Field Hockey's Conference Opener to be Shown on Big Ten Network Sunday
Sept. 26, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 13 Penn State field hockey team will open its Big Ten Conference schedule and face its sixth ranked opponent of the season when it hosts No. 16 Ohio State on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Last season, Penn State defeated Ohio State in back-to-back games. The Nittany Lions finished their regular season by taking out the Buckeyes, 1-0, in University Park, Pa. Mallory Weisen scored the lone goal of the contest in the 51st minute, and Jen Beaumont shut out the Buckeye offense. The Penn State defense, led by Jen Long, held Ohio State to zero shots in the first meeting. Six days later, Beaumont and company shut out the Buckeyes again as the Nittany Lions cruised to a 3-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in Columbus. Ohio State was held to three shots in the first-round game, and Britney Long tallied two goals for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are coming off a heart-breaking 3-2 loss to No. 15 Princeton after winning both of their contests in the prior weekend. Daneen Zug netted two goals, but the Tigers scored three goals in 2:36 to slide past the Nittany Lions. Jen Long earned two assists, and Allison Scola had one point.
Ohio State (7-3) is currently on a four-game winning streak after beating Ball State, 5-0. In ten games, the Buckeyes have played just two ranked teams, while the Nittany Lions have faced five opponents in standing. Penn State hosts Lafayette on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the Field Hockey Field. The Leopards are 5-3 on the season. The Nittany Lions' next Big Ten game is Friday, Oct. 10 against Iowa at home.
Sunday's Game to be Televised
The Big Ten Network will televise Sunday's game against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio at 4 p.m. The game takes place at 1 p.m., but it will be broadcast until 4 p.m. The event is the 2008 debut of Big Ten field hockey on the Big Ten Network. The BTN, in its second year of operation, will televise two of Penn State's field hockey games this season. Aside from Sunday's game, the Big Ten Network will come to University Park on Oct. 10 to showcase the match-up against the Nittany Lions and No. 6 Iowa.
The Series vs. Ohio State
Penn State holds a 29-8-2 advantage over Ohio State in the all-time series between the two schools. The teams have faced each other since Penn State's inclusion into the Big Ten Conference in the early `90s. The Nittany Lions took both games in the series last year, 1-0 and 3-0, and held the Buckeyes to three total shots in the two contests. Ohio State's last win over Penn State came in 2006, when the Buckeyes took the Nittany Lions into overtime and upended them, 4-3. The series began in 1978, when head coach Charlene Morett was a player, and the Nittany Lions won 5-1.
Scouting the Nittany Lions
Penn State doubled its scoring total for the season in Friday's 6-0 shutout over Georgetown. It added three more Sunday against West Chester.
Prior to the Princeton game, Penn State, fourth in the nation in penalty corners per game, had only scored one goal off a corner opportunity. The Nittany Lions connected on two penalty corner goals against the Tigers with Daneen Zug scoring both.
Goalkeeper Jen Beaumont is 14th in the nation with a 1.23 goals against average, prior to Wednesday's game. She is 19th with a .778 save percentage. Beaumont has two saves on the season and, along with Ali Meves, held Georgetown scoreless.
As of Sept. 22, Penn State is fourth in the nation in penalty corners per game (9.57). It is 10th in shutouts (3), 11th in save percentage and 25th in scoring margin (1.0).
Penn State Stays at No. 13 in Poll
In the latest NFCHA poll, released Tuesday, Penn State remained at No. 13 in Division I field hockey after wins over Georgetown and West Chester. Ohio State jumped up two spots to No. 16 after being set back to No. 18 following the Buckeyes loss to Vermont. Wake Forest edged Syracuse for the top spot in the poll, while the Big Ten was well-represented by Iowa (6th), Michigan State (10th), Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan (19th).
Scouting the Buckeyes
Ohio State faces Michigan State in its Big Ten opener in Columbus today. The Spartans are atop the Big Ten standings at 7-1.
The Buckeyes, like Penn State, feature a team that lost most of its top scorers from last season when Ohio State was 6-12 and finished fifth in the Big Ten. Ohio State
Second-team All-American Linda Haussener leads the Buckeyes in major offensive categories. She has 24 points, eight goals and eight assists in 2008. Emily Mikac has 15 points, Jen Sciulli has 12, and Aisling Coyle has 11.
Lindsay Quintillani has three shutouts in ten games and a 1.29 goals against average.
Haussener is on a nine-game point streak.
Ohio State has allowed 6.4 shots and 3.4 penalty corners per game.
The only common opponent so far has been Temple. The Buckeyes defeated the Owls, 3-0, while Bethany Marvel scored two goals in a 4-0 victory over Penn State's cross-state foe.
The Buckeyes have lost to both ranked teams it has faced this season - Louisville and Duke. Ohio State has also lost to the Catamounts of Vermont.
Coyle is a member of Scotland's national field hockey team.
Pennsylvania High School Teammates
Brooke Hoffsmith, Bonenberger and Sciulli each played field hockey at Palmyra High School. The future Big Ten players led the Cougars to three district titles and a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association field hockey state championship. Likewise, Quintiliani and Jordan Petchel were teammates at Crestwood High School in Mountain Top, Pa. They led the Comets to two PIAA state championships.