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VIDEO: James Franklin Practice Update - UMass Week

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin provided an update to the media following Wednesday's practice session at the Lasch Football Complex. The Nittany Lions host UMass on Saturday for an 4 p.m. kick on BTN.






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Koudys, Jensen, Glen: Trio of Leaders for Penn State Hockey

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10321310.jpegBy Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Wearing the "C" or "A" in hockey means something much more significant than donning an extra letter on the front of a jersey. These letters represent ideals such as leadership, experience, strength and dedication.

As announced in June, defenseman Patrick Koudys will serve as captain this season for Penn State, while defenseman Nate Jensen and forward David Glen will both reprise their assistant captains roles.

Leadership

The three Penn State hockey captains were chosen based on a team vote at the conclusion of the Spring 2014 semester. The results were then taken to the coaching staff to both approve the team's selections and finalize the decision.

"It's a huge honor," said Koudys of his captaincy. "We had a great bunch of guys, so it's obviously a nice thing when a lot of the guys think that about you, but we've got a lot of guys who are in the locker room leading, so it's kind of easy for me.

During the 2013-'14 run, the Ontario-native blocked a team-high 79 shots and was one of only four Nittany Lions to compete in all 36 games. The 6-foot-3 defenseman also recorded a career-high eight points, tallying two goals and six assists on the season.

While this may be Koudys' first year as a captain for the Blue and White, two veterans join him. This season will mark Jensen's third and Glen's second consecutive year as assistant captains.

Glen and Jensen both appeared in 32 and 28 games, respectively. Jensen's eight missed games were all due to injury. The defenseman totaled 10 points with a career-high three goals, one of which was the first ever scored at Pegula Ice Arena.

"I lead by example," said Jensen. "I go out there every day and work hard, and hopefully the younger guys follow me, see what I do. "

Three of Glen's four absences can be attributed to the bone marrow donation procedure he underwent in late January and early February. Throughout his 32 games, the forward accumulated a plus-three rating, earning him recognition as the sole Lion with a positive mark.

All three are ready to work together and help their team continue on the path of success this season.

"Koudys is our captain this year, and he does a great job," said Jensen. "He leads by example, and he has a voice to him too. Glen and I are just his disciples. We help him out whenever we can. Since he's still kind of new, we fill him in on some stuff, but we all work as a team really well. I think that's what makes our captains really great."

Responsibilities


As a captain, there are a number of added responsibilities, one of which includes coordinating schedules with all student-athletes on the 27-man roster.

"I think a main part of it is organization," Koudys said. "I have to try to organize 26 guys and myself to be doing the same thing, whether it's on the ice or off the ice, especially now when the coaches aren't allowed on the ice. I try to get practices going and things like that, but like I said, we've got a great group of guys so I wouldn't say it's difficult by any means. Everyone's doing the right thing and trying to get better out there, so it's pretty easy for me."

Although the Penn State squad is mostly comprised of upperclassmen veterans, the captains still act as mentors. Koudys, Jensen and Glen are all people the rest of the team, including the three freshmen, can look to for guidance and advice.

"We kind of take care of the freshmen a little bit more," Jensen explained. "If they have any questions, we help them out. Other than that, if any of the guys have some questions outside the rink, or needs someone to talk to, we're always there. We're just kind of a big brother to lean on."

2014-'15 Expectations

With eight seniors, nine juniors and seven sophomores on the roster, 24 of the 27 student-athletes are returning members, which not only gives the Lions an added edge but also leadership that expands far past the three captains.

"Our whole senior class, and then even the juniors, we've got a lot of older guys," said Koudys. "Everyone is kind of a leader in their own way, whether it's on the ice or in the classroom. I think if you look around the room, everyone has certain qualities that you try to do and try to beat, and if everyone is doing that, we're doing just fine."

With the majority of last year's team still intact, the dynamic finish to the 2013-14 year and a thrilling performance in the Big Ten Tournament is still fresh in the minds of the Lions. Penn State hockey and its captains are ready to pick up where it left off.

