By Maria Evangelou, GoPSUsports.com student staff writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a weekend of back-to-back matches to open up the home schedule for the season, Penn State will be spending a lot of time on the road, with a heavy away schedule spanning nearly the next two weeks.
With so much time spent traveling, one would assume Penn State must experience some away-from-home jitters requiring extra preparation. As head coach Char Morett-Curtiss and forward Moira Putsch had to say though, it might in fact be the opposite.
"Honestly, being on the road is more of a positive thing more than anything," Morett-Curtiss said. "It gives the girls time to regroup, focus on their studies and get away from the hectic campus in the fall. They always go into traveling ready and with a positive mindset."
This weekend, Penn State is set to travel to Princeton, N.J. to face off against the Tigers, followed by a trip to Bucknell just two days later. The Nittany Lions then head to Delaware the following week returning for a short trip back to their home field before spending the first two weeks of October everywhere from Michigan, Ohio, to Maryland.
"Going to away games is actually such a great thing," Putsch said. "We get away locker rooms, and we have little pregame dance parties."
It's not all fun and games though. The Nittany Lions know better than to let their recent successes get to their heads. Despite a 4-0 record this season and a recent jump to No. 3 in the latest NFHCA Poll, Morett-Curtiss emphasizes the importance of taking it day by day.
"We've learned a lot this past weekend," Morett-Curtiss said. "Although the team faced some tough competition, they managed to power through to smashing victories at the end. "We take a one-day break and get right back into it. We're very good at taking it one day at a time anticipating each game."
Putsch and goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo are both upperclassmen and have been leading the pack with incredible assists and goals from Putsch, and flawless saves from Rizzo. Along with their upperclassmen teammates, the two are excited for their younger teammates to see what life on the road is all about.
"It's cool to be home and get the fans, but when we're away, we get into a different flow and it's cool for the underclassmen to be a part of that," Putsch said.
The best part of a road trip for Putsch and Rizzo? Their fellow teammates having their backs for each and every play, but the mindset remains on a day-by-day approach.
"I think we're going to focus on Princeton for now, because we take it one game at a time," Putsch said.
"We lost to them in the NCAA tournament and in the spring. They're a really good match for us and I think it's important for us to remember the fact that we did lose to them and that it's not going to be an easy game no matter how well our season has been going so far."
Whether its on the road or close to home, the Nittany Lions love the support that the nationwide Penn State community provides.
"If you go to an away game, you hear the fans. We definitely compete with the away teams with fans. There are Penn State fans everywhere," said Rizzo.
The Nittany Lions are set to meet the Tigers Sunday,
Sept. 10 at noon.