converting a cross from Maya Hayes in the middle of the penalty box. Evans added the insurance goal heading in a corner kick from Raquel Rodriguez at 60:26.
The Hawkeyes outshot the No. 4 Nittany Lions 33-15, and Penn State had just two shots on goal.
Lions grab pile of honors
Before the Big Ten Tournament opened, Penn State grabbed a load of hardware to go with its 15th straight conference title.
Head coach Erica Walsh was named Coach of the Year for the second time in her career, Hayes was named Forward of the Year, Christine Nairn picked up Midfielder of the Year, Whitney Church grabbed Defender of the Year and Rodriguez was unanimously selected as Freshman of the Year.
Hayes picked up the Forward of the Year honor for the second straight year, while the awards are the first for Nairn and Church. All three were named first-team All-Big Ten. Nairn has made first team All-Big Ten each of hear four seasons as a Nittany Lion.
Rodriguez was named second team All-Big Ten, joined by Evans and McNulty, and Rodriguez was joined by Mallory Weber on the All-Freshman team. Amanda Dotten picked up the conference sportsmanship award.
Herold wins weekly honor
PARK RIDGE, Ill. Penn State sophomore Taylor Herold was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three goals in last weeks Nittany Lion wins over Michigan State and Bucknell.
She had two goals against the Spartans and one against the Bison as Penn State wrapped up the Big Ten regular season title. The Nittany Lions open the conference tournament Friday afternoon against either Iowa or Michigan State, who meet in todays opening round.
Philly tickets on sale
UNIVERSITY PARK Tickets for the inaugural Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff, in which Penn State will face off against Vermont at Wells Fargo Center, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.
The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. Tickets can be purchased exclusively through ComcastTix. The contest wil mark the first NCAA Division I game played at the facility.