Field Hockey to Host Maryland in Exhibition on Friday
Aug 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2013 Penn State field hockey season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 23, as the Nittany Lions host the Maryland Terrapins at 5 p.m. in an exhibition match at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
The defending Big Ten regular season champions and reigning back-to-back Big Ten Tournament titleholders return 8-of-11 starters from last year's squad, including their top five-of-six point producers.
Notable returnees are the 2012 Big Ten Defender of the Year Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.), the Lions leader in assists Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.) and the 2013 Junior World Cup captain for the U.S. National Team in Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.). The three aforementioned athletes are also the captains of the 2013 Nittany Lions.
Penn State thrived in matches played at home last season, as the team had a record of 11-2 at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex with key victories over No. 3 Old Dominion, No. 8 Virginia, No. 11 Iowa, No. 17 Michigan and No. 17 Albany in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
There will be an autograph session at the field following Friday's exhibition for all supporters to get a chance to meet this year's team. All fans are reminded that Penn State has a new no bag policy that will be enforced at every Penn State home event throughout the year. Also, fans are encouraged to park in the East Deck parking lot for the exhibition.
Maryland will be a tough test for the Nittany Lions, as the Terrapins also return 8-of-11 starters from a team that went to the NCAA Tournament semifinals a year ago before bowing out to the eventual champions Princeton.
The visitors return their top goal scorer from last season in Jill Witmer, who found the back of the net 15 times in 2012 and added 10 assists to her resume for 40 points.
The Lions and Terrapins are familiar with one another, as the two sides have played 32 times in regular season and postseason play. PSU leads the all-time series with a record of 20-11-1 with the last meeting coming in the 2009 season. The Lions hosted Maryland in a 2011 preseason match at Penn State and won by a final of 3-2.
Penn State's regular season-opener is scheduled for August 30 at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. with a 5 p.m. start. The Lion's first regular season home match is on Friday, Sept. 6, as the team hosts Temple in a 5 p.m. start.