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Shootout Winner Crowned PSUAC Soccer Champion 

By: David Brown, Staff Editor for Lion’s Eye, dvb5451@psu.edu, updated by the Lion’s Eye Web Staff

Penn State Brandywine’s woman’s soccer team headed to University Park with the hope of securing a PSUAC championship.

Brandywine faced off against PSU Beaver, an opponent with whom they split a “W” and “L” with earlier in the season. This was the final match for both teams this season, and the winner was crowned champion.

In only the eighth minute, a now-familiar player, Ami Iannello, ripped a shot outside the box to put Brandywine up early. Despite this early lead, Brandywine’s defense struggled, letting Beaver’s offense shoot on goal 11 times.

Finally when Brandywine failed to clear, Beaver’s Marissa Bucklen intercepted a pass and put one in the back of the net to make the match a draw, all with just three minutes left in the first half. Brandywine goalkeeper, Allyssa Abbonizio had a great game, and kept Brandywine alive making 10 saves on 11 shots. The second half was a back–and-forth battle with neither team able to score at the end of a long 90 minutes.

The match headed into a shootout and there, the champion emerged.

Penn State Beaver won the shootout 2-0 to win the title and take home the PSUAC championship that both teams had battled to secure.

Although it was a disappointing end to the woman’s soccer season, the effort and determination by these players and coaches did not go unnoticed. This was Coach Sabar’s first year as a head coach, and it was the Lion’s first appearance in an intercollegiate league. Expectations for this team were uncertain: first-year soccer players, a first-year coach, and a new play-chemistry.

The underdog story for this team was fun to follow. Seeing a team like this come together had its ups and downs, but these girls played with intensity until the last whistle of every game.

It is now time to let the excitement build for next year’s squad who will emerge with a new reputation for putting Penn State Brandywine’s woman’s soccer on the map.

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