- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

CARY, N.C. (AP) - Frannie Crouse scored in the 24th minute to help Penn State beat Rutgers 2-0 on Friday and reach the championship game of the NCAA Women’s College Cup.

The Nittany Lions will try to win their first national title on Sunday against Duke, a 2-0 winner over 2014 winner Florida State in the second semifinal.

Kaleigh Riehl added a goal in the 79th minute for Penn State (21-3-2), which advanced to the championship game for the second time in program history.

“Every time I turn around, it feels like there’s another player scoring for us,” Penn state coach Erica Walsh said. “You just never know where it’s going to come from, and I think that’s one of the reasons this team has been so successful. You can’t really key on one player or another.”

Crouse took advantage of a mistake by Rutgers (19-4-3) in the midfield with a sliding right-footed goal on the first shot by either team.

Rutgers’ Katelyn Walters controlled the ball near the left sideline before sending a pass back toward her own goal, but the ball rolled into the top of the box.

Crouse sprinted after it, sliding and shooting in one motion just ahead of a slide by Rutgers’ Brianne Reed. The topspin blast sailed just over the outstretched right arm of leaping goalkeeper Casey Murphy.

“I kind of felt like I was cherry picking, but I wasn’t,” Crouse said.

Rutgers finished with just five shots, including one shot on goal, in its first College Cup appearance.

The Scarlet Knights entered the game with an NCAA-best 19 shutouts, including four in a row since their last game against the Nittany Lions.

The Big Ten rivals split their previous two meetings. Rutgers won 1-0 on Oct. 18 and Penn State prevailed 2-0 on Nov. 8 in the conference championship game.

“When you play against a team like that, the details are so important,” Rutgers coach Mike O’Neill said. “There were some opportunities, some mistakes that we made, that they capitalized on. When you get to this level, that’s what happens.”

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