No. 7 Field Hockey Shuts Out No. 21 Ohio State 3-0
Oct. 19, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 7 Penn State field hockey team continued its hunt for the Big Ten Championship Friday afternoon, defeating No. 21 Ohio State 3-0 for the fourth conference win of the season. The Nittany Lions, now 13-3 overall with a 4-1 mark in the Big Ten, currently rest atop the Big Ten standings, while the Buckeyes fall to 1-4 in the conference with a 9-7 overall record.
"It worked out well," said head coach Charlene Morett. "I thought that we had a much better second half. I know that we had two goals in the first half, but I think the team stepped up and played much better defensively in the second half. I thought that Taylor Herold had a really good, strong game today...And it was great to get to get a shutout on the road against a strong Ohio State team."
Senior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) notched the game-winner for the Lions, recording her 20th goal of the season at the 6:28 mark of the game. Earning the first penalty corner of the game, the Lions sent junior Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.) to set up the play. After a strong feed from Reddig, Amy sent a shot from the top of the right circle barreling towards Ohio State's Emma Voelker, beating the netminder to take a 1-0 lead. It was the forward's third game-winning goal of the season.
The game began with tough battles in the midfield as players were pelted with rain and repeatedly struck by strong gusts of wind. Though Penn State's offense had control of the contest, it would be Ohio State with the first chance of the game, as the Buckeyes ran down the field towards goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) in the opening minutes. Stepping up for the Lions' defense, sophomore Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) planted her feet, stripped the ball and managed to clear down the left side. Amy's goal would come soon after, giving the advantage to Penn State.
As the Big Ten contest continued, sophomore Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.) showed her power and offensive aptitude, drawing several corners throughout the match and constantly driving the ball towards the net. Herold's skill set up a succession of penalty corners, eventually leading to Penn State's second goal of the game. On Penn State's fourth corner, Reddig fed up to Gebhart, who made the stop directly in front of junior Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.). Grzywacz took her time, sending a drag flick shot into the back of the cage from the top of the circle. It was the junior's 10th goal of the season for her 50th career point. Gebhart tallied her 12th assist of the season, while Reddig recorded her 13th and second of the game. The Lions now had a 2-0 lead.
With offense initially controlling the game, the focus switched to Halus as the Buckeyes picked up the tempo. Receiving the ball off of a penalty corner, Ohio State's Danica Deckard fired a shot towards the net in an attempt to get her squad on the board. However, Halus made a huge kick save, lifting her leg at the last moment to remain perfect in the net. Grzywacz stepped up immediately after, making a defensive save on a quick follow up shot from Berta Queralt. The score remained at 2-0 in favor of Penn State, with Grzywacz notching her fifth defensive save of the season and Halus working her way towards her second shutout of the season.
The second half began with the Lions' defense repeatedly challenged, as Halus fended off two Ohio State corners and a tough shot from Paula Pastor-Pitarque. Presenting a united front, Penn State's offense drew corner after corner, with Voelker denying Amy, Gebhart and Grzywacz in the first 12 minutes of the period. The Lions, however, would prove unstoppable. Reddig drove the ball into the Buckeyes' circle at the 21:00 mark, drawing a penalty corner. Feeding up to the top left side of the box, the junior found Amy in prime position. The senior swung back and sent the ball into the back right of the cage, giving Penn State a 3-0 lead. The goal marked Amy's 50th point of the season and gave Reddig her 50th career point on her third assist of the game.
Penn State's defense controlled the remainder of the contest, allowing only three shots by Ohio State. Ending the game with a 3-0 victory, the Lions outshot the Buckeyes 21-8 and held a 12-5 penalty corner advantage.
Halus had a tremendous day, making two game-changing saves for her 13th career shutout. Voelker also played outstandingly, making six saves.
The Lions return to Happy Valley for their final home game of the season on Tuesday, Oct. 23, when the squad takes on Bucknell for a 6 p.m. matchup. Penn State will conclude the regular season on the road at No. 20 Michigan State on Friday, Oct. 27.
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