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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It was a night of firsts for the No. 7 Penn State field hockey team, as a pair of first career goals and freshman Jenny Rizzo's first shutout led the Nittany Lions to their first win of the 2015 season, 2-0, over Temple Friday evening at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
Penn State (1-2) took advantage of a pair of penalty corners in the first half, and kept Temple (1-2) at bay in the second. Freshman Katie Dembrowski (Palmyra, Pa.) scored the first goal in the fourth minute off a corner. Junior Kirsten Gochnauer (Mount Joy, Pa.) found Dembrowski on the corner attempt just left of the goal at the top of the circle, and she blasted it into the back of the cage. It was Gochnauer's first career assist.
Junior Brooke Birosik (Ickesburg, Pa.) tallied the Lions' second goal in the 27th minute off another corner. Birosik took Emilee Ehret's (Philadelphia, Pa.) insert pass and drag flicked it over the Temple defense and keeper into the top of the cage.
"It was a great win for the team; I thought it was a real team effort," said Penn State head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss. "It was beautiful execution on the two goals; the corner goal by Katie Dembrowski, and also the one Brooke put in showed a lot of poise by both girls."
"The biggest improvement I would say is that we're attacking the circle smarter, I feel like we need to do a better job of fighting for positioning in front of the cage, but I also felt like we had a strong defense. I felt like our defense showed a physical strength today, which was important."
Penn State controlled the possession for much of the game, outshooting the Owls 17-12, and holding the advantage in corner attempts, 9-5. Both teams took more shots in the second half and generated more chances, but neither found the back of the cage.
Aided by the strong defensive effort, Rizzo (Hershey, Pa.) needed to make just three saves to earn the shutout. She also played well in front of the cage clearing loose balls out of harm's way. Her counterpart for Temple, Haley Mitchell, made seven saves.
Penn State will face another in-state opponent Sunday at noon, making the short drive to Lewiston to face Bucknell. They will return home to host California Friday at 6 p.m.