"We need to build off last year," Koudys said. "I think we grew as a team, so we need to continue from where we finished and come back this year at that spot or better. I feel like we're in better shape than last year. Guys are working really hard right now, and I expect to win more games and go from there."

"With everyone coming back, we're looking to make some noise this year," added Jensen. "I'm not going to say a Big Ten Championship, but I don't think we're far from it. I think we're going to have a great year." 

2014 Opponent Previews - UMass

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10321001.jpegUMass | Beaver Stadium | 4 p.m. | Big Ten Network

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions return home this Saturday to host Massachusetts in the first ever meeting between the schools. Get to know the Minutemen in this week's scouting report.

Mark Whipple returned as head coach at UMass in 2014 after spending eight years as a coach in the NFL and a brief stint at the University of Miami. Whipple previously coached UMass from 1998-2003, which included three Atlantic 10 titles, three NCAA I-AA Tournament appearances and an NCAA I-AA National Championship in 1998. Whipple most recently was quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns from 2011-12. He has an overall record of 49-29 at UMass.

The Minutemen finished 1-11 and 1-7 in the Mid-American Conference in 2013, their second year as an FBS program. They returned 59 lettermen and 13 starters in 2014.

UMass is searching for its first win (0-3) after a close loss to Vanderbilt last week. The Minutemen gained 346 yards, including 258 passing, during a 34-31 loss in Nashville. Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel completed 17-of-34 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked three times. Running back Lorenzo Woodley gained 43 yards and scored two touchdowns on 22 carries. He also caught two passes for 241 yards. Tajae Sharpe caught eight passes for 73 yards, while Rodney Mills hauled in three receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns, including a 53-yard score on a fake punt in the first quarter. Kicker Blake Lucas hit a 32-yard field goal, but missed a 22-yard attempt as time expired.

The UMass defense allowed 310 yards, including 160 on the ground. Linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox recorded 15 tackles, three solo, and 0.5 TFL. Safety Joe Colton added 12 tackles, including 2.5 for loss and a sack. Fellow safety Trey Dudley-Giles forced a fumble and picked off a pass. Dudley-Giles also gained 94 yards on two kick returns.

The Minutemen are averaging just over 25 points per game and 306 yards of total offense. Frohnapfel has completed 48 percent of his passes for 619 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

Three different running backs have more 20 carries this season. Redshirt junior Jamal Wilson has 88 yards and a touchdown. Freshman J.T. Blyden has 68 yards. Woodley, a 6-foot, 212-pound sophomore, has 53 yards and two touchdowns. All three backs are also active in the passing game, as Wilson has five receptions, Blyden has three and Woodley has two.

Sharpe leads the receiving corps with 246 yards and a touchdown on 15 catches. He is averaging 16.4 yards per catch. Mills has 112 yards and three scores on five receptions and junior Jean Sifrin has five catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns.

The UMass offensive line features three sophomores and two juniors.

Opponents are averaging 35 points and 431.7 yards against the UMass defense, including 218 yards per game on the ground. The Minutemen use a 3-4 defense.

Nose tackle Daniel Maynes leads the Minutemen with four tackles for loss. He has 17 total tackles.

Santos-Knox, a junior, leads the team with 42 tackles (11 solo). He also has three tackles for loss and a sack. Fellow linebacker Kassan Messiah has 25 tackles, including 1.5 for loss and a sack.

Colton, a junior, leads the secondary with 34 tackles, 13 solo, and 3.5 for loss, including a sack. Cornerback Randall Jette has 18 tackles and leads the team with two interceptions. Dudley-Giles has 16 tackles and an interception.

Lucas has connected on two-of-four field goal attempts with a long of 34 yards. Punter Brian McDonald is averaging 39 yards per kick, placing five inside the 20-yard line. Dudley-Giles is one of the most dangerous returners in the nation, averaging 35 yards per return. He ranks second in the nation in kick return yards.

What Mark Whipple is saying about Penn State:

"Bill O'Brien and I are close and I saw every game last year. Penn State was great to my son, Austin, so I was there a lot last year. They have great kids and it is a great place. Penn State is a great place to play and has tremendous history." 

