Rodriguez makes history at Women's World Cup

Costa Rica forward and rising Penn State senior Raquel Rodriguez (far right) celebrates a goal against Spain with teammates in the first half of a Group E soccer match in the 2015 FIFA women's World Cup at Olympic Stadium. Credit: Eric Bolte USA Today SportsAll Rights Reserved.

MONTREAL -- Penn State women's soccer senior Raquel Rodriguez started in the midfield for Costa Rica's FIFA Women's World Cup debut on Tuesday. But in a 1-1 tie against fellow World Cup debutants Spain, Rodriguez also made Penn State history by becoming the first Nittany Lion to score in a World Cup, and earned LYG Player of the Match honors.

Rodriguez is one of five Nittany Lions participating in the tournament, joining defenders Ali Krieger (United States) and Carmelina Moscato (Canada), and goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher (United States) and Erin McLeod (Canada). Krieger is appearing in her second World Cup, Moscato is playing in her third World Cup, this is McLeod's fourth World Cup appearance and Naeher is making her World Cup debut.

Costa Rican and Penn State women's soccer history was made just 74 seconds after Spain scored its first World Cup goal. In the 14th minute, Rodriguez received a cross in the box from Lixy Rodriguez, and she lobbed in a left footed shot at the right post for the 1-1 equalizer. Rodriguez's goal was her 24th as a member of Costa Rican's Women's National Team, a team-best.

Stellar play by Costa Rican goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz and Rodriguez's gritty play in the midfield helped Las Ticas hold Spain to its lone goal, despite getting out-shot 19-3. Rodriguez was one of seven Costa Ricans to spend the entire match on the pitch.

Costa Rica's second game of the group stage is against Korea Republic on Sat., June 13 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Montreal. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and live streamed on FoxSportsGo.   

Last Updated June 12, 2015