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Rizzo, Gochnauer Shine Against Princeton

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By Mandy Bell, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK - No. 5 Penn State defeated the No. 11 Princeton Tigers 4-2 Sunday afternoon at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex, but Nittany Lions were not satisfied. 

The Nittany Lions (11-1) got off to a slow start when the Tigers' Krista Hoffman snuck Princeton's (6-4) only shot on goal of the first half past Penn State goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo into the back of the cage.

"Once you start getting into the grove of things blocking shots gets pretty easy," Rizzo said. "I think that once you make that first save, you just keep it rolling. Even if you do let a goal in, I just kind of have to reset. In other positions you can get mad at yourself and it doesn't really matter, but I am the last line. You got to push it to the side." 

Despite the fact that Penn State answered with three well-set-up goals before the end of the first half, the Nittany Lions' head coach Char Morett-Curtiss was looking for more.

"I just thought we were really flat," Morett-Curtiss said. "I thought giving up that goal early is obviously an issue that we have. I don't think we played with a lot of inspiration today, which is disappointing as a coach. The goals were beautiful. Some of the goals were absolutely perfect. But at the same time I think we missed a lot of opportunities to score more goals."

Princeton came out much stronger offensively in the second half. The Tigers were forcing themselves into the circle to get more looks on goal, meaning the Nittany Lions had to place their trust in Rizzo to stay in the game.

"Jenny having to work so hard was because of the defense," Morett-Curtiss said. "Our defense just let them walk into the circle and take shots. I think that's obviously an issue that we have right now and that's something we have to continue to work on. We thought we had these things ironed out but we don't. We need a stronger presence. Jenny was brilliant. I think she really kept the lead for us in that second half."

After allowing Princeton's only shot on goal to find the cage in the first half, Rizzo came back in the second half blocking any ball that was shot her way. The sophomore goalkeeper recorded eight saves and only allowed one goal in Princeton's 10 shots on goal in the second half.

"I just was not ready for the first goal," Rizzo said. "I realized that I really need to be in this game and the only way we were going to win it is if my defense and I were working together. Once my defense started talking and we were communicating a little bit more, it got a little bit easier."

Although the Penn State squad may not have been clicking the way it has been for the majority of its 2016 season, senior forward Kirsten Gochnauer has been someone Morett-Curtiss can constantly rely on.

"I think Kirsten is the most consistent player that we have," Morett-Curtiss said. "She is just one end to the other. You see her put some strong block tackles down in the defensive end and she's right there in the offensive end either helping set things up or finishing." 

Gochnauer scored her second goal of the season halfway through the second half securing the Nittany Lions' fourth and final goal of the game. Her last goal of the season came against Old Dominion in the first game of Penn State's season.

"It was great to score," Gochnauer said. "I missed the same shot in the exact same position about five minutes earlier in the game, so you kind of beat yourself up. It was awesome to have another opportunity at that one and kind of put it away."

The Nittany Lions have already put this game behind them and began looking ahead to their next matchup.

"I think we just have to realize that you have to keep chipping away," Gochnauer said. "Maybe you're not playing your best game or you're not as connected as you think you should be, but taking it one game at a time and taking it into practice this week will help. You just have to keep going. Ohio State is next. They are always a great opponent. Each game is different. You can always learn something from each game."

The Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Buckeyes at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex. 

Davis, McSorley Pivotal in Minnesota OT Win

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By Arielle Sargent,

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Just as calm and collected as usual, Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley strolled out of the Beaver Stadium locker room Saturday evening with a big grin. Just a few moments before that, Nittany Lion place kicker Tyler Davis walked out with the same composure.

Just another day at the office for the two.

"It's an amazing feeling and great to get that comeback win," McSorley said.  "Anytime you get a win in Beaver Stadium it's awesome, so I'm on cloud nine right now."

Facing a 10-point deficit at the half, the Nittany Lions came out of the locker room focused on a mindset they've found themselves having to deal with this season. Letting go of what's done and in the past to focus on what is yet to come.

"We knew we had to come out firing in the second half," McSorley said. "We always talk about how good we can be and it was time to stop talking and start doing it."

