No. 8 Field Hockey Opens 2011 Season with Old Dominion and Virginia This Weekend
Aug. 25, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2011 Penn State field hockey season is set to begin this Friday, as the Nittany Lions prepare to take on the No. 12 Old Dominion Monarchs and No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers. With Hurricane Irene in the forecast, the contest with Old Dominion has been moved to 2 p.m. on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Penn State will then stay in town and take on Virginia on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Penn State is coming off a 3-2 exhibition victory over the defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Maryland Terrapins last Friday. Freshman Jenna Chrismer (Lansdale, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal with just under two minutes left in regulation. Penn State came out strong early, netting the first goal just over three minutes into the game. The Nittany Lions would take a 2-0 lead in the second half, but Maryland fought back and managed to tie the game at two with a little over nine minutes remaining in the game. However, Chrismer would nail her second goal of the day to give Penn State a 3-2 victory.
The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion finished the 2010 season with a 13-11 record, including a 7-1 mark in the CAA. The Monarchs won their conference championship for the 14th time in program history and made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. Head Coach Beth Anders, who Charlene Morett was an assistant under in the early 1980's, is returning 14 players, including five starters. Leading the way for the Monarchs is Maartie van Rijswijk, who scored 16 goals for ODU last season.
The Nittany Lions hold an 11-14 all-time record against the Monarachs, having won three of the last four matchups. Last season, Penn State downed ODU at home by a score of 4-0 in the season opener. Returning players in junior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) and senior Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) each tallied goals for the Nittany Lions in that game.
The Cavaliers are coming off back-to-back NCAA semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010. Last season, Virginia went 15-4 and made it to the national semis, where it lost an overtime heartbreaker to North Carolina, 3-2. The No. 3-ranked Cavaliers are led by Elly Buckley and Rachel Jennings. Buckley scored an incredible 19 goals as a freshman and had a team-high 11 assists. Jennings is a defensive center midfielder and was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament team last year.
Penn State sports a 13-5 all-time mark against Virginia, but has lost the last two matchups. Last year the Cavaliers took a 3-0 victory in Happy Valley. The Lions' last victory over Virginia came on Oct. 12, 2008 in a 1-0 battle on the University Park campus.
Penn State will look to get off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2007 season. Following this weekend's matchups with ODU and Virginia, the Nittany Lions will travel to Lock Haven on Sept. 2 for a 7 p.m. game with Bald Eagles. Penn State's first home game will come on Sep. 4 against No. 4 UConn. That game will be a Code Blue Blast event, where students can earn points for attending the event. The top 250 point-earners by the end of the school year will receive guaranteed football ticket purchasing opportunities. The top 10 point-earners will receive free football tickets for next year.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued updates throughout the 2011 season.
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