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Rutgers knocks Penn State out of Big 10 tourney

Rutgers flipped the script on Penn State, ending their Big 10 season on Sunday. (Photo by Rich Schultz, Rutgers))

Rutgers flipped the script on Penn State, ending their Big 10 season on Sunday. (Photo by Rich Schultz, Rutgers))

The first round of the Big Ten tournament delivered drama as two of the four contests went to penalty kicks Sunday afternoon and reigning conference and national champions, Penn State Nittany Lions were eliminated from the tournament. Here’s a quick review of what went down Sunday.

Penn State Falls to Rutgers

The Nittany Lions ended Rutgers’ hopes of lifting the conference tournament trophy a year ago. Sunday, Rutgers returned the favor in the first round of the Big Ten tournament as the Scarlett Knights, the seventh seed in the tournament, defeated second seed Penn State, 2-0.

Erica Murphy got Rutgers on the board in the 28th minute when she fired a shot from about 11 yards out in the far corner.  Colby Ciarroca was credited with the assist. Then, Madison Tiernan added to the Scarlett Knights lead in the 72nd minute. Tiernan, who’s known for her ability to shoot from distance fired a shot at the Penn State goal and it was misplayed by the Nittany Lions’ keeper.

Penn State came close to scoring a couple of times including two shots that hit that crossbar. Midfielder Nickolette Driesse’s shot in the games’ opening minutes hit off the woodwork. Forward Megan Schaffer hit the woodwork again in the 77th minute.

Minnesota Advances Over Indiana

The top-seeded Gophers advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten conference tournament with a 3-1 win over the Hoosiers. Minnesota got on the board early, when Julianna Gernes scored off a feed from Molly Fiedler in the third minute. The Gophers took a 2-0 lead into the break as Josee Stiever  scored in the 36th minute when Sydney Squires pounced on a turnover by Indiana and played the ball to Stiever. The pair would switch roles for Minnesota’s third goal of the game in the 83rd minute of play. It was Squires’ third goal in as many games.

Indiana’s sole goal of the game came in the 81st when Mykayla Brown headed Meghan Scott’s service past Tara Hobbs for Brown’s fourth goal in three games for the Hoosiers. Brown’s goal was too little too late. As the top seed in the tournament, the Gophers will host the semifinals and final of the Big Ten tournament this weekend.

Northwestern Advances On Penalties

For the second time in as many meetings this season, the Huskers and the Wildcats played to a 0-0 draw through 110 minutes. Unlike their regular season meeting, a winner had to be decided, so the game moved to penalties. Sunday’s affair with a defensive stalemate between two sides that hadn’t allowed a goal in over 400 minutes heading into the conference tournament.

The Wildcats came out on top on spot kicks, converting 4 of their 5 while Nebraska converted only 3. Both teams converted in the first two rounds of the penalty shootout. In the third round, Wildcats’ keeper Lauren Clem saved Emily O’Neal’s attempt while Kim Jerantowski converted for Northwestern to give the Wildcats a 3-2 advantage. Both sides missed in the fourth round. Sami Reinhard converted for the Huskers to tie penalties at 3-3 before Marisa Viggiano broke the deadlock on Northwestern’s final kick.

Michigan and Wisconsin battle to 1-1 draw; Wolverines advance on penalties

The Wolverines opened scoring in the 26th minute when Reilly Martin played a cross to fellow senior Nicky Waldeck, who headed the ball near post for the tally. The Badgers answered eleven minutes later when Emily Borgmann also converted off a cross into the box. Payton Wesley and Rose Lavelle were credited with assists.

Near the end of regulation, Michigan looked to have the game-winner when the were awarded a corner kick with 30 seconds left , but Ani Sarkisian’s last second effort was deflected by Wisconsin’s Caitlyn Clem.

Michigan went a perfect 4-4 in penalty kicks as Waldeck, Martin, Sarkisian and Anna Soccorsi all converted from the spot. For the Badgers, the shootout started out poorly as the first attempt by Micaela Powers went off the crossbar. The team’s second attempt from Morgan Taylor was saved by the Wolverines’ keeper Sarah Jackson. Lavelle and Wesley converted for Wisconsin in the third and fourth rounds.


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