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Sept. 12, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind dominant ball control, the Nittany Lion field hockey team (2-2) ousted intra-state rival Lock Haven (0-4) by a score of 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Penn State Field Hockey complex.
The Nittany Lions scattered 33 shots on the final box score in the two-goal victory, with freshmen Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) and Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) netting their first career tallies to lead the offensive charge. Junior Jessica Longstreth (Richboro, Pa.) also netted a goal on a penalty stroke.
Penn State dominated the offensive stats on a misty afternoon in Happy Valley. The Lions out-shot the Lady Eagles by a 33-9 margin. The Lions owned the penalty corner column on the stat sheet, as well. The Lions earned 19 penalty corners to Lock Haven's four.
"It does feel good to get a win," said head coach Charlene Morett, who now has 398 career victories. "I felt that we played a great second half against Connecticut. That's what we talked about at halftime - that we always comeback and play a better second half. And I felt we did that today."
Grzywacz was the offensive player of the afternoon. In addition to her first career goal, the freshman assisted on Purvis' late tally, which set the final score at 3-1. Nittany Lion goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) made five saves in the victory.
The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start on the offensive end of the field in the first half. Penn State earned 13 first-half penalty corners, including four in the first six minutes. With several early scoring chances, the Lions found the back of the cage during the 14th minute of action on Grzywacz's first career goal. Grzywacz deposited the ball into the back left corner of the cage on a rebound opportunity following a penalty corner.
However, the Lady Eagles struck back on a transition opportunity following a Penn State penalty corner. Najia Hasan found Kristi Shepps in front of the cage, who scored on the play to knot the score at 1-1 in the 20th minute of action. Despite Penn State out-shooting the Eagles 18-5 and controlling the tempo in the opening half, the teams departed the field at halftime tied at 1-1.
Nonetheless, the Nittany Lions executed two second-half goals, and nearly a third score on a questionable officiating sequence in front of the Lock Have goal. Longstreth kicked off the second half scoring with a penalty stroke during the 46th minute of action. With the Lions up 2-1, the freshman duo of Grzywacz and Purvis found one another on a crisp goal in the 55th minute of action to hand the Lions a two-goal lead. Grzywacz delivered a ball to Purvis in front of the net on a superb centering pass. The Purvis goal capped the scoring at 3-1.
Penn State's ball control was the difference in Sunday afternoon's victory. The Nittany Lions had a number of good scoring opportunities throughout afternoon. The final score was closer than the final stat sheet indicates. Nonetheless, credit Lock Haven for its ability to put pressure on the Lions in transition opportunities.
Penn State is back in action on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. against Lafayette.
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