"(Hackenberg) is an awesome kid. To see the way he's taken the team on his shoulders, the way he played all last year and the way he handles not only success but also the way he handles failures... Hackenberg is a winner and I couldn't say enough about him. I've seen him play every single game, I've seen his practice habits, seen him in the meeting rooms, I've seen the way he's worked with Bill O'Brien and he's the real deal.

"Austin Johnson is a great player and Anthony Zettel is playing out of his mind. Deion Barnes is a great player who can rush the passer. I think their whole defense is set up and Bob Shoop has done a great job. They've got the guys up front and they play coverage very well, but those guys up front are making it happen." 


Contributions on all of the 2014 Opponent Previews provided by GoPSUsports.com Student Writer Paul Marboe.

National Champions Take on Stadium Clean Up

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IMG_4846.JPGBy Jennifer Hudson, GoPSUsports.com Student Athlete Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Bright and early on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7 a.m., the men's and women's national championship fencing team took on their first challenge of the year - cleaning Beaver Stadium.

It is a continuing tradition that the fencing team cleans half of the stadium right after the first home football game.

In return for their hard work, the team gets money to fund the season for travel and other events.

Unlike other varsity teams, fencing does not have many sponsors to help fund traveling during the year, which is why stadium clean up is mandatory for the entire team.

Although it is not a group favorite, it does give the chance for a little team bonding before the season begins.

"It was an excellent team building exercise," said sophomore epee fencer, Conor Shepard. "It's been a tradition for a long time, and does an amazing job of bringing all classes together in order to get to know each other."

The upperclassmen will take a section to sweep next to freshmen to show them the best way for clean up. The coaches will also come around every so often to let team members know if they missed any piece of trash, any little wrapper.

"It was a good way to build discipline for the whole team," said freshmen saber fencer, Andrew Mackiewicz. "The freshman fencers were able to connect with the upperclassmen by helping each other out which is crucial for the upcoming season."

Communication during the whole process was key for the team.

With half the stadium to clean, it was important to see who needed help or who needed motivated to get everyone back on their feet in order to finish the task as soon as possible. Just like if it were a meet, it was important for everyone to be focused and in it together, no matter how mundane and tiring the task.

The team worked together in pairs, taking sections at a time to look for any little Minute Maid Lemonade wrapper and every popcorn kernel.

Seven hours later, the fencers were cleared to leave the spotless cleanup site.

With the joyous news, some of the team went with the coaches to get pizza, while others went home to shower and sleep.

Everyone was happy that this year's clean up was completed and some of the seniors rejoiced a little more.

"It was my last time," said senior saber fencer, Michael Brand. "It makes reality set in that I'm graduating this year."

The next task for the Penn State fencing team is to train hard for its first meet of the season, The Nittany Lion Cup Open on Oct. 4 and 5 at the White Building.


Jennifer Hudson is a junior on the women
's fencing team.

Success Begins with Guidance

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10320311.jpegBy Samantha DelRosso, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State women's volleyball team is off to a great start this season, with much of its success coming from the novice players. But the team's success isn't possible without a veteran corps of talent.

The success begins with the veterans leading the way.


Playing on a defending national championship team is a big adjustment from high school volleyball, so how did the freshmen adjust so quickly? They have guidance from the defending national champs themselves.

Head coach Russ Rose said this guidance is "tradition." The responsibility to be a good role model and provide good direction is something that Rose expects out of the older players.

Veterans like seniors Dominique Gonzalez, Nia Grant, Lacey Fuller and Micha Hancock, along with junior Megan Courtney, are being challenged to teach the younger players what it takes to work hard, recognize challenges, and take care of themselves and their academic responsibilities.

Gonzalez said the veteran leadership is crucial to the team's success.

She said that her goal is to ensure in the younger players what is going to happen before each play.

"[We] make sure they know the rotation if we're changing it up, explain to them which players like to hit which shot, and [tell them] where they need to stand," Gonzalez said. "If something doesn't go right in the play, [we're] not jumping down people's throats. [We're] being more helpful rather than critiquing people." 

