Field Hockey Impresses in Closely Contested Exhibition Contest at Maryland
Aug. 20, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Despite dominating play early, the Penn State field hockey team dropped a closely contested 3-1 decision at defending national finalist Maryland in an exhibition tilt on Friday. Freshman Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) gave the Lions a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game, but it wasn't enough.
"We came out strong in the first half," said head coach Charlene Morett. "[which is] what we talked about doing. I was very pleased with the energy and poise we showed."
Maryland, which saw its bid for an undefeated season snapped during last year's National Championship Game, is consistently one of the top teams in the nation with a combined record of 109-10 over the past five seasons. The Terrapins served as Penn State's one and only exhibition game leading into next Friday's season-opener vs. Old Dominion.
The Nittany Lions dominated play in the early going with six shots in the first eight minutes. After sophomore Kelsey Amy's (Sweet Valley, Pa.) shot was saved by Maryland goalkeeper Melissa Vassalotti, Grzywacz cleaned up the rebound to give Penn State the early lead.
Redshirt sophomore Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) was strong in goal, finishing with 11 saves. A young lineup featured two freshmen - Grazywacz and Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) - and five sophomores in the starting lineup. Freshmen Natalie Buttinger (Kitchener, Ontario) and Jacqueline Kenney (State College, Pa.) also saw time off the bench.
The game also featured the first time sisters Jenny and Lauren Purvis teamed up for the Nittany Lions. Jenny, a senior, started at forward while Lauren started at midfield.
"It's a great first scrimmage," said Morett, who was very pleased with the effort. "Ayla was outstanding [and was] one of the highlights of the game."
The Nittany Lions open the season next Friday at 5 p.m. vs. Old Dominion at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex. They remain home for a 12 p.m. clash vs. Virginia on Sunday.
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