Aden Buie, Top-Seeded Penn State Down Northwestern, 3-2
Nov. 2, 2006
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Top-seeded Penn State advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2004 with a hotly contested 3-2 victory over Northwestern on Thursday. With a flurry of offense dominating the first half, Nittany Lion junior Aubrey Aden-Buie stated her claim as the squad's X-, posting two goals and the game-winner in the first period.
Aden-Buie wasted no time cranking her season goals total into the double digits as she delivered her 10th goal of the season at 7:20. Faced with an unbelievable angle from the endline on the right side, the All-Big Ten first team forward bent her shot into left corner of net to put the Nittany Lions on the board first, 1-0.
Two minutes later, Sarah Dwyer led sophomore forward Ashley Myers into the box with a slick pass, and Myers' diving kick in the six sent the ball into the back of the net to give PSU 2-0 lead.
Northwestern responded in the 21st minute, creeping back to within one goal of the Nittany Lions on Jenny Dunn's fifth score of the season. The teams' offenses traded scoring chances for the next few minutes until the Wildcats garnered a penalty kick opportunity at the 26:42 mark with Shannon Schneeman squaring off against Penn State's freshman goalkeepr Alyssa Naeher. Schneeman swung her shot in the corner to the left while Naeher bit right, leveling the score at 2-all.
Aden-buie had a golden opportunity with 10:30 left in the half. Sprinting down the field on a breakaway, she weaved past several Wildcat defenders before drawing Northwestern keeper Lauren Johnston out of the posts. With the Wildcat tripped up in the six, Aden-Buie scrambled to get her foot on the ball but was unable to capitalize on Johnston's misstep before the rest of the field caught up.
Penn State maintained possession, and junior midfielder Zoe Bouchelle delivered the ball to Allie Long in the corner. Long's shot from the endline bounced out of Johnston's hands, and Aden-Buie was in perfect position for her next attempt. She nailed it into the left corner pocket of the net to give Penn State a 3-2 lead on her 11th goal of the season and second of the game.
Kelsey Hans tried to jumpstart the Northwestern offense at the beginning of the second half, breaking away from the pack and pulling up at the top of the box for a shot that Naeher had no trouble scooping up to keep the Lions ahead by one on her first save of the game.
Unfazed by the home team's crowd and their previous meeting with the conference champion Nittany Lions, the scrappy Wildcats commanded the offensive flow of the first part of the second half. Northwestern out-cornered Penn State 5-0 but could not convert any of those opportunities.
The Nittany Lions had a chance to stretch their lead to two in the 64th minute when Denay Riley found herself in perfect position after a shot just missed the head of Aden-Buie. Leaping for a kick, Riley was doubled over as her shot sailed inches above the cross bar. The junior defender toppled toward the goal, colliding with the post without injury.
Northwestern, which was making its first appearance in the tournament since 2004, fell to 8-10-2 overall. The Nittany Lions improved to 13-4-3 and advance to Friday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal, where they will face the winner of No. 4 Indiana versus No. 5 Michigan, who meet in tonight's final opening round contest.