Courtney has also been leading the younger players by encouraging them to take big swings and showing them that if the block is there, she will be there to cover them.

She is also trying to instill in the freshmen that they can make errors. Courtney said telling them it's OK to make errors has allowed them to take big swings without fear. She said that is the reason why the young players have been so successful.

"It's a great thing for them to be able to have, just knowing that we've got their backs and that we'll take the pressure off of them by putting the pressure on us," Courtney said.

Setter Micha Hancock, a prominent leader on the team, has been in the same shoes that the current freshmen are in now. The older players taught her as a freshman and helped shape her into the player she is today. And Rose hopes that she can do the same for the freshmen this season.

"She knows so much of how I'll judge senior year is how she can lead the youngsters," Rose said.

For a freshman like Haleigh Washington, advice from older players is an important factor in her success. In just a few months, they have taught Washington many things, but above all else, they have taught her to always give it her all.


"Whether it's in practice, passing back and forth with a teammate, or serving before practice," Washington said. "Always going hard."

In her collegiate-debut last weekend at Villanova, the veteran players helped Washington figure out what was going on. She said the older players got her into the flow of things. During practice, they make sure she knows the rules, where to stand, how loud she needs to be, and what's happening.

The No. 3-ranked Nittany Lions have a busy weekend beginning on Friday, as they take on Eastern Illinois and DePaul. On Saturday, the Lions will face UIC and East Carolina.

The team has three matches in a very short amount of time (4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday and 9:00 a.m. Saturday). Rose would like to see the team play at a high level despite the hectic schedule.

"You don't want to give games away. I'm not just going to play everybody, just so they have a chance to play," Rose said.  "I want us to play at a high level, whoever is on the floor, and respect the opponent and respect the game. That's always something we want to continue."

This weekend is also the celebration of 50 years of women's athletics at Penn State. During two of the matches this weekend, on Friday and Saturday evening, former Penn State women's volleyball players that now coach Division I teams will be honored.

With less than two weeks until conference play begins, the Nittany Lions are gearing up to compete in the rigorous Big Ten. The team's first conference match is next Wednesday at Wisconsin. The veteran players will have to step up even more to help the freshmen when conference play begins.

"We are a work in progress. I don't think we're a finished product and I think we will find a lot of challenge, maybe not as much this weekend as we will once we hit Big Ten play," Rose said.

The veterans have a very important role on this team. They are expected to perform at the caliber of a national championship team, while making sure the younger players perform well by guiding them in practices and matches.

Much of the team's success must be attributed to the older players. Their guidance, advice and leadership is driving the team to match wins. 

VIDEO: One-on-One with Dominique Gonzalez - Sept. 17

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com talks with senior libero Dominique Gonzalez to recap the first three weeks of 2014 and look ahead to a busy weekend in Rec Hall.




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By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Mikey Minutillo was always supposed to be the difference maker.

After a 2013 season in which six of the Penn State men's soccer team's 13 wins came by a score of 1-0, the San Jose, Calif. native's return to the lineup after a missed season was expected to be the spark that ignited the Nittany Lions offense.

Tuesday night against Saint Francis, Minutillo was more of an explosion than a spark. The senior scored twice, once in the first half and once in the second, as Penn State rolled to a 3-0 victory over the Red Flash.

"[Scoring twice] is awesome and hopefully it's going to carry over into the next game," Minutillo said. "I just read the play on both of them, made good runs into the end of the box and got on the end of some good [passes]."

Early on, it was clear that Minutillo was locked in and focused, but whether he would end up on the stat sheet at the end of the game was not as certain.

Twice in the first half between the 27:00 mark to the 24:00 mark, Minutillo had great goal-scoring opportunites stymied by Saint Francis goalie Andrew Garcia.

"I think I should have put one of those away," Minutillo said. "If you put your head down you're never going to score. You've got to keep getting on the end of things."

With plenty of time still remaining, Minutillo continued plugging away. Less than five minutes later, the 6-foot-1 forward found himself on the receiving end of a pass from Drew Klingenberg near the left side of the box, though at angle that seemed implausible to score from.

