No. 7 women's soccer brings perfect Big Ten record to Midwest

October 02, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 7 Penn State women's soccer team (10-1-0, 5-0 Big Ten) brings its perfect Big Ten record to the Midwest this weekend with matches at Minnesota (6-5, 3-2 Big Ten) and No. 13 Wisconsin (10-1, 4-1 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions play the Golden Gophers on Friday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. (ET) and the Badgers on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. (ET).

RISING IN THE RANKS
After extending its win streak to seven games and maintaining a perfect record in the Big Ten, the Blue and White moved up at least a spot in every weekly national poll. The team is ranked seventh in the NSCAA, NCAA RPI, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America lists, and fourth in the Bennett Rank.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota (6-5, 3-2 Big Ten) is coming off of a thrilling double overtime win at Indiana after a 1-0 shutout at Purdue. The Golden Gophers are helped by a strong defensive corps, led by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Ashley Pafko and goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs. Hobbs has five shutouts, the second most among Big Ten keepers. Simone Kolander leads the team offensively, posting 16 points with 33 shots.

SERIES HISTORY vs. MINNESOTA
Penn State leads the all-time series, 20-4-0. Last season, the Nittany Lions suffered their first Big Ten loss of the season, shut out by the Golden Gophers, 1-0.

SCOUTING THE BADGERS
No. 13 Wisconsin (10-1, 4-1 Big Ten) has outscored opponents 26-4 this season, posting eight clean sheets, due in large part to Genevieve Richard. The goalkeeper leads the Big Ten in shutouts (6), goals against average (0.39), and save percentage (.889). Kinley McNicoll and Cara Walls have each scored seven goals to lead the team and rank second in the conference.

SERIES HISTORY vs. WISCONSIN
Penn State holds an 18-3-4 all-time record against the Badgers. In 2013, the No. 7 Nittany Lions edged No. 18 Wisconsin, 2-1, for their ninth straight win.

FANTASTIC FRANNIE
Freshman Frannie Crouse (Greensburg, Pa.) has made her mark in the Penn State record books with a fantastic start to her collegiate career. Crouse is the first freshman in program history to win back-to-back Big Ten Freshman of the Week titles after scoring five goals against Bucknell, Northwestern and Illinois this past week. She netted a pair against Ohio State to garner her first Freshman of the Week title. Crouse's offensive prowess has proven to be historic. She is the only freshman since 2003 to score seven-or-more goals in the opening 11 games of her collegiate career.

WILLIFORD ISN'T WILLY NILLY
Sophomore Salina Williford (Wayne, Pa.) has emerged as an integral part of Penn State's attack. After playing in the back last season, the CS360 National Primetime Player of the Week and Top Drawer Soccer Women's Team of the Week honoree for Sept. 22-28 has started every 2014 match in the midfield and has almost tripled her shot total from her freshman year (24 in 2014, 9 in 2013). Additionally, she scored the first three goals of her career in a four-game span (against Ohio State, Northwestern and Illinois), including the 2-1 game-winner against Illinois.

LIONS' OFFENSIVE OUTBURST BLAST BISON
In a Tuesday night 7-0 win over Bucknell, Penn State scored the most goals since 2005 when the Nittany Lions shut out Iowa, 8-0, on Oct. 9. It was the first time in 12 years that the Blue and White netted seven goals (7-2 win over Pitt on Sept. 1, 2002), and just the eighth time in program history the Lions put up seven-or-more goals.

HEAD START ON RECORD BOOKS
Penn State's 10-1 start is even more impressive when flipping through the program record book. This year's team has begun the season with the best record since 2005, when the Blue and White achieved the program's only undefeated season to date (23-0-2), eventually falling in the Women's College Cup to Portland on penalty kicks (4-3).

SPREADING THE WEALTH
Penn State has threatened opponents up and down the lineup during the 2014 campaign. The team's 34 goals, (3.09 per game, a Big Ten best) have come from 11 different players and 10 Nittany Lions have at least one assist. Frannie Crouse (Greenburg, Pa.) leads the team with seven goals and Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.) and Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) have each netted five.

SHUTTING OUT THE COMPETITION
The 2014 Nittany Lions have proven to be one of the best defensive teams in recent history with its four shutouts. They became the first team in program history to shut out opponents in a two-game Big Ten opening weekend. The 2014 team is also the first squad since 2008 to open Big Ten play with consecutive shutouts after its 1-0 and 3-0 wins over Purdue and Indiana.

FRESHMEN SITTING AT THE TOP OF THE CLASS
The Nittany Lions' freshmen have proven to be major contributors during the 2014 campaign. Emily Ogle (Strongsville, Ohio), Frannie Crouse (Greensburg, Pa.), Elizabeth Ball (Richmond, Va.) and Maddie Elliston (Omaha, Neb.) have started every game, while Haleigh Echard (Lebanon, Pa.) and Katy Keen (Zionsville, Ind.) have played as reserves nearly every match. Megan Schafer (Langhorne, Pa.), started one match and has come off of the bench in every other game. For their efforts, Crouse is a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week while Schafer also garnered the award and Ogle was a TopDrawerSoccer.com Women's Team of the Week honoree.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
The Nittany Lions take home field advantage to the next level. The team is 197-22-9 all-time at Jeffrey Field, losing just two matches in the past three seasons and shutting out visitors in 18 of 37 matches.

ROCKING THE BOAT
Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) saw a season long four-game goal scoring streak end against Bucknell. She got the gamewinners against Duke and Purdue and found the back of the net against Indiana to earn an honorable mention for the TopDrawerSoccer.com Women's Team of the Week after the opening Big Ten weekend. Against Ohio State, the junior capped off Penn State's 5-1 win with her fourth goal.

LIONS ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
From Oct. 12-19, freshman Rose Chandler (Atlanta, Ga.) will train with the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team in San Diego, Calif. But over the summer, both she and sophomore Brittany Basinger (Purcellville, Va.) represented the United States at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, hosted by Canada. Penn State Head Coach Erica Walsh was also a member of the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team, serving as an assistant coach. The U.S. U-20 team went 2-2 at the tournament, besting China PR and Brazil, and was eliminated after the Group stage after falling 3-1 to Korea DPR. This was Chandler's first appearance as a member of the U-20 team while Basinger was a member of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship team.

Chandler, Basinger and Walsh won't be the only Lions to don their country's colors in 2014. Junior Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) is a member of the Costa Rican Women's National Team and will compete for Costa Rica at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship in October in an attempt to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For complete coverage of Penn State women's soccer, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-soccer. Follow PSU women's soccer on Twitter and Instagram: @PennStateWSOC. Penn State women's soccer is also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PSUWomensSoccer.

Last Updated October 02, 2014