Nittany Lions Geared Up For Home-Opening Weekend
Sep 5, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
No. 6 Penn State returns to the Penn State Field Hockey Complex to open its home schedule against Temple and UConn after finishing its first weekend of play with a 1-1 record against two Top-10 teams on the road. The Nittany Lions host Temple on Friday evening at 6 p.m. and then turn around and play No. 4 Connecticut on Sunday at noon.
There will be a number of festivities put on by the field hockey program for the opening home weekend. At Friday's match there will be a "Tweet Your Seat" and a halftime contest that will give fans a chance to win prizes. Every Friday home match this season will be "Dollar Dog Night" where all fans can purchase hotdogs for one dollar apiece.
On Sunday the Nittany Lion mascot will be in attendance to get the fans fired up for the clash against No. 4 UConn. There will also be a free 30-minute field hockey clinic put on by the team following the match. Participants in the clinic are encouraged to bring their own stick.
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. One clear plastic one-gallon bag per person is the only bag permitted at all Penn State home events. Also, fans are encouraged to park in the East Deck parking lot for Friday's match against Temple.
The Nittany Lions came out of its tough opening weekend road trip with a 1-1 split. In the opener, Penn State used a second-half flurry of goals to defeat No. 8 Old Dominion by a score of 3-1. The Lions trailed 1-0 at the halftime break before Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.) notched the first PSU goal of the season. Minutes later Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) put the Nittany Lions on top with a goal off a penalty corner. Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.) added a third goal to cement the Penn State win at 3-1. The Blue and White scored all three goals in a span of eight minutes in the second half.
After winning the opener, the team traveled to Charlottesville, Va. to play No. 7 UVA. The Nittany Lions trailed the hosts at the half and then leveled the score at 1-1 in the second for the second consecutive match. Despite the comeback attempt, the Cavaliers added three goals of their own in the final stanza to win by a final of 4-2. Grzywacz and Herold had the two PSU goals, while Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) picked up two assists, pushing the junior's season total to four through two matches.
Friday's matchup with Temple will mark the 40th time the two programs have squared off with each other. Penn State currently holds a 31-6-2 advantage in the series, which began in 1977. The two sides met last season in Philadelphia, with Penn State winning the contest 5-1. Friday's match marks the first time in the team's history that Temple has been the opponent in Penn State's regular season home opener.
Temple began the 2013 campaign with a 1-1 start at the Conference Cup this past weekend. The Owls won their opening match against the Big Ten's Ohio State by a final of 4-1. Temple then played No. 2 Maryland in the final and received its first loss of the season. The Terrapins defeated the Owls by a final of 5-1. Thus far, preseason All-Big East honoree Amber Youtz is leading Temple with four points off one goal and two assists.
The series with the Huskies has been one of Penn State's most competitive in program history. The two squads will meet for the 37th time on Sunday, with the overall record deadlocked at 16-16-4. UConn has won the last four meetings by scores of 2-1 and have won a total of six-straight over PSU. The Lions last victory in the series was a 1-0 win on Sept. 3, 2006 in a match played in Storrs, Conn.
Connecticut comes into the weekend with a 2-0 record. The Huskies triumphed over No. 12 Stanford in their season opener in a double overtime thriller by a final of 2-1. UConn then won another highly contested match against California by a score of 2-1 to remain perfect on the young season. The Huskies' standout performer through the first two games has been Sarah Mansfield, the goalkeeper. Mansfield was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week after her two solid outings over the weekend.