The Nebraska soccer team starts one of its toughest stretches this season with a match at 4 p.m. Friday against No. 4 Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are making their first trip to Lincoln and the Nebraska Soccer Field. They are 12-2-0 and 6-0 in the Big Ten, with their only losses coming to No. 2 Stanford and No. 5 BYU.
Ohio State also will visit Lincoln for the first time at noon Sunday.
Mayme Conroy said Nebraska is looking forward to playing the Nittany Lions. Everyone looks at the Huskers as the underdogs, she said, but the better the opponent, the better they compete.
“We have to play our ‘A’ game,” she said.
The sophomore forward from Omaha Skutt leads the Huskers with 11 goals, 10th best in the country and tied for second in the Big Ten. She’s scored in each of the past five matches and in seven of the past eight.
She had just one goal as a freshman but has had to take on more of the offensive load with Morgan Marlborough’s transfer and senior Jordan Jackson’s knee injury. Marlborough and Jackson were NU’s top scorers last season.
Conroy had a hat trick last week against Wisconsin, including the game-winner in a 3-2 overtime win. She was named the Big Ten co-offensive player of the week.
Conroy said she understands the offense more and is also more determined to score.
“I think the main thing is more confidence,” she said.
Nebraska is tied for fifth in the Big Ten with five games left. The Huskers need to finish no lower than seventh to guarantee a trip to Indiana for the postseason tournament.
In NU’s five final games, four of the opponents sit ahead of Nebraska in the Big Ten standings. Conroy said the Huskers know how important these last few games.
“If we just keep playing hard, which we’ve done the last few games, we have a chance,” she said.
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