Keeping composure, McSorley hit freshman wideout Irvin Charles on the Nittany Lions' second drive of the third quarter. Keeping his eyes up as he maneuvered quickly through a gap in the Minnesota defense, he found Charles for an 80-yard touchdown pass that ignited the crowd.

"He makes plays like that all the time in practice," McSorley said. "He's a guy who just builds off of his own confidence, he starts feeling things and gets in that zone and he can be pretty fun to watch."

Backed by the energy of more than 95,000 fans in Beaver Stadium, McSorley stepped up once again, tossing 36 yards to junior wide receiver Chris Godwin to put Penn State in scoring position.

It was Tyler Davis this time though, who nailed his second field goal of the day on fourth and goal from 27 yards out to tie the score, 13-13, while also setting a program record with his 16th consecutive career conversion. 

McSorley was next, as he found tight end Mike Gesicki for 53 yards on second and 10 to put the Nittany Lions on the Minnesota 6-yard line. Locating another opening in the Minnesota defense, he faked to running back Saquon Barkley before taking off for the 6-yard go-ahead rushing touchdown with fewer than three minutes to play in the third quarter.

"It came down to the third quarter," Golden Gopher head coach Tracy Claeys said. "We didn't lose that game at the end, we lost that game in the third quarter. The other kids really competed."

Minnesota battled back throughout the fourth quarter, pulling ahead by three, 23-20, with less than a minute remaining, giving McSorley and Davis another perfect opportunity to put their true grit on display.

At third and 10, McSorley went off of one foot under pressure to execute a 20-yard pass to a diving Godwin, who caught the ball to set up a new set of downs for the Nittany Lions. Soon facing third-and-3 with 20 seconds left, it was up to McSorley again.

Green grass is all he recalls as McSorley stepped through once again and took off running, hauling 26 yards out of bounds to halt the clock. The Nittany Lions were in prime position for Davis to step in after McSorley's next attempt fell incomplete.

"I didn't even talk to him before that kick," head coach James Franklin said. "Most of the time head coaches will go over and say something to him. I don't say anything to him. If the snapper and holder do their job, that guy will. He is money." 

Mr. Consistency, Tyler Davis, converted on his 17th consecutive career field goal from 40 yards to force overtime.

With pivotal roles, both McSorley and Davis helped Penn State engineer its biggest comeback victory since the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl and its largest at home since the Nittany Lions came back from a 34-24 deficit against Michigan in a dramatic quadruple-overtime win in 2013.

McSorley finished with 408 yards of total offense to mark the third-highest total in school history via 335 passing yards and led the team with 74 yards on the ground. Davis matched his career high mark with three field goals and also set a personal best, totaling 11 points. 

Veterans Guide Penn State Past Michigan

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By Anita Nham, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's volleyball went undefeated against two Top 25 teams during the first weekend of Big Ten play at home, earning a victory against Michigan Saturday night.

No. 16 Penn State and No. 20 Michigan started in electrifying fashion with the two teams trading points back-and-forth early on in the first set. Both teams were tied at 4-4, but a kill from junior Ali Frantti after a long rally sparked momentum to bring the Nittany Lions ahead. She recorded another kill, leading the Nittany Lions to a five-point cushion. The Lions captured the first set and went on to complete the sweep in the next two (25-20, 25-19, 25-15).

Frantti powered the team the rest of the night and led the offense for the first time all season, recording 11 kills on a .391 hitting clip, while also posting a team-high six digs.

"I thought Ali had a terrific night passing," head coach Russ Rose said. "They served her every ball, she passed great and we moved the ball around well." 

Junior middle blocker Haleigh Washington also contributed to the victory over the Wolverines. Washington registered a team-high eight blocks, while also leading from the service line with three aces and adding eight kills.

Junior Simone Lee also contributed eight kills, while also finishing tied for second on the team with four blocks.

Having moved from middle to the right side for the Nittany Lions this year, junior Heidi Thelen recorded six kills on nine errorless swings, leading the team with a match-high .667 hitting efficiency. Thelen also logged four blocks.