However tricky it seemed, it wasn't too tough for Minutillo. He fired a shot by Garcia that ricocheted off the right post and into the net.

"Drew played a good ball and I just took a touch forward to eliminate the defenders," Minutillo said. "The defender might have got a touch on it [after I shot it] but it went to the back post, hit it and went in."

In the second half, it would take Minutillo less than eight minutes to turn what could have been another low scoring nail biter into an eventual rout, knocking a perfect pass from Riley Grant into the net. Brandon Savino would later add the first goal of his Nittany Lion career to put the icing on the cake.

While the second goal was a big of moment for Minutillo, who registered his first multi-goal game as a Nittany Lion, it was even bigger for Grant. The assist gave the sophomore his first collegiate point.  

"The play by Riley was absolutely nothing short of remarkable," head coach Bob Warming said. "I told Riley in front of the team at halftime, 'you're not in for your heading ability, you're not in because you're a great defender, you're in because you're incredible on the ball...go get the ball, do something with it every time you get.' He was unreal, I thought he was terrific tonight."

As for Minutillo, Warming credited the senior's big night to a positional adjustment made before the game.

For the most of the first five games of the season, Warming placed Minutillo at the top of the Nittany Lion offense as a forward, where his job was to post up the opposing team's center back.

Looking to better utilize his speed and athleticism by getting him into open space, the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year moved Minutillo back to attacking midfield. Obviously, the results were splendid.

"Mikey had been so caught up - and it was my fault - about posting up at the top that it hurt his game," Warming said. "Now he came back in the midfield, got a ball, laid it off and showed up someplace else...they couldn't find him. That made a big difference in the game and in his play."

Though the goals were just Minutillo's second and third of the season, Warming dismissed the notion that the performance was a needed confidence boost for the fifth-year player.

One of the most determined players on the team, Minutillo never needed more confidence. According to Warming, he just needed a change to get him going.

"I don't think Mikey has ever lacked confidence," Warming said. "He believes in himself, I believe in him and I've believed in him ever since I had him in camp when he was 13 years old. He's a great talent."


VIDEO: UMass Week Player Q&As - Brandon Bell & DaeSean Hamilton

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com catches up with linebacker Brandon Bell and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton leading up to the UMass game.

Week Four Press Conference Roundup - UMass Week

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10317801.jpegJames Franklin Transcript - September 16

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions return home on Saturday for a week four matchup against UMass in Beaver Stadium (4 p.m. on BTN).

Head coach James Franklin previewed the matchup against the Minutemen on Tuesday afternoon inside the Beaver Stadium Media Room. Franklin reviewed Saturday's 13-10 win over Rutgers before shifting gears into conversation about UMass.

"Overall, I say it was a great team victory, and by that I mean that's the offense, that's the defense, that's special teams, that's the coaches, that's the trainers, doctors, that's the administration; that's everybody that has a part, academic support, great team victory, really proud of the guys for that. Really pleased with how they persevered in a really difficult, hostile environment," Franklin said.

The Nittany Lions lifted and practiced on Sunday afternoon before Monday's off day. Practice preparations for UMass resumed on Tuesday afternoon. Two big areas that Coach Franklin said are points of emphasis this week focus on protecting the quarterback and establishing the running game. Communication is key for both.

"I think it really comes down to our communication and coordination up front, making sure that all five or six guys, depending on the protection or the play, are all on the same page and working together and that has not been case so far," Franklin said. "So we're going to make sure that's happening. That's time, that's chemistry. That's all those things that have to happen."

Defensively, the Nittany Lions are coming off a stellar second-half effort against Rutgers. Penn State held the Scarlet Knights to just three first downs in the final two quarters. The success on the defensive side of the ball begins with the game plans put forth by defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and the staff. The players talk constantly about how familiar they are with the opponent each week. Shoop does a terrific job of preparing for the week's foe, and the Nittany Lions have entered the first three games with great confidence.

