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Aug. 28, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Following a tough setback to Old Dominion on Friday, the eighth-ranked Penn State field hockey team (1-1) picked up a 3-0 upset victory over the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.), freshman Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, Pa.) and senior Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) each scored goals for the Nittany Lions.
"We came out really strong as a team today," said Penn State head coach Charlene Morett. "We made great adjustments from Friday's game against Old Dominion. I told the team before today's game about how the Penn State women's volleyball team made a great comeback against USC on Saturday night. I think that really motivated our players today."
The Nittany Lions played a great game on the defensive end, as they outshot the Cavaliers 14-9. Redshirt junior Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) was excellent in the cage, as she posted her eighth career shutout and recorded five saves.
Penn State took total control of the first half, as the Nittany Lions tallied eight total shots, including six on goal. The Lions held the Cavaliers to just one total shot in the first stanza. Penn State additionally had five penalty corners in the first half, compared to Virginia's zero.
The Nittany Lions earned two penalty corners within the first six minutes of the game. Penn State's first attempted corner resulted in a shot by freshman Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) that went wide of the net. The second one came with 29:59 remaining in the half, when sophomore Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) fired a shot that was saved by Virginia's Jenny Johnstone.
Both teams would have a quiet 10 minutes from that point on, until the 18:44 mark, when Penn State would strike first. Purvis netted her first goal of the season, as she showed great hustle to chase down a loose ball and nailed it to the far right corner of the net.
Following the goal, Penn State continued with the pressure, as freshman Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.) shot a ball that was saved by Johnstone at 20:28 into regulation. The Nittany Lions had another opportunity on a penalty corner, when Grzywacz's shot was also saved by Johnstone.
The Lions continued their stellar play into the second half. Virginia had an early scoring opportunity, when Elly Buckley took a shot off a corner, but Halus made the save. Then, 7:33 into the half, Grzywacz fed a ball to Chrismer from the right corner. Chrismer would score to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Penn State continued with the pressure, as Chrismer fired another shot that was saved by Johnstone 52:43 in. Nearly a minute later, Allison scored off a penalty corner, which was assisted by Gebhart and senior Casey McCartin (Horsham, Pa.) to seal a 3-0 win for the Nittany Lions. McCartin came off the bench and was responsible for inserting the ball from the end line.
The Nittany Lions will travel to Lock Haven on Friday for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Bald Eagles. Penn State's first home game will come on Sep. 4 against UConn. That game will be a Code Blue Blast event, where students can earn points for attending the event. The top 250 point-earners by the end of the school year will receive guaranteed football ticket purchasing opportunities. The top 10 point-earners will receive free football tickets for next year.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued updates throughout the 2011 season.
Follow Penn State field hockey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PennStateFH or www.twitter.com/GoPSUGreg.
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