Together, Frantti, Lee, Washington and Thelen combined for 15 block assists, with Washington and Thelen both attacking at better than .570 through three sets.

 "We don't hit over .430 in some practice drills, so to be able to do that against a top-25 team and one with as many skilled players, you feel every good about the effort this evening," Rose said. 

The Nittany Lions had just finished a sweep against No. 18 Michigan State Friday night and they used their time off to practice for the win tonight. 

"I thought we passed really well [tonight]," coach Rose said. "We missed nine serves last night and we missed nine serves tonight, so I think that there's going to be some situations where we're having a more risky approach to serving rather than a prudent decision, but when you're playing at home and you're siding out well, that's probably not the most opportune time to do that...I think we have a good rotation right now." 

With the win, Penn State has its last 11 sets, improving its overall record to 12-3 and 4-0 in Big Ten play. While the Lions faced adversity early on this season, they will be coming out of this weekend more confident than ever.

 "I think we're trying to stay as a team, stay strong and stay together as our core group," Thelen said. "I think we're just trying to push through with what we have. Every team that we play is a good team and we just try to stay together and fight." 

It will be a quick turn over for the Nittany Lions as they're set to face No. 2 Minnesota on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Rec Hall for a "White Out in Rec Hall."   

VIDEO: Postgame Players - Minnesota

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - sits down with Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley, Marcus Allen, Tyler Davis, Mike Gesicki and Jordan Smith to recap the 29-26 OT win against Minnesota. 

VIDEO: Postgame James Franklin - Minnesota

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football head coach James Franklin joined following a 29-26 OT victory against Minnesota to recap the win. Franklin was joined in his interview by Jake Klouser, who spent the day as a special guest of the team through Athletes Helping Athletes.

Check out Klouser's experience with his family following team arrival with the Nittany Lions earlier today. 

Nittany Lion Duo Leads Penn State Past Spartans

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By Jack Milewski, Student Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was an electric atmosphere inside Rec Hall as No. 16 Penn State fed off the electricity in what was one of the more convincing wins for the Nittany Lions this season, topping the No. 18 Michigan State Spartans in three sets.

Penn State, coming off an unblemished first week of Big Ten play, faced their first ranked opponent since playing then-No. 9 Stanford, the Nittany Lions improved to 9-0 in individual sets across three conference matches.

"I thought the crowd and the energy from them and the band were tremendous tonight," head coach Russ Rose said. "I'm always happy when we win a match."

Behind a dominate performance, the Nittany Lions took down the Spartans, who had just taken top-ranked Nebraska to five sets a week earlier. The Nittany Lions, as they have been all season, were led by Simone Lee who totaled 12 kills to lead all players. However, Ali Frantti, who has struggled with consistency this season, certainly stepped up in this match. Frantti finished second on the team with 10 kills, hitting higher than .300, while also passing well.

"I though [Simone] and [Ali] both played extremely well and I though Ali really passed well tonight for us," Rose said. "I though Simone had a couple good blocks and overall the two of them carried the offense. We set them over 50 percent of the time and that's a lot to ask but for the most part that were up to the task."

Michigan State is well known in the Big Ten for being one of the more imposing teams in terms of physicality and overall height. Still, it was the Nittany Lions who won the physicality battle, using a slew of solo blocks to turn the tide in the second set.

"I think I was on the bench for those blocks, but you could tell that they really fired everyone up," Frantti said. "It's plays like that that can really help you out as a team."

Not only were the Nittany Lions solid at the net, but for the most part they nullified a large Michigan State block with quality spotting of the ball and solid high and hard swings to keep the Spartans off balance.

"Against a team like that you have to swing high and hard," Lee said. "You also have to tip well and hit spots and I thought we did both of those well tonight. You have to give credit to our middles as well for really holding the blocks and freeing up space for us to take swings."

Penn State has started to play a more complete game, led by Frantti and Lee at the helm of the offense in the past two weeks. At 3-0 in Big Ten play, Penn State is off to yet another strong start in the conference. In the beginning of the season, the Nittany Lions found themselves struggling when taking the lead in matches, but now it seems with a 2-0 set lead, Penn State has started to play their best volleyball rather than falling behind.

