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Nov. 13, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The Penn State field hockey team had its 2011 season come to an end with a tough 3-2 loss to the No. 4-seeded UConn Huskies. Despite being up 1-0, Connecticut had three unanswered goals in the second half to advance to the national semifinals.
Freshman Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, Pa.) and junior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) scored both goals for Penn State. Freshman Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.) who had an excellent NCAA Tournament, earned the assist on Chrismer's goal.
Penn State kept the ball in UConn's defensive end of the field for the first five-plus minutes. The Lions had the first penalty corner opportunity. Redshirt junior Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) cracked a shot that went about a foot wide of the net. The Huskies immediately responded with breakaway. Marie Elena Bolles took a wide open shot as she was left alone, but Halus made a great quick save with 29:05 remaining to keep everything tied at zero.
With about 17:30 remaining, Kim Krzyk of UConn was assessed a yellow card for unsportsmanlike, giving the Lions a one-man advantage for five minutes. The Nittany Lions would take advantage of that, as Herold and Chrismer put together a beautiful give-and-go inside the circle. Herold tapped the ball over to Chrismer, who had an open look and put it in to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
UConn was rewarded a penalty corner with about eight minutes remaining in the first stanza, but Halus laid out and made a great save. The Huskies would retain possession in the circle during the sequence, but an eventual foul would give PSU the ball.
In the second half with over 29 minutes remaining, the Huskies were rewarded back-to-back corners. After failing to convert on the first one, UConn would finally connect on the second, as Jestine Angelini scored on drag shot to tie the game up at one a piece.
Penn State would not let up though, earning a penalty corner with about 22 minutes remaining. Sophomore Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) hit a shot that UConn goalie Sarah Mansfield made a nice pad save on. Then, on another penalty corner moments later, Allison's shot was also stuffed by Mansfield.
The Huskies would provide another scare down in Penn State's defensive end, earning a penalty corner. UConn got a great stroke on the ball, but Grzywacz made an incredible defensive save to keep the game tied up at one. Just minutes later, another penalty corner came, but Halus made a great diving save.
The penalty corner opportunities continued, this time for Penn State. Grzywacz had a nice drag flick that was saved by Mansfield. Sophomore Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.) grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball just wide of cage.
With 10:13 remaining though, UConn gained the lead on a bizarre goal. Cara Silverman hit a ball from the top of the circle. Halus initially made the save in between her pads, but the ball fell out and rolled slowly into the back of the cage. UConn led 2-1.
Angelini added a third goal for the Huskies to give Connecticut a 3-1 advantage with about five minutes remaining, as she converted on a penalty corner.
Nevertheless, PSU continued to battle, earning a penalty corner with about two minutes remaining in the game. Amy scored her 25th goal of the season, scoring off an assist from sophomore Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.).
The Big Ten champion Nittany Lions finish the season with a 17-6 overall record. Seniors Lauren Alloway (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Casey McCartin (Horsham, Pa.) closed out their stellar Penn State careers. PSU will return nine starters to next year's squad.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued updates throughout the 2011 season.
Follow Penn State field hockey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PennStateFH or www.twitter.com/GoPSUGreg.
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