Note: A preliminary/quick release is included below ... the typical short version of the weekly Primetime Performer release (with headshots, brief info. on all 17 players and action-photo collage) now can be accessed via the Primetime Performers tab (... direct link will be added to this blog post and the URL will be:
Contact: Pete LaFleur (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Penn State junior midfielder Ali Schaefer (Las Vegas, Nev.) has been named the CS360 National Primetime Player of the Week for Division I women's soccer, as selected by CollegeSoccer360.com for the first week of November. Schaefer is joined by 16 other players in comprising the most recent CS360 Primetime Performers of the Week (see full list below), the 12th group of honorees for the 2010 season.
Penn State junior midfielder Ali Schafer's hustling goal (pictured) in the closing seconds of overtime (109:43) gave Penn State a dramatic 1-0 win over Michigan – delivering a share of the Big Ten title and helping PSU overcome a slow start to its season to earn an at-large spot in the NCAAs. It was Schaefer's first goal of the season and second of her career.
CLICK HERE and then play video to view the goal sequence.
Penn State entered its game Sunday (Nov. 7) vs. Michigan knowing that a win would deliver a share of the Big Ten title and also would strengthen its position on the NCAA tournament "bubble" (Ohio State already had clinched the Big Ten's automatic NCAA bid, thanks to its head-to-head win over Penn State). The Nittany Lions went on to rack up 40-plus shots but were 17 seconds away from a scoreless draw – before a frenetic sequence produced the winning goal.
After a deep service from Carly Ninees, PSU forward Tani Costa latched onto the loose ball outside the top of the box and played a pass into the penalty area. The ball deflected off a Michigan player – but PSU's Taylor Schram alertly poked with her right foot for a high touch-volley that deftly lifted the ball over a defender and towards the top of six-yard box. Schaefer suddenly angled in from the left, narrowly beat onrushing 'keeper Hayley Hopemeyer to the ball and sent a sliding shot between Hopemeyer's half-raised hands and past her left ear for the dramatic winning goal with 17 seconds left in the second/final overtime (109:43).
It was a timely first goal of the season for Schaefer, who had scored only one other time in her three-year Penn State career.
Penn State earned an at-large spot in the 2010 NCAAs (missing the national postseason would have been a major underachievement for this proud program), recovering from a rocky 2-6-1 start to the season while facing a challenging non-conference schedule (vs. the likes of West Virginia, Virginia, UConn, Washington and Portland). PSU went on to post an 8-2-0 record in Big Ten play – but the win over Michigan may have played a key factor in solidifing the NCAA at-large spot, as www.nc-soccer.com has Penn State listed #49 in its "unadjusted RPI" (the fact that PSU was Big Ten co-champs, rather than runner-up, also could have provided a final boost – as did the fact that Michigan ended up the NCAA field).
Selection for the CS360 weekly awards is based on any/all of the following "primetime" criteria (i.e. not solely based on raw stats):
• Bonus consideration is given for key performances away from team's home field.
CS360 Primetime Performers of the Week #12
(presented by CollegeSoccer360.com ... week of Nov. 1-7, 2010)
"It's not so much what you do, as it is when you do it."
Creighton – Lauren Cingoranelli
Dayton – Jerica DeWolfe
Fresno State – Kaitlyn Revel
High Point – Jillie Johnston
Lehigh – Lauren Mains
Long Beach State – Bo Rael
Memphis – Lizzy Simonin
Oklahoma – Lauren Alkek
Penn – Caroline Williams
* Penn State – Ali Schaefer
Pepperdine – Callie Payetta
Siena – Caitlin Cahalan
South Florida – Venicia Reid
St. Mary's – Jordan Marad
Stanford – Christen Press
Texas San Antonio – Anka Grotle
* Schaefer is the CS360 Primetime Player of the Week for Nov. 1-7