Posts tagged ‘Penn State women’s soccer’

An Award for Raquel Rodriguez

We knew Raquel Rodriguez was special back when she was the featured athlete in our Sept./Oct. 2013 issue. Two years later, she won the Hermann Trophy en route to leading Penn State women’s soccer to a national title. Now a professional, Rodriguez on Monday was named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Rookie of the Year.

Rodriguez is the fourth recipient of the award in league history, and the second Penn Stater to win an individual NWSL award – Alyssa Naeher ’10 was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014.

Drafted second overall in the 2016 NWSL Draft by New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC, Rodriguez played in 18 of the team’s 20 matches, recording 17 starts, one goal, and one assist from her spot in the midfield. Her only goal was this right-footed strike during a match against Washington:

Her run of good form extended to the international stage, where Rodriguez was a standout for Costa Rica’s national team during Olympic qualifying earlier this year. While the squad did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics, Costa Rica came in third and Rodriguez tied for the tournament lead with six goals.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

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October 4, 2016 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

Erica Dambach is a Rising Star

via Erica Walsh

via Erica Dambach

The last month or so has been pretty good for Erica Dambach, as Penn State’s women’s soccer team is riding an impressive undefeated streak. The squad hasn’t lost since Sept. 2, going 7-0-1 over its last eight matches. It’s the latest example of the success the program has had under Dambach, as Penn State has won a national championship and eight Big Ten regular season titles under her guidance.

Now, Dambach is receiving praise from Sporting News for being on the verge of stardom. The publication selected nine women whose profiles are on the rise in the world of sports, and Dambach was the only active head coach in any sport to make the list.

According to Sporting News, Dambach’s sustained success, including the Nittany Lions winning the program’s first national title last year, were major factors in her earning this position. Dambach’s stints with the U.S. Women’s National Team as an assistant coach, where she was a member of the squads that won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and were runners-up at the 2011 World Cup, were also cited.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Former Nittany Lion Soccer Standouts Could Use Your Help

Britt Eckerstrom ’15 needs your help. A goalkeeper who helped lead the women’s soccer team to a national title last year, Eckerstrom saw part of her home destroyed last week by fire. Eckerstrom, her parents, her family’s two dogs, and the two National Women’s Soccer League players who stay with them — including former Nittany Lion All-American Tiffany Weimer ’06 — all managed to get out unharmed.

All of this happened right before Eckerstrom was schedule to leave for Rochester, where she will join the NWSL’s Western New York Flash. However, Eckerstrom’s car (which was packed in anticipation of her move) was destroyed during the fire. Weimer and Tori Huster, her teammate with the Washington Spirit, were able to get some of the things they need before training camp starts.

GoFundMe was set up to help raise money for Eckerstrom, Weimer, and Huster. It has brought in nearly $25,000 since Sunday (the goal was set for $1, so everyone is guaranteed to get whatever amount of money is raised). You can read the entire story behind the fire and see pictures of the damage right here.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

March 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm 1 comment

Redemption Song: Penn State Women’s Soccer Wins a National Title

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In 2012, when I was a junior, the Penn State women’s soccer team made it to the NCAA title match. And got trounced.

Going up against the closest thing women’s college soccer has to a dynasty in North Carolina, the Nittany Lions lost in the College Cup final, 4-1. Honestly, I remembered the scoreline indicating a bigger blowout, as Penn State was thoroughly outclassed by the Tar Heels that afternoon.

That match came to mind after coach Erica Walsh and Co. won the program’s first national championship on Sunday afternoon against, ironically, UNC’s bitter rival—the Duke Blue Devils. It was the exact opposite of a dominating performance by one team over another. Instead, it was 90 minutes of back-and-forth soccer that culminated in Penn State winning the NCAA title (meaning at least one Nittany Lion team has won a national championship for the ninth consecutive year).

It was things coming full-circle. Three years ago, Penn State got run off of the pitch by a team from the Research Triangle. Sunday was the chance for redemption for Walsh and the handful of seniors who participated in that match against UNC. And because sports can sometimes be the best, that’s exactly what happened. The Nittany Lions’ goal was set up by a brilliant run and pass from senior Mallory Weber and finished by classmate Raquel Rodriguez, the only players in the starting XI for both matches.

The team was dominant for the duration of the tournament. Its attack was potent, as it netted 20 goals in six matches. Its defense was stout, as it didn’t allow a single goal during its entire postseason run. It was the type of all-around performance that you don’t even expect out of teams at the highest levels of soccer, let alone a group of college kids.

And as a fan, man, was it fun to watch. Everyone knew that this matchup was going to be about as even as it came, mostly because the two sides played a thrilling scoreless draw in Happy Valley earlier this year. But this match exceeded expectations. Both sides had opportunities to convert chances, both had long spells of possession, and both perpetually seemed like they were on the cusp of breaking the match wide open.

In the end, Penn State came out on top. Watching Walsh finally getting a national title after years of coming so close was spectacular. Watching the veterans who lost to North Carolina celebrate a championship was spectacular. And watching a team that will bring back eight starters in 2016 can only leave fans with one question: what’s going to happen next year?

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

December 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm 2 comments

The Penn Stater Daily — March 13, 2014

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Spring breakers: While some of their peers are lounging poolside this week, members of the Penn State women’s soccer team are spending spring break in the Dominican Republic, volunteering at youth soccer clinics and teaching English to local kids. @PennStateWSOC tweeted some great photos (like the one above) of the ladies in action this morning.

Making the ranks: Yet another impressive ranking from U.S. News & World Report to tell you about — this time for Penn State’s graduate programs, 14 of which were ranked in the top 10 in their respective categories. Grad programs in geology and technical/vocational education each nabbed the top spot in their categories; environmental sciences and geochemistry programs came in at No. 2; and the higher education administration program made the No. 3 spot. Check out Penn State News’ coverage to see the other grad programs on the list.

Getting animated: In the March/April issue of the magazine, we told you about Keegan-Michael Key ’96g  and his growing fanbase (including a certain Barack Obama) and some exciting projects the Key & Peele star has in the works, including an upcoming Judd Apatow flick. Well, add one more to that list: A popular sketch from Key & Peele, in which the title characters play TSA agents/aspiring comedians, is being developed into an animated series. Do yourself a favor and watch the clip that started it all.

Mary Murphy, associate editor 

March 13, 2014 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Playing for the (Gold) Pride

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Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News

Former Penn State soccer standout Tiffany Weimer ’06 is getting a chance to continue her pro career: The Women’s Professional Soccer league began play earlier this month with Weimer playing forward for FC Gold Pride in the Bay area of California. Weimer, who scored 91 goals in her Penn State career—a Big Ten record—was drafted in the new league’s third round last fall.

There was a nice profile of Weimer in Saturday’s San Jose Mercury-News. In the photo here, Weimer’s the one in the black uniform. The photo is from their season opener—a win over the Boston Breakers on April 5.

Among Weimer’s teammates on FC Gold Pride are Brandi Chastain, formerly of the U.S. national team, and three of those  Brazilian players who just go by one name: Erika, Adriane, and Formiga.

Tina Hay, editor

April 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment


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