"I thought for the most part in that third set we were in control and Michigan State looked a little disoriented," Rose said. "When you have a chance to pull away from a team in this conference you have to."

Penn State certainly pulled away and led by Frantti and Lee, put together an overall emphatic victory for the Nittany Lions' first win over a ranked opponent this season. It will be a quick turn around for the Nittany Lions as they are set to face No. 22 Michigan tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Rec Hall.

Putsch Leads Penn State Past Michigan State

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By Mandy Bell, Student Writer 

UNIVERSITY PARK - The Penn State Nittany Lions faced off against the Michigan State Spartans Friday evening at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex despite the unfriendly weather.

The two teams competed in a brisk 53 degrees as a steady light rain fell for almost the entire duration of the game. 

No matter how cold or how wet it got on the field, it did not bother the Nittany Lions.

"I think it's kind of fun playing in this weather," Moira Putsch said. "Especially in this atmosphere. When we have such a big crowd, it totally doesn't seem cold. We are working so hard that it doesn't affect us. I really like the rain. It makes it feel intense."

Penn State (10-1) got off to a slow start falling early to Michigan State (5-5) 1-0 in the first half. About six minutes after the Nittany Lions found themselves in a deficit, they turned to their most consistent leader.

Putsch retrieved the ball to the left of the Michigan State goal right before it trickled out of bounds. With three defenders in front of her, Putsch fixated on the goal. She passed the ball underneath the stick of the first defender and was able to catch back up with it before it reached her second defender.

Then, Putsch juked toward the goal making her defender move in the same direction. As the second defender stepped to her right, Putsch crossed her over and passed the defender on her left. 

Putsch was then in the center of the action with the defense collapsing in on her. She overran her ball just slightly, but was still in control.  She knew at this point that she had to attack quickly. Putsch then did a full spin, turning her back to the goal, to shoot the ball from her weak side. The shot went through a handful of defenders, passed the goalkeeper and landed right in the unreachable right corner of the cage.

"There's a lot of adrenaline on a play like that," Putsch said. "Right after it happens I am never out of breath. Then 10 seconds after the whistle starts again, that's when I am out of breath. It's just a lot of adrenaline going through and a lot of focus just to keep it up because I know it's really important for us the next few minutes to not let up and not let them come back."

"She really had to work for that one and she needs to be like that more often," Penn State head coach Char Morett-Curtiss said. "She just really set that up for herself and it was just a great shot. I also thought she gave Shay [Cannon] a couple good passes. She was just really working hard tonight which is good to see."

With Friday evening's goal, Putsch has successfully put at least one goal on the board in all 11 games of the 2016 season.

"It feels great, but I feel like every single time I have scored, afterward so many people on our team also have," Putsch said. "It says so much that so many people on our team score. It feels great, but I am just thinking of the bigger picture and everyone always comes up big right after. So it's awesome." 

Once Putsch got the first point on the board for the Nittany Lions, her teammates followed her lead. Just under five minutes after Putsch's goal, Aurelia Meijer scored to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead at the half.

Midway through the second half, Putsch set up teammate Gini Bramley for a perfect look at the back of the cage. Bramley came back a few minutes later to tack on the fourth and final goal of the game giving Penn State a 4-1 victory.

Penn State will take on Princeton Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.


By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite a gloomy forecast before the game, the No. 14 Penn State women's soccer team (8-2-2, 4-0-1 Big Ten) shined brightly at Jeffrey Field on Friday night. The Nittany Lions defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-9-1, 0-4-1 Big Ten) 2-0, thanks to a unified effort from the midfield.   

With the temporary departure of midfielder Emily Ogle to the United States U-20 Women's National Team, Penn State head coach Erica Dambach has leaned on other midfielders during recent games.  

At the start of Friday night's match, four midfielders took to the field. Senior Nickolette Driesse, redshirt junior Salina Williford, junior Haleigh Echard, and sophomore Charlotte Williams worked with one another to open up opportunities on offense.

"Just watching the way that they train and we're trying to really keep track of them on a daily basis," Dambach said of picking her starting four midfielders. "Just giving the nod to the players that are continuing to perform every day."

