Penn State Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Penn State Nittany Lions
Big Ten


The Penn State Nittany Lions reestablished themselves as the top program in a fiercely competitive Big Ten Conference. Thanks to a much more balanced attack offensively and improved defense, Penn State is back in the national title contender conversation if they get the right draw in the NCAA Tournament.

2014 Record:  17-3-0, 12-1-0
Coach: Erica Walsh

Good Results: 8/22 West Virginia (3-1), 10/5 at Wisconsin (2-0)
Bad Results: 10/11 Rutgers (0-1), 11/5 vs Northwestern (0-1)

Why They Can Surprise:
This is a very young and talented Nittany Lions side that has not been phased too often by a very challenging schedule throughout the season. The attack does not have to rely on a Maya Hayes type as in previous years and it gives Penn State a very steady, cohesive flow that is tough to slow down. Freshman striker Frannie Crouse has had an excellent initial season for the Nittany Lions and she has led a very strong freshman class up front. Junior Mallory Weber compliments Crouse with her experience and play making ability and Megan Schafer has done a nice job as well up front.

The midfield is also very deep with redshirt senior Emily Hurd, senior Kori Chapic, who plays up at forward as well, and junior Raquel Rodriguez. They have been rock solid all season long. The ability to defend at a much higher level this season has been a big difference maker for Penn State as redshirt junior goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom has been outstanding in goal. The backline has also been anchored by senior Whitney Church and freshman Maddie Elliston who, along with Eckerstrom, have kept the pressure off the attack to have to score three or more goals per match.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The potential to disappoint exists if the freshmen have issues in the NCAA tournament creating chances for themselves. Also, when the Nittany Lions have lost this season it has been an inability to break down defenses well enough to create a proper amount of dangerous scoring chances. Thus, it is going to be vital for Penn State to be patient as they have more than enough quality within their attack to have plenty of chances for goals in the NCAA Tournament.

Key Strikers:
Frannie Crouse, Freshman, 9 goals, 1 assist
Mallory Weber, Junior, 6 goals, 6 assists
Megan Schafer, Freshman, 5 goals, 6 assists
Kori Chapic, Senior, 5 goals, 6 assists

Key Midfielders:
Emily Hurd, Senior, 2 goals, 8 assists
Salina Williford, Sophomore, 4 goals, 4 assists
Raquel Rodriguez, Junior, 5 goals, 2 assists

Key Defenders:
Maddie Elliston, Freshman, 0 goals, 2 assists
Whitney Church, Senior, 1 goal, 1 assist

Key Goalkeepers:
Britt Eckerstrom, Junior, 0.63 goals against average, .806 save percentage, 7 shutouts

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 2.42 (18th in nation, 1st in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.679 (31, 3)
Shutout Percentage: .421 (67, 5)
Save Percentage:  .812 (79, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    First Round    Defeated Monmouth
2013    Second Round    Lost to Wake Forest
2012    First Round    Defeated LIU-Brooklyn
2012    Second Round    Defeated Boston College
2012    Third Round    Defeated Michigan
2012    Quarterfinals    Defeated Duke
2012    Semifinals    Defeated Florida
2012    National Championship    Lost to North Carolina
2011    First Round    Defeated Army
2011    Second Round    Defeated Marquette
2011    Third Round    Lost to Wake Forest
2010    First Round    Defeated Penn
2010    Second Round    Lost to West Virginia
2009    First Round    Defeated Colgate
2009    Second Round    Lost to Virginia
2008    First Round    Lost to Rutgers
2007    First Round    Defeated Monmouth
2007    Second Round    Defeated Hofstra
2007    Third Round    Lost to West Virginia

*all team stats through 11/2


See All Women’s Soccer Postseason Capsules