USC Women's Soccer Falls On Penalty Kicks To Penn State in NCAA Tournament Second Round
LOS ANGELES – The No. 11 USC women's soccer team fell in penalty kicks against Penn State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, despite dominating the run of play and scoring two thrilling equalizers in what was exhilarating 2-2 match through 110 minutes.
The Trojans end their season 14-3-3, while Penn State moves to 12-7-1 and advances to the third round of the tournament where they will face South Carolina.
A couple of breakdowns in the back cost USC as the Nittany Lions scored in the 21st and 57th minutes, despite being outshot 21-5 on the day.
The Trojans pummeled the Penn State goal late in the first half, but were not able to break through, heading into the half down 1-0. Penelope Hocking finally found the back of the net in the 49th minute, sending home a laser from the top of the 18 yard box.
After the visitors again took the lead in the 57th minute, USC ramped up the pressure taking eight shots down the stretch and putting five on target. The Trojans had just over four minutes left in regulation when Simone Jackson connected from distance, hitting a rocket in off the Penn State keeper to send the near capacity crowd into a frenzy at McAlister Field.
The Trojans did not allow a shot through the two overtimes, while getting off five of their own, but USC just couldn't get one past Katherine Asman in net for the visitors. Hocking nearly had a brilliant winner in the final minute when she connected on a volley deep in the box, but Asman sprung to her left and snagged it.
In penalty kicks, USC's first attempt was saved, while Penn State made all five of theirs to advance.
21' – PSU: Ally Schlegel (assisted by Kerry Abello) – Abello sent a cross in from the left side of the area and Schlegel volleyed it off the USC keeper and in.
49' – USC: Penelope Hocking (assisted by Simone Jackson) – Jackson sent a ball over to Hocking on the left side and Hocking cut it back towards the top of the penalty area and fired a shot inside the right post.
57' – PSU: Ally Schlegel (assisted by Sam Coffey) – Coffey headed a clearance attempt back towards the USC goal and Schlegel ran onto it and beat USC keeper Anna Smith there to punch it home.
86' – USC: Simone Jackson (assisted by Croix Bethune) – Bethune slid a ball over to Jackson who was outside the area and Jackson fired home a rocket from 22 yards out that hit off the Penn State keeper and found the left side of the net.
- Posted program records with an 11 match winning streak and 15 match unbeaten streak.
- Made the postseason for the eighth straight year and 20th time overall, earning a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament (the program's seventh consecutive national seed).
- Croix Bethune was named the Pac-12 Midfielder of the year, Penelope Hocking the Pac-12 Forward of the year and Keidane McAlpine the Pac-12 Coach of the year.
- USC earned 10 All-Pac-12/All-Freshman team honors.
- Penelope Hocking broke the program's all-time scoring record with her 49th career goal, and finished the year at 54 career goals, good for the 12th most in Pac-12 history.
- Croix Bethune's 16 goals are the third most ever scored in a season by a Trojan, her 10 assists are tied for the 6th most in program history and her 42 total points are the 4th most in a season by a USC player.
— USC Women's Soccer (@USC_WSoccer) November 20, 2021