Aug. 29, 2000
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The No. 23 Maryland women's soccer team stunned No. 4 Penn State for the biggest upset in the 14-year history of the program with a 3-1 win over the Nittany Lions at Ludwig Field on Tuesday night. The Terps were previously 0-28-1 against teams ranked in the top five dating to 1987.
Junior Sara Gustafson (Reisterstown, Md.) had a career night as she recorded her first career hat trick. She scored her first two goals in the first 3:57 of the match to give Maryland a 2-0 lead. Gustafson sealed the win with her third goal with 2:57 left in regulation.
"I knew I could have a night like this against Penn State," said Gustafson, who transferred to Maryland from Indiana prior to the 1999 season. "This was the fifth time I've played Penn State and in all of the other four games -- three at Indiana and one in the NCAA's with Maryland last year -- my team lost by one goal. This was what I wanted more than anything was to beat Penn State. This was the game I was looking forward to the most and we got it done. It was awesome."
Penn State (1-1) knocked Maryland (2-0) out of the NCAA Tournament in 1999 with a 3-2 defeat in the second round before the Nittany Lions went on to the Women's College Cup in San Jose, Calif., where they lost to eventual champ North Carolina.
The previous highest ranked team Maryland defeated was then-No. 7 Duke on Oct. 1, 1995, with a 2-1 Terps' win. Maryland's only positive result in 29 games against top five teams came as the Terps tied then-No. 4 Connecticut, 2-2 on Oct. 11, 1998.
"This win really put us on the map," said head coach Shannon Higgins-Cirovski. "This was a huge win for everyone in our program. To beat a number-four ranked team will just give us a tremendous amount of confidence. We talked about making connections and that is what we did tonight. This win really lets everyone know what type of team Maryland is."
In nets, Maryland senior keeper Riki-Ann Serrins (Mission Viejo, Calif.) equaled her career high with 13 saves, including nine in the second half, when the Penn State attack fired off 13 shots.
Gustafson gave Maryland a 1-0 lead just 1:35 into the match as she took a soft cross from sophomore Carly Viher (Mentor, Ohio) and beat Penn State keeper Emily Oleksiuk in the lower right corner. Gustafson came back for her second goal just 2:22 later she she took a pass from Valerie Lawrence (Silver Spring, Md.) and beat Oleksiuk with a lob shot from about seven yards out.
Penn State's Christie Welsh brought the Nittany Lions to within a goal with her first of the season with a low shot from about 15 yards out.
Serrins and Maryland's defense had a phenomenal game as they stopped the Nittany Lions continuously. Lawrence made a key defensive block seconds prior to halftime. Viher came up with clutch defensive save off a Welsh shot in the 64th minute on a scramble in front of the goal which secured Maryland's lead.
Maryland returns to action on Friday night, when it hosts Duke in the ACC opener at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field.
No. 4 Penn State (1-1) 1 0 -- 1 No. 23 Maryland (2-0) 2 1 -- 3Scoring: Penn State - Christie Welsh (Joanna Lohman) 9:30. Maryland - Sara Gustafson (Carly Viher, Dana Jarzyniecki) 1:35, Gustafson (Lawrence) 3:57, Gustafson (unassisted) 87:03. Goalies: Penn State - Emily Oleksiuk (90 minutes, 3 saves, 3 GA). Maryland - Riki-Ann Serrins (90 minutes, 13 saves, 1 GA). Yellow Cards: Penn State - Shari Pickett at 65:55. Maryland - none. Team Stats: Penn State - Shots 7-13=20, Corner Kicks 2-3=5, Saves 0-3=3, Fouls 6-5=11, Offsides 5. Maryland - Shots 6-4=10, Corner Kicks 1-1=2, Saves 4-9=13, Fouls 3-0=3, Offsides 0. Attendance: 898.