No. 14 Field Hockey Edges Indiana in Big Ten Opener, 1-0
Sept. 24, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 14th-ranked Nittany Lion field hockey team (6-2, 1-0) dominated every offensive statistical category on the final stat sheet en route to a 1-0 victory over Indiana (4-3, 0-1) on Friday night in the 2010 Big Ten opener.
In a contest with the final score that was much closer than the complexion of the game, the Nittany Lions used superb ball possession to tally their fifth consecutive victory. Penn State out-shot the Hoosiers by a 28-3 margin. The Lions earned 14 penalty corners to Indiana's two. Penn State had several scoring opportunities that could have extended the margin of victory in the second half.
Nonetheless, freshman Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) netted the game's decisive goal on a rebound play following a penalty corner in the 14th minute to send Penn State into Sunday's clash against Michigan on the Big Ten Network (1 p.m.) with a great deal of confidence.
"We had great intensity and pressure," head coach Charlene Morett said. "I think what you saw was the midfielders stepping up and backs intercepting. The forwards were really working hard on the ball and as a result we got turnovers and held onto the ball."
In addition to Penn State controlling the tempo offensively, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) tallied her eighth consecutive scoreless period in the cage and her fourth shutout of the season. She made two saves in the victory over Indiana.
Penn State's ball possession dictated a physical first half of play. The Lions held the visiting Hoosiers without a shot for the first 20 minutes of action. Indiana did not cross the midfield line until well into the 10th minute of play. On the offensive end of the field, Penn State found the back of the net on a penalty corner sequence in the 14th minute of action.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Allison (Maple Glen, Pa.) ripped a shot following an entry pass from Jessica Longstreth (Richboro, Pa.) to set up the goal. Indiana goalkeeper Becky Pany saved Allison's shot. However, Purvis was waiting on the backside of the cage. Purvis tapped in the loose ball to hand the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead with 14:03 on the clock.
Overall, the Lions managed seven penalty corners in the first half to Indiana's two and the Lions out-shot the Hoosiers 15-2. Nonetheless, despite controlling the ball possession and dominating the stat sheet, the score remained 1-0 heading into the halftime break.
That theme continued in the second half. Penn State controlled the tempo throughout the final 35 minutes of play. The Lions had several scoring opportunities, including a pair of breakaways, but were unable to find the back of the net. But Purvis' lone goal was all the Lions would need.
Coach Morett has emphasized ball control throughout the early portion of the season, and the Lions executed it to perfection on Friday night. Penn State never allowed Indiana to find any type of an offensive rhythm in the one-goal decision.
Riding the five-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions return home on Sunday against Michigan. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network at 1 p.m.
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