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No. 4 Rutgers women's soccer drops 1st game of season to Penn State

Graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland and the No. 4 Rutgers women's soccer team suffered their first defeat of the season tonight at No. 17 Penn State. – Photo by

After a 9-0-0 start to the 2022 season, Rutgers women’s soccer faced its first loss of the campaign, losing 2-0 to Penn State tonight. The No. 4 Scarlet Knights (9-1-0, 1-1-0), who entered the game outscoring opponents 29-5, scored 0 goals in a contest for the first time this year.

The No. 17 Nittany Lions (6-1-2, 1-0-1) started with possession and dominated the pace of play within the first 8 minutes. As Penn State put up its third shot of the game, Ally Schlegel scored to put them up 1-0.

Rutgers, struggling to muster any offense, did not register its first shot of the game until the 18th minute. After the early woes, the Knights would end up creating some offensive chances by the time the first half ended. Junior midfielder Sara Brocious had three scoring chances that were all spoiled. Sophomore forwards Riley Tiernan and Kylie Daigle each had a shot on goal that was turned aside by Katherine Asman

After 45 minutes, Rutgers trailed the Nittany Lions 1-0 but had more shots at the break. The Knights created offense, but could not get on the score sheet.

The second half started with Rutgers and Penn State trading offensive shots. Schlegel and Daigle each missed a chance within the first 4 minutes of the second period. 

As the period continued, the Knights allowed the Nittany Lions to turn the corner again and add another goal to their collection. 

Penelope Hocking got the ball past Rutgers graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland at 53:53 to put Penn State up 2-0. Although the chances piled up, sophomore back Emily Mason would make multiple defensive stops.

Mason, who was awarded Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, broke up several offensive rushes for the Nittany Lions throughout the second half and kept the game within 2 goals with her one-on-one coverage of multiple players. 

Although Mason played her part, Penn State would outshoot the Knights 7-3 in the second period. 

Asman turned aside six Rutgers shots on goal in a shutout performance. The Nittany Lions were outshot 13-12 when play ended but were tied with the Knights in shots on goal with six each. 

By the time the clock expired, Rutgers was handed its first loss of the 2022 season. The team trailed at the half for the second time in three games, and this time came up short on the road.

The Knights will look to bounce back at home this Sunday at Yurcak Field on Busch campus at 1 p.m against Maryland as they look to pick up their 10th win of the season.

For more updates on the Rutgers women's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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