"I've been on the head set with the defense where Bob's called out 75 percent of the plays before they have been run," Franklin said. "He's called out, we are going to get an interception here and things like that. It's pretty impressive at times, it really is. And I think that confidence that he has coming into the game, because of the amount of time he's put in, spills over to our players, and I think the same thing with our staff."

Defensive tackle Anthony Zettel has been a big key to the defense's success during the first three weeks. Zettel leads the Big Ten in tackles for loss with 7.0. Zettel was a quick player at the defensive end position prior to this season. By moving to an inside tackle position, Zettel is able to use the speed advantage to his favor on every snap.

"He's got a tremendous motor," Franklin said. "He's got really good quickness. He's really sudden off of the ball. His spin move I think is really, really good, which is one of his big plays last week he made off of his spin move. His tenacity is unbelievable."

Saturday's game will mark the first meeting between Penn State and UMass.


Press Conference Notes
- Coach Franklin announced that the team's internal players of the week for the Rutgers game were Christian Hackenberg and Bill Belton on offense and Trevor Williams and Anthony Zettel on defense. Grant Haley was the honoree on special teams.

- Franklin on the UMass offense:
"On offense, Mark Whipple, the offensive coordinator, five starters, they run a multiple offense. They are unorthodox, as well, in a lot of ways, utilize a lot of different formations, misdirection and deception. They scored over 30 points in their lost two games against FBS opponents."

- Franklin on the UMass defense:
"Defensive notes, returning six starters, they place a base 3-4 defense. Defense runs very well. They play really hard. They utilize, really, an unorthodox scheme and concepts, and I think that's kind of part of their plan. They are trying to make up for some challenges that they have by being unorthodox. A lot of different fronts, a lot of different pressures and a lot of different looks at the secondary."

- Franklin on the UMass special teams:

"UMass, special teams, from what I understand, Coach Whipple will be running the special teams this week and for the remainder of the season. We've got to do a better job with our kickoffs and be more consistent. They do have a really good returner and we need to be aware of that. No. 9, Trey Dudley-Giles, 5-11, 282-pound junior is doing both their kick return and punt return. Punt return is averaging over 15 yards and kick return is averaging over 35 yards. So there's no doubt he's a playmaker and we have got a tremendous challenge."

- The Penn State wide receiver duo of Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton were added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List on Tuesday.



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By Gabrielle Richards, GoPSUsports Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Scoring early is one of the most vital weapons in any sport. From a touchdown on the opening drive to a quick pin, the percentage of teams who win due to an early score is significantly higher than those who come from behind.

The New York Times conducted a study [http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/23/teams-that-score-first-in-playoff-games-are-tough-to-beat/] on this statistic while looking at the NHL playoffs. The study found that teams who score first have an 83% chance of winning.

The Penn State field hockey team proved that statistic wrong this weekend, as they came from behind to beat both the No. 14 Princeton Tigers and the Lafayette Leopards.

After early goals were scored in each game, offensive leadership from Taylor Herold and Jenna Chrismer helped the Nittany Lions earn a pair of wins this weekend.

First Half Tiger Goal Ignites Second Half Nittany Lion Offense

From the sound of the first whistle, any spectator could see that this matchup was going to be a hard fight. Most of the play between the No. 6 Nittany Lions and the No. 14 Tigers was centered at the middle of the field. Heading into the final minutes of the first half, Princeton's Ryan McCarthy received a pass in the center of Penn State's circle and fired a shot into the back of the net. While the Nittany Lions outshot the Tigers 6-3 in the first half, they were unable to answer and headed to the locker room trailing 1-0.

"It's always disappointing to give up an early goal like that," coach Char Morett-Curtiss said. "In the locker room I just kept telling them that they needed to get hungry and put the press on."

At the start of the second half, you could hear Coach Morett-Curtiss chanting from the sideline, "play smart!" Her Nittany Lions listened.

The first of five goals came from Chrismer. After taking two shots on the cage in just one minute, Chrismer finally found the back of the net, tying the score. The Nittany Lions found the back of the cage just two minutes later when Herold blasted a corner drive from the top of the circle. No coach could draw up a corner play that was better executed than Herold's shot. It was flawless.

