By Travis Jarome, Alabama State Director of Athletic Strategic Communications
RALEIGH, N.C. | Alabama State will meet Penn State for the first time in school history in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday night at the WakeMed Soccer Park.
The game is set to begin at 7 pm (et), with the winner advancing to face No. 16 seed Vanderbilt in the second round of the tournament.
Alabama State enters the tournament on a 10-match unbeaten streak after defeating Grambling State on penalty kicks in the conference championship game earlier this month. McKenna Wiscombe, the SWAC Tournament MVP, leads Alabama State with seven goals on the season and is tied with Teaggan Ilela with 17 total points.
The appearance is the third in five years for Alabama State, who faced South Carolina in the opening round in the first two appearances.
Madison Roop, the SWAC Goalkeeper of the Year, recorded a pair of shutouts and combined on two others in leading Alabama State to the championship.
Meanwhile, Penn State finished as the regular season Big Ten champions for the 20th time in school history and enters the tournament at 10-2-1. The Nittany Lions are 55-23-2 all-time in the tournament and are making an appearance for the 26th consecutive season in the NCAAs.
Ally Schlegel led Penn State during the season with 11 goals and 27 points, while Frankie Tagliaferri added seven goals and nine assists. Meanwhile, Katherine Asman recorded four shutouts in 12 games this season for the Nittany Lions.
The game will be the first non-conference game of the season for Penn State after playing all 13 of their games against Big 10 competition, while it will be the third non-conference matchup for Alabama State after games against Troy and UAB to open the spring season.