No. 8 Field Hockey Shuts Out Cornell 2-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 8 Penn State field hockey team finished the weekend undefeated, moving past Cornell with a 2-0 victory. The Nittany Lions, now 5-2 on the season, shutout the Big Red (0-4) in front of nearly 400 fans at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex. It was the first meeting between the two teams in program history.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Cornell," said head coach Charlene Morett. "I thought that they played a strong, structured game. It was a good contest...But I thought that we weren't drawing enough corners, which is our bread and butter, and getting the ball in the goal. (Cornell's) goalie played very well, though."
Junior Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) netted both goals for the Lions, scoring on two penalty strokes in the opening eight minutes. Her first stroke, and the game-winning goal, came at the 1:55 mark of the game after a Penn State penalty corner. She lined up again minutes later and extended the squads lead to 2-0. She is three-for-three on penalty strokes this season and now has a total of six goals for 12 points.
"She's just strong," said Morett on Grzywacz. "I think that she's very deceptive and she's obviously consistent." Co-captain Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) also said that "(Grzywacz) really stepped up when we needed her. She practices strokes every day and she clearly came through in the clutch."
The Lions' offense came to work against Cornell, producing 32 shots and 18 shots on goal. Sophomore Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.) had a tremendous game, firing off five shots and consistently drove the ball into the Big Red's zone. Minutes into the game, the forward placed herself directly in front of Cornell's Carolyn Horner and sent two back-to-back shots at the goalkeeper. Horner, however, stepped up for both saves and would not yield another goal for the remainder of the contest.
Senior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) created several scoring opportunities for Penn State byproducing nine shots. At the start of the second half, Amy nearly put the Lions up 3-0 with a hard shot after a penalty corner. Sophomore Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, Pa.) tried to keep the play alive with a pass out in front of the net, but the forward was blocked and tripped up by Cornell defenders.
Amy, who currently leads the team with seven goals and 15 points, continued to be a force for the Lions in the second period. Ten minutes in, the senior flew down three-fourths of the field, and was finally fended off at the top of the box. Amy's surge allowed Penn State to keep possession for nearly five minutes, and the forward took a shot that was just wide at the 20:30 mark to keep Horner on her toes.
With time running out, Cornell's Kat DiPastina and Maria Rosselot began to hustle for the Big Red. The pair fired back-to-back shots on goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) with less than 10 minutes to play. Halus, however, remained perfect in net.
After a great scoring chance from Herold, who was set up by junior Annie Abdo (Langhorne, Pa.), the Lions earned a final penalty corner as time expired. Allison took a powerful shot from the top of the box, but she was denied by Cornell's Paige Mollineaux for a defensive save.
Penn State outshot Cornell 32-3, with nine different Lions delivering 18 shots on goal. The squad also had a 7-1 penalty corner advantage over the Big Red. Halus made three saves during the contest to earn her first shutout of the season, bringing her career total to 12. Horner had an outstanding game, making 14 saves for a .875 save percentage.
After the game, Morett, the coaching staff and the team hosted a field hockey clinic for local youth to participate. "We're just trying to get little girls and boys playing field hockey," said Morett. "I give our players a lot of credit for staying out here and being enthusiastic. Field hockey is a great sport and we need to promote ourselves."
The Lions are back home on Wednesday, Sept. 12, when Penn State takes on Lock Haven at 6 p.m. The squad will then travel to Lehigh and Monmouth for the upcoming weekend.
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