No. 7 Field Hockey Heads South for Matchups with No. 6 Duke and VCU
Sept. 16, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State field hockey team (3-3) will spend this weekend in Durham, N.C. and Harrisonburg, Va. to take on the sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils and the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. Saturday's game with Duke will be a 1 p.m. start time. Sunday's matchup with VCU is also slated for 1 p.m., being played at a neutral site in James Madison University.
Both games can be followed via a live stats link on GoPSUSports.com.
Penn State is coming off a big 6-1 victory over Quinnipiac this past Sunday on the University Park campus. Junior standout Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for her six-goal performance in last week's games vs. Quinnipiac and Princeton. Amy's big day came last Sunday, when she scored four goals against Quinnipiac. The four tallies tied her career-high, as she has reached the mark three times. The last time Amy scored four goals in a game came at Northwestern on Oct. 29, 2010, earning her Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week at that time as well.
In the national spotlight, Amy ranks fourth in points per game (3.2) and fourth in goals per game (1.6). Junior Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) ranks fifth in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in goals scored, averaging 0.83 per game. Sophomore Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.) has nine assists on the season, many of which have come on penalty corners. Her nine tallies ranks second in the Big Ten and ninth nationally. As a team, Penn State ranks 10th nationally in penalty corners and 11th in total assists.
Duke heads into Saturday's game with a 5-1 record on the season and a ranking of No. 6 in the most recent Kookaburra NFHCA Poll. The Blue Devils are riding a four-game winning streak, most recently coming off 1-0 victories over Longwood and Wake Forrest. Duke's only loss came in overtime to Big Ten foe Indiana, 3-2.
Leading the way for Duke is its leading scorer, Emmie Le Marchand, who has notched 11 points this season for the Blue Devils. Le Marchand is joined by Devon Gagliardi, who has scored eight points on the year, including four goals in six games played. Samantha Nelson will make the start in the cage for Duke, as she has recorded 12 saves to go along with .632 save percentage clip.
Penn State owns a 5-1 advantage over the Blue Devils heading into this Saturday's matchup. These two teams met up in Happy Valley last season, as the Nittany Lions escaped with a 2-1 victory. Duke's last victory over PSU came in a 4-1 contest back on Oct. 23, 2004.
Virginia Commonwealth enters Sunday's contest with a 2-5 overall record. The Rams have struggled as of late, losing four of its last five games. Most recently, VCU is coming off a tough 2-1 loss to Longwood. The Rams' most recent win came last Sunday in a 2-1 hard-fought win over Davidson.
Kelsey Scherrer enters Sunday's matchup tied as the Rams' leading scorer with six points, including two goals. Arialle Hess also has scored three goals on the season, totaling six points. Erin Jablonski has seen all the action in goal, as she has allowed 1.83 goals per game and has recorded a save percentage of .732.
This will be the first ever matchup between Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth. The Nittany Lions hold a 47-24 all-time record against teams from Virginia. Schools PSU has faced in the Commonwealth include James Madison (19-4) , Old Dominion (11-15), Virginia (14-5) and William & Mary (3-0). Following this weekend's slate of games, the Nittany Lions will then return home on Sept. 22 to host Temple at 6 p.m.
Penn State hosts the 2011 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament from Nov. 3-6. Tickets for the Big Ten Tournament can be purchased by contacting the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office at 814-865-5555. All session passes are $18 for adults and $12 for students/senior citizens. Single session tickets will run at $8 for adults and $5 for students/senior citizens. Groups of 15 people or more may also purchase tickets at $12 for all session passes and $5 for a single session.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued Penn State Field Hockey updates throughout the 2011 season.
Follow Penn State field hockey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PennStateFH and www.twitter.com/GoPSUGreg.