Echard, who is more offensive-minded at midfield, constantly surveyed the field for open attackers. Echard assisted junior forward Frannie Crouse's goal, which gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead. Crouse has eight goals so far this season 

With less than ten minutes left in the first half, Dambach made the decision to substitute three midfielders for two midfielders and a defender. This strategy, Dambach explained, was to prevent Illinois from tying the game in the last few minutes of the half.

"We focus so much on the defending piece because you can always do that well," Dambach said. "And then if the attacking isn't coming along then you still have 50 percent of your game going well. I give so much credit to Sheva, [Williams], and [Echard] because they've come such a long way in their defending."

Midfielders support offensive attacks but also easily transition to a defensive role. Active communication between midfielders and other players is essential. The midfield connects the defense with the offense, controlling transitions and setting plays.

"It's super important [for the midfield to communicate with the forwards], because if not it's a mess," Crouse said. "In the first half we started off really slow and weren't connecting and then we got our stuff together and throughout the second half I thought we played a lot better with connecting and movement off the midfield and front line."

Crouse also gave credit to the defense, which has consistently been shutting down opposing team's offenses this season.

"Our defense, throughout is growing and they've become such a great line," Crouse said. "I hate playing against them in practice let alone other teams. They're so great to have back there, they create such a trust that you know that they're going to get that ball."

 During the second half, the midfielders continued their dominance. Sophomore midfielder Marissa Sheva found the back of the net for the first time this season to widen the Nittany Lions' lead, 2-0. Williams got the assist. 

"It was awesome," Sheva said. "I've been waiting for it for a little bit but I think things are finally starting to click for us as a team and our attack. Things have just been going well and coming away with another win in the Big Ten is always big for us."


Detering Adjusting to Penn State

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By Anita Nham, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - This time last year, junior Abby Detering was playing volleyball in the O'Connell Center alongside her teammates at University of Florida.

Now, she's wearing blue and white to represent the Penn State women's volleyball team.

"It's been awesome playing for Penn State," Detering said. "The girls are amazing. I played against some of them in club, so it was really nice coming to a new program where you already know some of the girls, so it was a great welcome to come into it. But it's also Penn State. Playing with such an amazing program and coaches, it just an amazing feeling."

On August 26, Detering made her collegiate debut for the Nittany Lions in Rec Hall against West Virginia. She led the team with 29 assists while posting five digs and three kills. Despite helping the team secure the first win of the season, Detering's setting position wasn't protected. She was still splitting time with redshirt sophomore Bryanna Weiskircher. It was after her performance in the Syracuse Classic, recording 108 assists including a career-high 41 against Hofstra, that Detering took over at the setting position. 

"Every day, you have to be working hard in this program," Detering said. "It's crazy, it's awesome, it's exactly what I want, I am working hard every day, so to be playing more and seeing an outcome that you want to see, it's awesome. 

Starting over is never easy. With Detering only having one summer to get adjusted to Penn State, there was a lot to learn on and off the court, but the transition was made easier with the help of her teammates.

"I thought [the adjustment] was going to be a lot more challenging than what it was, but there are so many supportive people here that they helped me along the way," Detering said. "The girls are the main ones that helped me get adjusted, but not only with volleyball, but with school. They taught me where to go on campus, good places to study, even where my classes are. The girls have been amazing helping me make this an easy adjustment coming from another program."

While Detering was at Florida, she played in 36 matches in two years, so collegiate volleyball nothing new to her, but she's also bringing skills and traits that she's learned to help the Nittany Lions.

"You learn this at a young age, but the most important thing that transferred over from Florida to Penn State is just really getting to know your teammates and knowing how to play with them," Detering said. "The biggest thing is about connections for a setter and a hitter and with all your teammates, so the biggest thing coming in is knowing how the players play, how the players react well and figuring each player out to get their best effort. I know that that was a huge thing at our last program because you have to get that. The main goal is to win and you have to get everyone to play at their best. I knew that I had to transfer that right away after I transferred here."

