Field Hockey Advances to Big Ten Semifinals Via 2-1 Triumph Over No. 12 Ohio State
Nov. 5, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Riding two first half goals from freshman Kelsey Amy and strong goalkeeping from junior Ali Meves, the seventh-seeded Penn State field hockey team jumped out to a 2-0 lead and held off a late Ohio State surge for a thrilling 2-1 upset victory in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday afternoon. The win marked only the second time in conference history that a seventh seed has defeated the No. 2 seed. The Nittany Lions advance to Friday's Big Ten Semifinals to face the third-seeded Indiana Hoosiers.
"I was really pleased with the way we played both halves," said head coach Charlene Morett. "We had a very exciting first half and played with a lot of poise. We got into a little bit of a panic mode in the second half, but I was really proud of the way they stayed strong inside our defensive 25. Ali Meves did a nice job in goal too. It was a great game for us."
Not only did Penn State become only the second No. 7 seed in Big Ten history to win a game in the tournament, but with a win on Friday, it would become the first-ever squad to advance to the championship game.
The Lions came out strong and took it to the Buckeyes early on. After a number of failed opportunities, they converted at 29:49 off a penalty corner when Amy rocketed a shot past Ohio State goalkeeper Lindsay Quintiliani for a 1-0 advantage. Senior Amy Bonenberger and sophomore Jessica Longstreth were credited with the assists on the play.
Penn State made it 2-0 off another corner attempt, but this coming at 35:00 of the first half. With time winding down, Longstreth made a steal at mid-field to create an attacking opportunity. The penalty corner was awarded before the time had expired, so Penn State was still allowed to take the attempt. The play paid off when another Amy shot found the back of the cage to make it 2-0 heading into halftime.
Ohio State came out strong in the second and converted a Penn State turnover into a goal to cut the lead in half. Berta Queralt was on the receiving end of the feed and came in all alone on Meves. She made a move around the junior goalkeeper and easily found the open goal to make it 2-1 at 49:01.
The Buckeyes kept attacking with shots and penalty corners, but could not solve Meves for a second time. Six of their eight corners came in the second half including five in the span of 6:32.
Final shots were 13-4 in favor of Ohio State while the Buckeyes had the edge in corners, 8-7. Meves finished with five big saves while Quintiliani was credited with one.
Penn State now looks ahead to its Big Ten Semifinal matchup against third-seeded Indiana. The game will start at 2 p.m. and will air live on the Big Ten Network. Check back to GoPSUsports.com and the Penn State field hockey twitter page for continued news and notes as the Nittany Lions vie for their first Big Ten Tournament Title since 1998.
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