No. 6 Field Hockey Opens Big Ten Season with Indiana, Michigan
Sept. 20, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 6 Penn State field hockey team gears up for a homestand this weekend, hosting #24 Indiana and #17 Michigan to open the Big Ten season. The Nittany Lions take on the Hoosiers on Friday, Sept. 21, at 3:10 p.m. for a Big Ten Network game. The Wolverines will then visit the Field Hockey Complex on Sunday, Sept. 23, for a contest at noon.
"Our conference is so strong this year, top to bottom," said head coach Charlene Morett. "In fact, I think it's top to top. There's going to be some great competition and I'm just thrilled that we're opening at home with two games... (The girls) love playing at home. They were away last weekend and now they're on the Big Ten Network and it's a football weekend. So I think that there are a lot of things in their favor and in their comfort zone."
The Lions' contest against Indiana is a Code Blue Blast game, with students earning three points for attending. There will be a two hour pregame broadcast by B94.5 and free food from Rotelli's and Herlochers. Along with BTN giveaways and free schedule magnets, students will have the chance to win an iPad by swiping in at the entrance.
Penn State, now 8-2 on the season, has won its past five contests. Most recently, the squad traveled to Lehigh and Monmouth, recording 8-0 and 7-1 wins, respectively. Eight Lions registered goals, including junior Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.). The forward is amidst a three-game point streak, recording a goal and two assists over the weekend. Klingler currently sits at 10 points with one game-winning goal and a .250 shot percentage.
"I think that we've really proven ourselves thus far," said Klingler. "Heading into the Big Ten, we're just going to keep going strong."
Coming away from a nine-point weekend, senior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) remains the leading point scorer with 27 on 12 goals and three assists. Junior Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) sits at 15 points after scoring on her fourth penalty stroke of the season at Monmouth. Rounding out the top three scorers for the Lions is sophomore Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.), who recorded a goal and two assists against Lehigh, bringing her season point total to 13 with seven assists.
Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) had a stellar weekend for Penn State, registering eight points on three goals and two assists. The fifth-year senior now has 10 points and is currently on a three-game scoring streak. Sophomore Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.), Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, Pa.) and Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.) all scored for the Lions, with Herold and Chrismer each tallying two goals and Reddig coming away with three points.
Goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) earned two wins with the victories over the Mountain Hawks and the Hawks, improving to a .745 save percentage and a 1.48 GAA after six saves. The fifth-year senior now has 38 saves and a shutout under her belt for the 2012 season. Sophomore Kylie Licata (Mountain Top, Pa.) continues to see more time in the net, earning 65:45 minutes of playing time. Licata made five saves against Lehigh to remain at a 0.00 GAA and a 1.000 save percentage.
Indiana, now 5-1 on the season, has had three consecutive overtime contests, including a 3-2 win over Louisville and a 2-1 triple-overtime loss to Ohio. Most recently, the Hoosiers defeated then #22 California in a 2-1 shootout victory. Goalkeeper Maggie Olson, the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, recorded six saves in the contest and allowed only one goal in 100 minutes. Leading point scorer Morgan Fleetwood tallied the regulation goal for Indiana, advancing to 13 points on the season. Audra Heilman advanced to 10 points with an assist in the contest, while Danielle McNally also earned an assist.
Splitting time in net for the Hoosiers, Olson has a record of 1-1 while Viki Green sits at 4-0. Green currently has a .667 save percentage on 12 saves and a 2.19 GAA. After three games this season, Olson leads the conference with a 0.77 GAA and a.867 save percentage with 13 saves.
Penn State will face Indiana for the 18th time in the series history, with the Lions holding the advantage with a 14-3 record. Last season, the squad defeated the Hoosiers 6-2 on October 7 at Indiana.
After battling some of the toughest teams in the country, including six nationally ranked squads, Michigan holds a 5-3 record for the 2012 season. Most recently, the Wolverines defeated Saint Louis 6-2 and then No. 23 Fairfield 5-0. Rachael Mack and Axelle Wouters each scored two goals in the contest against Fairfield, while Aisling Naughton registered a goal and an assist. Mack currently leads the team with 16 points, while Leslie Smith sits at 10 with three goals and four assists. Following her five-point weekend performance, Naughton was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. The rookie currently has seven points, with Wouters close behind with six.
Backstopping for Michigan, goalkeeper Haley Jones currently sits at a 5-3 record. The redshirt junior boasts a 1.49 GAA and a .780 save percentage with 39 saves.
The two squads met a total of 37 times since joining the Big Ten in 1992. Penn State holds the advantage with a 22-15 record in the all-time series. Last season, the Lions faced the Wolverines twice, first losing 2-0 at Michigan on Oct. 16. The two power houses then faced off in the Big Ten Tournament, with Penn State coming out on top with a 3-2 victory on Nov. 6 to win the Big Ten Championship.
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