The Mentor, Ohio native first started to get involved in volleyball because she and her older sister, Lauren, used to play the same sports, like figure skating and softball. When Lauren began to play volleyball, attending a middle school camp, Detering knew that she wanted to play too.

"I was in fourth grade, so I was the youngest kid, but I just loved it," Detering said. "I just liked how it was more of an aggressive sport while ice skating isn't really and it was more of a graceful sport."

Detering's family has supported her all her life, especially in high school when she was selected MVP of the Ohio Division II State Championship game in her freshman year and the 2013-14 Ohio Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year. By transferring closer to home, her parents, sister and brother have been by her side every step of the way during her first season at Penn State. 

"That's the best thing about being here and being in the Big Ten. My parents and my whole family are able to come to all my matches," Detering said. "They've been to every home game. My dad just came to Northwestern, so they're able to go to all my matches, and it's amazing to have them there for my last two years."

Although she always appreciates all the fans on the road, there's no better feeling than playing at Rec Hall.

"When you first go out there, the nerves kick in but now we're getting things down," Detering said. "My favorite moment has been playing at home because the crowd is so amazing and it's a really neat atmosphere. There are so many people there, so when you go, it's just all these people that are cheering for the team so you have a lot of adrenaline, but it's a great feeling." 

Aside from volleyball, Detering loves waking up early to go outside to find new coffee shops, go hiking or spend time relaxing in her ENO hammock.

But now, her focus is inside Rec Hall.

"For this season, I want to win a national championship, that's definitely the goal in the end, but we have to be looking at each game, we can't just look at the end game. We have to look at the little things, the little goals before we get to the big goals. Right now, we're focusing on Michigan State and Michigan, and we're going to keep on playing from there. Overall, the big goals are winning the Big Ten and the National Championship, but right now, we want to beat Michigan State on Friday," Detering said. 


By Tom Shively, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Three years have come and gone and one final season remains for a senior class that has contributed so much to the development of the Penn State women's hockey program. Four seniors are hoping to leave their mark on a team that has grown so much since their arrival in 2013.

"To be honest, it went by so fast," said forward Laura Bowman. "I'm so excited for this year. We're going to do some amazing things and impress a lot of people."

Bowman led the team with 17 goals last season, adding eight assists as well. That is the highest goal total for a single player in Penn State history. Bowman also tied the program record with six power play goals.

Bowman has been selected as team captain for the 2016-17 season after serving as an alternate captain for the past two years.

Forward Amy Petersen has been selected as an alternate captain for the upcoming season along with sophomore Kelsey Crow. Petersen led the team in points last season with 29 (8 goals, 21 assists), including 18 points over the last 16 games.

"It's gone by so fast and I can't believe we're seniors," said Petersen.

 Five Nittany Lions including Petersen and Bowman hail from Minnetonka, Minnesota. However, it's the Penn State community that makes this team so special.

 "We loved Minnetonka High School and we love Penn State too," said Bowman. "I think now we're all just from Penn State. We get along with the Minnetonka girls just as well as any of the other girls on the team. We're all just here to play for Penn State."

 As with any senior year in college, the focus shifts from classes to careers as the Penn State seniors are looking forward to the next chapter of their lives.

"I'm planning on going to med school," said Bowman. "I'm taking a gap year hopefully to play a little more hockey but after that I'll start med school. I still have to figure out how to apply to that and do all that stuff." 

"I already have a job," said Petersen. "I'm working for Millman Consulting in Seattle, it's like an actuarial consulting firm."

Speaking on Petersen's math ability, Bowman added, "She's a math genius."

Looking ahead to 2016-17, Petersen and Bowman are very optimistic about their final season and the ceiling for this team.

 "We want to go out with a bang," said Petersen. "Prove that Penn State's program has a bright future moving forward. We want to end it on a high note and impress people."

 Defenseman Kelly Seward and forward Sarah Nielsen round out the Penn State senior class. The duo combined for nine points last season.

 The Nittany Lions handled Guelph 4-1 in an exhibition game last weekend to start the season on a high note. The regular season opens up this weekend as the team travels to Clarkson for a pair of games. The home opener is Oct. 14 against Boston University.