No. 15 Penn State Rolls Past Monmouth, 7-2
Oct. 3, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Led by a four-goal outburst from sophomore forward Kelsey Amy, the No. 15 ranked Penn State field hockey team cruised to a 7-2 victory over Monmouth during a non-conference bout on a breezy Sunday afternoon at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
Amy led the offensive surge after scoring all of her goals in the first half. Her performance marked the third-highest single-game scoring effort in Nittany Lion history and the highest at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
"Kelsey just showed a lot of poise in today's game," said head coach Charlene Morett. "We want her to continue with that in the Big 10 games as well. Today she showed a lot of finesse going towards the goal and finishing."
Amy was aided on the offensive side by a balanced and aggressive attack. Brittany Grzywacz, Daneen Zug, and Hannah Allison all scored as well, while Kristen Schaefer, Casey McCartin, and Jessica Longstreth each chipped in with two assists. Overall, the team's seven-goal performance was its highest output since a 7-0 blanking of Lafayette on September 16, 2005.
Carrying a little extra energy following the pregame Senior Day festivities, the Nittany Lions (8-3) wasted no time jumping on the Hawks (8-2). With just a minute expired from the game clock, Amy fired a point-blank shot from inside the Monmouth zone that found an opening and gave Penn State an early 1-0 advantage.
Just over a minute later, Amy came back for more. The Sweet Valley, Pa. native took control of the ball and cruised down the sidelines. After breaking away from the defense, she cut hard to the left, beat the goalie in a one-on-one situation, and blasted a shot into the cage.
Already holding a two-goal lead, Penn State never relaxed. Taking a page from Saturday's playbook which saw the squad score on nearly half of its penalty corner opportunities, the Nittany Lions struck again at the 6:34 mark. Just as it had in a 5-3 victory over Iowa, the combination of Longstreth and Schaefer looked sharp. The tandem used crisp passes to set up a blast by Zug which gave the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Shortly afterwards, Amy completed her first career hat-trick. In the ninth minute of action, she broke away from the Monmouth defense again and forced a two-on-one break. Displaying her speed and ball-handling skills, she cut through the Hawks' zone and fired a rocket that gave Penn State a comfortable 4-0 advantage.
Following Monmouth's first goal of the contest that saw Morganne Firmstone connect with Michelle Pieczynski on a penalty corner, Casey McCartin gave Penn State a boost. At the 21:38 mark, the junior forward gained control of the ball during a scramble in front of the cage before finding Grzywacz with a nice pass that she quickly deposited for her fourth goal of the season.
Just moments later, McCartin dished out another assist after connecting with Amy. On the play, McCartin drove hard to her right and fired a beautiful centering pass to the middle of the Monmouth zone. Having a good feel for the ball throughout the contest, Amy laid out in front of the goal and slammed home a perfect shot for her fourth and final score.
The first-half domination by Amy and the rest of the Nittany Lion offense helped quiet an explosive Monmouth squad that entered the game having won seven straight contests.
"It definitely helps to come out strong," said Amy, who leads Penn State with 11 goals on the season. "It puts the other team on its heels, and they always have to fight to get back. To be able to have an early lead was very helpful."
After halftime, Penn State continued to serve as the aggressor. Amy was at the center of the attack again as she drove hard towards the Monmouth goal in the first minute of the new period. Finding some daylight, she beat the goalie and pushed a shot towards the cage, but the Hawks' Melissa Murphy came sprinting in to swat the shot away and keep the Nittany Lions off the board.
Despite Monmouth's best efforts, however, Penn State would not be denied for long. At the 47:14 mark, Longstreth and Schaefer teamed up again for another penalty corner. This time, Schaefer took the feed and kicked it out to her right where Allison corralled the pass and launched her first goal of the game and third in two days.
Although Monmouth answered in the 58th minute of action following a goal by Alex Carroll, the game was never in doubt. The Penn State defense held strong throughout the contest. Ayla Halus stopped one shot during the first half of play for the Nittany Lions, while senior Ali Meves batted away a blast after entering in relief at halftime.
Overall, Penn State held a 20-7 advantage in shots and a 7-4 edge in penalty corners.
The Nittany Lions will return to action on Friday at 3 p.m. when the team travels to East Lansing for a bout against Michigan State.