Field Hockey Ranked No. 8 in Kookaburra/NFHCA Preseason Poll
Aug. 23, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State field hockey team enters the 2011 season ranked 8h in the preseason Kookaburra/NFHCA Coaches Poll, as announced on Tuesday. The Nittany Lions are one of four Big Ten teams in the top 20.
In total, the Lions will face five of the top 10 teams in the nation and eight of the top 20: Virginia (3), Connecticut (4), Ohio State (6), Princeton (7), Michigan (9), Old Dominion (12), Michigan State (13), and Duke (15). Just three of those games come at home, while five are on the road.
Six other 2011 opponents - Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana, VCU, Lafayette and Lock Haven - are also among others receiving votes.
A young Penn State squad features two seniors, five juniors, eight sophomores and seven freshmen. Leading the way for the Nittany Lions this season will be returning captains Lauren Alloway (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.), along with new captain Alex Schlener (Bethlehem, Pa.).
All-Americans Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) and Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) return to the Nittany Lion lineup for 2011. Halus garnered second-team All-American honors after piecing together a masterful season in goal for Penn State. She led the nation with an incredible .826 save percentage, which was almost 20 points higher than the next closest competitor. She was also the only goalkeeper to record at least 100 saves while allowing fewer than 30 goals. As a first-team All-Conference and All-Region selection last year, Amy led the team and ranked third in the league with 19 goals. Overall, she averaged 0.95 goals per contest, which was the 10th highest rate in the nation.
Penn State opens the season this Friday when it travels to No. 12 Old Dominion at 5 p.m. The Lions then look to beat their highest preseason-ranked opponent when they face No. 3 Virginia in Charlottesville on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued updates leading into Friday's season-opener at Old Dominion.
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