No. 14 Field Hockey Eyes 27th-Straight Win over In-State Opponents Wednesday
Sept. 30, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 14 Penn State field hockey team will play a non-conference game and host Lafayette Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Field Hockey Field. Penn State comes into the contest at 5-4, while the Leopards stand at 7-3.
After a harrowing 3-2 loss to now-No. 12 Princeton, the Nittany Lions recovered to beat now-No. 19 Ohio State, 1-0, in front of a Big Ten Network audience. Bethany Marvel redirected a Jessica Longstreth shot to score the game's only goal. Jen Beaumont made five crucial saves in goal for her third shutout win of the season.
Lafayette is currently on a three-game winning streak after defeating Radford, 3-2. The win over the Highlanders ended a five-game home stand. Wednesday's game will be just the fourth time the Leopards have traveled on the road. Lafayette is 1-2 as visitors with losses to Lock Haven and Rutgers.
Penn State travels to Lock Haven on Sunday before hosting No. 5 Iowa and No. 12 Virginia the following weekend. The game against the Hawkeyes is a Big Ten Network game.
The series vs. Lafayette
Penn State holds a 13-1 advantage over Lafayette in the all-time series between the two schools. The Nittany Lions have won four straight over the Leopards. The lone time the cross-state foe beat Penn State was in 2003 when Lafayette won, 2-1, in overtime. Penn State is on a 26-game winning streak against Keystone State opponents.
Scouting the Nittany Lions
Penn State averages two goals per game, putting it 44rd in the country in scoring. Despite its low number of goals scored, the Nittany Lions are 26th in scoring margin (0.78).
The Nittany Lions' strong suit has been their defensive play as they see themselves near the top of nearly every defensive category. The defense is fourth in save percentage (81 percent) and, despite having one of the most difficult schedules in Division I field hockey, is third in the nation with four shutouts.
Penn State ranks second in penalty corners per game (9.67). It is barely trailing California (9.78) in becoming the nation's best in penalty corners.
Jen Beaumont is seventh and ninth in save percentage (80.4 percent) and goals against average (1.29), respectively.
Allison Scola is second in the Big Ten in shots per game (5) and 10th in assists per game (.5).
Lions drop to No. 14 in poll
In the latest NFCHA poll, released Tuesday, Penn State fell one spot to No. 13 in Division I field hockey after a win over No. 19 Ohio State and a loss to No. 12 Princeton. After defeating then-No. 1 Wake Forest, Maryland now stands at the top spot, despite No. 2 Syracuse owning a better record, defeating the Terrapins earlier in the season and leading every offensive category. The Big Ten was well-represented by Iowa (5th), Michigan State (8th), Penn State and Ohio State. Michigan and Indiana were also receiving votes, as was Lafayette.
Scouting the Leopards
Maggie Kondon has 23 points (10 goals, three assists) to lead Lafayette. Kondon, the leading scorer for the Leopards last year, is three points away from her 2007 total. Kelly Hilovsky has 16 points.
Lafayette has the top record in the Patriot League, a league in which the Nittany Lions play three games against. Penn State also plays West Chester and Bucknell this season. Lafayette, which return eight starters from last year's team, lost the Patriot League championship to American in 2007.
Lafayette is 24th in scoring average (2.54). It is 21nd in scoring margin (1.07).
Condon ranks 13th in goals per game with one goal per game and 15th in points per game (2.3). Condon, who scored against Penn State in 2006, was on womensfieldhockey.com's honor roll for this past week.
Goalkeeper Kelsey Anderson is 16th in the country with a 1.46 goals against average.
Second Half Prowess
Penn State allows 0.33 goals per second half on the season. Aside from the North Carolina loss, opponents have only scored in the second frame of one other game.
Next Friday's game to be televised
The Big Ten Network will televise the Oct. 10 game against Iowa in University Park, Pa. at 3 p.m. The BTN, in its second year of operation, has two Penn State games on its slate this season. It showcased Sunday's 1-0 win over Ohio State in Columbus.