"I practice that shot constantly," Herold said. "I have been working on that shot a lot lately. That was the first time I was able to put one of those in this season. It was such a relief. I was so happy to finally hit the back of the cage."

Two minutes later, the Nittany Lions notched another score when Carly Celkos tapped in a pass from Chrismer. The Nittany Lions were up 3-1 with 27 minutes left to play.

"During the second half Coach [Morett-Curtiss] was telling us we needed to be more hungry in the circle," Herold said. "All I was thinking is that we needed to get a shot off as quick as possible. It doesn't matter what kind of a shot it is."

What Herold did next was almost unbelievable.

The next Nittany Lion goal deserves a spot on the list of "how did that go in" shots. Chrismer brought the ball into the circle. She dribbled in front of the cage and managed to pull Princeton's keeper out to the stroke mark. Chrismer's shot was deflected, but Herold intercepted the ball and reversed chipped it, while on her knees, into the top corner of the cage. As the crowd erupted and her fellow Nittany Lions jumped on her in celebration, Herold lifted the score to 4-1.

Herold's speed is one of the many weapons of the Nittany Lion offense. Whenever she receives a ball in open space, it is almost guaranteed that she will either make it into the circle or gain enough yardage for the Lions to make it into the circle on the next play.

"When I see open space I am just going as fast as I can," Herold said. "My favorite moment of a game is when I have open space."

The Tigers managed to score another goal, but Herold found the back of the net again, after receiving another pass from Chrismer. The duo pulled the goalie out again, and was able to lift the ball over her pads into the back of the net. Herold's shot lifted Penn State to a 5-2 victory over Princeton and her first hat-tick of her career.

"We wanted to put a strong press on." Morett-Curtiss said. "Jenna [Chrismer] and Taylor [Herold] are just great goal scorers and they took advantage of those opportunities. It was just a great second half."

Nittany Lions Come From Behind, Again

The Nittany Lions were trailing 1-0 after five minutes of play in Sunday's contest against the Lafayette Leopards.

But, the Nittany Lions had been in that position before.

"We knew that we needed to get down in the other end," Chrimser said. "We needed to put pressure on and take shots on goal."

The Leopards held onto their 1-0 lead for the next 10 minutes. But after a string of Penn State shots and corners, Emilee Ehret successfully knocked in a rebound shot, tying the score. Just over a minute later, Chrismer found the back of the cage, tapping in another goal off of a rebound shot.

Five minutes later, Chrismer received a pass from Laura Gebhart at the far end of the circle. Again, this was one of those shots that rarely make it to the back of the cage but Chrismer fired off a drive and lifted the Nittany Lions over the Leopards 3-1 before the half.

For twenty minutes after the half, the Nittany Lions pressed the Leopard's defense. The Nittany Lions took nine shots on goal, but were unable to capitalize off of their scoring opportunities. Gebhart lifted the score to 4-1 when she dribbled into the circle and fired off a shot. The Leopard's keeper blocked the shot, but Gebhart successfully tapped in a shot off a rebound. Three minutes later, Kirsten Gochnauer found the back of the net for the first time in her career, lifting the Nittany Lions to a final score of 5-1.

The Dynamic Scoring Duo

Over the course of four seasons, Chrismer and Herold have aided the Nittany Lions' offense with both speed and play making. Just this weekend, the duo contributed to eight of Penn State's ten goals. In the game against Princeton, Chrismer assisted each of Herold's scores, a trend we will likely see for the rest of the season.

"Taylor [Herold] and I have been connected since freshman year," Chrismer said. "We are always looking for each other. It's great."

"We know where each other is going to be," Herold said. "Since our freshman year we have scored tons of goals together; we plan on continuing that this season."

Looking Ahead...

The Nittany Lions open their Big Ten schedule next weekend, at home, against longtime rival Michigan. The Wolverines are 4-2 heading into this weekend's matchup.

"Michigan is a tough, tough team," coach Morett-Curtiss said. "When two Big Ten teams go at it, you never know what is going to happen. It's going to come down to the wire. We are looking forward to it."