Field Hockey Set for Weekend Matches
Sept. 19, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions play both home and away matches this upcoming weekend. Penn State starts by welcoming the No. 16 Delaware Blue Hens to Happy Valley on Friday for a match slated to start at 5 p.m. The squad then heads to Easton, Pa. for a contest against intrastate foe Lafayette on Sunday at noon.
All fans are reminded that Penn State has a 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 Delaware.
In its latest match, the Penn State field hockey program produced a huge 4-3 victory over No. 3 Princeton on Sunday, snapping the defending NCAA national champion's 17-match winning streak. Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) and Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Pa.) produced the Lions' two first half goals and Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) and Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.) added two more in the second to give the Blue and White just enough to come away with the big win.
Friday's match against Delaware will be the first time the two sides have met since 1991. Delaware and Penn State have faced each other 21 times, with the Blue and White holding a commanding 14-5-2 record in the series. Head coach Charlene Morett has a 3-2 mark against the Blue Hens, winning each of the last three matchups by a combined score of 9-1.
Delaware enters Friday's showdown winners of four-straight matches, defeating Michigan State (5-1), No. 11 Temple (2-0), Lafayette (2-1) and Central Michigan (4-2). The Blue Hens' only defeat came at the hands of Boston University, falling to the Terriers by a final of 2-1 in overtime. Delaware boasts a strong defense, relinquishing no more than two goals in any match this season. The visitors have given up a combined two goals in its last three contests.
The Delaware offense has complimented the strong backline by scoring four or more goals in three of its six contests. The Blue Hens' Michaela Patzner is the team's premier goal scorer. The junior has found the back of the cage seven times this season while adding two assists for a team high 16 points on the year.
After Friday's match, the team will travel east to take on Lafayette College on Sunday at noon. The Nittany Lions and Leopards will meet for the 20th time when the two squads take the field. Penn State has dominated the matchup since the two sides played for the first time in 1990. The Lions sport a 17-2 record in the overall series and have won the last three meetings. In 2012, Penn State narrowly won by a score of 3-2. Returning seniors Brittany Grzywacz and Ashtin Klingler each scored a goal in the win and juniors Taylor Herold and Laura Gebhart each picked up an assist in last season's bout with the Leopards.
Lafayette enters the weekend with a 2-3 record (not including Friday's matc with Albany). Each the the Leopards' three losses have come to teams currently ranked in the NFHCA Top 20 national poll (Iowa, Connecticut, Delaware). In Lafayette's three losses the team has scored only one goal but in the squad's two wins the Leopards have combined for seven goals. Lafayette's current home record is 1-1, losing its season opener to Iowa 3-0 and then defeating Quinnipiac 3-1. The Leopards' offense is led by Hanna Sotiropoulos. The senior forward has tallied four points on two goals this season.
After traveling Easton, Pa. for the match against Lafayette, the Nittany Lions head to the Hoosier state for back-to-back matches in Bloomington against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday at 2 p.m. followed by a match with Indiana on Sunday at noon. The match against Indiana will be the Nittany Lions first Big Ten contest of the season. Last year the Lions went 5-1 in Big Ten play on their way to becoming Big Ten champions.