Nittany Lion Field Hockey Takes Down No. 5 Hawkeyes for Big Ten Win
Oct. 10, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 13 Penn State field hockey team defeated No. 5 Iowa, 2-1, off a game-winning penalty corner goal by Daneen Zug with less than seven minutes remaining Friday in a Big Ten Conference game before 618 yellow- and pink-clad fans at the Field Hockey Field.
Allison Scola (Hummelstown, Pa.) added three points - a goal and an assist - during the game.
"Any time you can beat a seasoned team like Iowa, especially with all of its experience and seniors, it's a great victory," head coach Charlene Morett said. "We followed our game plan and played excellent defense inside the 25. Our defense was able to make the stick tackles it needed."
With the contest locked at one goal apiece, Scola forced the ball alongside the left base line of the goal. Scola was fouled and earned herself one of Penn State's nine penalty corners Friday. Scola, the pusher, whisked the ball to Jen Long (Doylestown, Pa.), who shoveled it to Zug (Manheim, Pa.). Zug launched it toward Iowa goalkeeper Lissa Munley. Munley, who finished with five saves, lunged at the shot, but the ball trickled off her pads and found the corner of the net. Scola and Long were both accredited with assists.
"I kept calling for a straight penalty-corner shot, and we weren't finding much success against the Iowa defense," Morett said. "Zug has great potential to find the back of the net on those types of shots."
Penn State (8-4, 2-0 Big Ten) out-shot the Hawkeyes, 10-6, and had a distinct advantage in penalty corners, 9-3.
In what was deemed to be a defensive battle beforehand, the game started off slow with one registered shot and penalty corner in the first 14 minutes of the contest. At the 14:11, Scola generated a scoring opportunity for herself, taking possession out of a scrum on the left side edge of the circle. Scola went across the middle of the circle, firing a shot on the run from ten yards out. The ball caromed off Munley's leg pads and thudded against the back of the net.
"Scola was a big part of today's win," Morett said. "That was the type of game we needed from her."
The Nittany Lions defense settled in after Scola's goal, not allowing Iowa - the Big Ten's leader in most offensive categories - any shots for the first 32 minutes of the game. Iowa (10-3, 1-1 Big Ten) had four consecutive corners but failed to penetrate any into the circle, as Scola and Jen Miller (North Caldwell, N.J.) sent Hawkeyes attempts out of bounds.
Jen Beaumont (Chalfont, Pa.) made four saves for her eighth victory of the season. Beaumont terminated Iowa's best opportunity to score in the first half when she made two diving stops with three minutes remaining.
Iowa evened the score at the 46-minute mark when Roz Ellis stumbled upon an open lane off a penalty corner. Ellis rattled the equalizer into the corner of the goal
Penn State sought retaliation after Ellis' goal, earning a quick penalty corner and a Long shot, which was glove-saved by Munley.
After Zug's goal, the Hawkeye offense pressured the Nittany Lion defense inside the circle. Laura Cahill (Virginia Beach, Va.) blocked a Lauren Pfeiffer shot, and Beaumont made a stick save off an Ellis try. Upon earning a penalty corner within the final two minutes, Sarah Pergine set up a shot for Pfeiffer, but Beaumont outstretched to ensure a Nittany Lion victory.
Penn State had a slight 11-10 edge on circle zone opportunities for the game.
Both teams participated in Think Pink Day at the Field Hockey Field. Referees used pink whistles, players wore pink shoelaces, and Nittany Lion fans donned pink giveaway T-shirts.
Both teams will return to action this weekend in University Park, Pa. against No. 10 Virginia. Iowa will face the Cavaliers in a neutral game Saturday at 2 p.m., while the Nittany Lions will host the Wahoos Sunday at 1 p.m. One selected student will be chosen to shoot a half-court shot for the chance to win a free car during halftime of the Penn State-Virginia contest.