UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State women's soccer team scored a pair of second-half goals to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes, 2-0, in the 2016 regular season finale Wednesday night at Jeffrey Field. With the win the Nittany Lions captured a share of their 18th Big Ten regular season title. Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State each finished the Big Ten regular season with a 7-1-3 record.
"That was the first time in 10 years that I shed tears after a Big Ten championship, and that's just out of pure pride for what they did all season long," head coach Erica Dambach said. "We had our ups and downs, but they came out here tonight with a set of belief. It took the entire Penn State family, Penn State women's soccer family, tonight, obviously to pitch a shutout against a really dangerous Ohio State team and we scored some great goals. I'm just incredibly proud of this group."
The No. 21 Nittany Lions close out the 2016 regular season with an overall record of 11-3-4 and finish Big Ten play with a record of 7-1-3. With the loss, Ohio State is 10-6-3 overall and 4-4-3 in Big Ten action.
Heading into halftime, the score was tied 0-0 with the Nittany Lions leading 6-5 in shot attempts. Ohio State's best attempt to get on the scoreboard on the night came in the 34th minute as Lindsay Agnew's shot attempt from 20 yards out hit the crossbar.
Similar to the season opener against West Virginia on Aug. 19, freshman Laura Freigang put the Nittany Lions up 1-0 during the 51st minute of play.
Wednesday night, Freigang put the Nittany Lions up 1-0 at 50:35 on her second career goal. After OSU was unsuccessful clearing out a Penn State corner kick, Haleigh Echard played the ball into the Ohio State penalty area from 33 yards out. With the ball in the air, Freigang headed the ball over Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr from nine yards out and into the bottom-right corner of the net.
The Nittany Lions held the 1-0 lead until sophomore Charlotte Williams netted her fourth goal of the season during the 73rd minute of play. On the goal, Elizabeth Ball played the ball downfield to Megan Schafer from the Nittany Lion backline. With the ball, Schafer moved into the OSU penalty area, beat an OSU defender, and from the endline, she then played the ball to Williams. Williams took one touch and fired a right-footed shot past Kerr from nine yards out for the 2-0 Nittany Lion tally.
Following the Williams goal at 72:52, Ohio State recorded three shot attempts during the final 17:08 of regulation, which included a save by freshman goalkeeper Amanda Dennis. Dennis made her lone save of the night at 85:30 on Nikki Walts to protect her seventh solo shutout of the season.
The Big Ten Tournament begins for the No. 2 seed Nittany Lions with the No. 7 seed Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 1 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.