Sept. 5, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - After notching the game winner in overtime on Friday against Illinois, UConn women's soccer player Jessica Shufelt (Rochester, N.Y.) led the Huskies to another overtime victory with a pair of goals, including a blast from 18 yards out in overtime. The Huskies entered overtime for the fifth consecutive game to start the season and came away with a 3-2 victory over No. 16 Penn State University today in front of 1,372 fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The victory marked the first for UConn over the Nittany Lions since PSU became a varsity program. With the victory, Connecticut improves to 2-2-1 on the season while Penn State falls to 1-3-1.
Two minutes into the overtime session, Shufelt put on a replay of her first goal of the season to force overtime against Siena College on August 22. The junior forward took a pass from senior Elise Fugowski (Stockholm, N.J.) at the top-right corner of the box. After taking one touch to her left, Shufelt ripped a curling left-footed shot into the top-right corner over the outstretched arms of PSU goalkeeper Krissy Tribbett. The goal was Shufelt's second of the game and fifth of the season. She finished the weekend with four goals including two game winners in overtime.
"I got the ball at the top of the box and had to turn to my left. I've been doing that a lot this season and it's been working out for me really well" said Shufelt.
Penn State opened the scoring just 1:03 into the contest when Christine Nairn fired a half-volley into the top-left corner from 17 yards out after an attempted clear by a Husky defender. The Nittany Lions nearly extended the lead just six minutes later when Danielle Toney chipped UConn junior keeper Jessica Dulski (Pittsford, N.Y.) only to have her crafty attempt hit the bar.
Connecticut responded well to the early pressure creating a scoring chance for Shufelt at 8:55. Shufelt took a through ball from sophomore Linda Ruutu (Espoo, Finland) at the left side of the box and fired a shot aimed under the bar but was denied with a nice left-handed save from Tribbett. Graduate student Annie Yi (Indianapolis, Ind.) got in on the action as well, firing a shot off the cross bar from 20 yards.
The Huskies finally found the back of the net with a highlight reel goal from freshman midfielder Devin Prendergast (Babylon, N.Y.) at 36:18. Senior captain Kacey Richards (Williamstown, N.J.) sent a free kick into the box that was headed down by a Penn State defender. Prendergast stepped up from 20 yards and blasted the bouncing ball into the top right corner for her first career goal.
At halftime, Connecticut held the edge in shots, 12-6, along with a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Shufelt gave Connecticut the lead at 2-1 11 minutes into the second half with another long-range goal. Shufelt collected the ball 25 yards from goal, made two cuts to create space from her defender and lifted a shot from 18 yards out into the left side of the net.
The lead wouldn't last, however, as Penn State's Hayley Brock finished a perfect through-ball into the right side of the net at 66:22 to send the game into overtime.
It only took Shufelt 2:38 into the overtime session to erupt the crowd at Morrone Stadium.
For the game, Connecticut outshot Penn State, 25-13, including an eight-four edge in shots on frame. Dulski finished the game with two saves to earn the victory while Penn State's Krissy Tribbett stopped five shots.
Connecticut is next in action with the third leg of its five-game home stand with a 7 p.m. contest against in-state rival Yale at Morrone Stadium on Thursday, September 9.