No. 8 Field Hockey Returns to Action Sunday at Ohio State
Natalie Blasco and the No. 8 Nittany Lions travel to Columbus on Sunday for an important Big Ten matchup with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State Game Notes (.PDF)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; October 6, 2006 - After an eight-day layoff since its last game, the Penn State field hockey team returns to action this Sunday when the Nittany Lions travel to Columbus for a 1:00 p.m. matchup with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Penn State last played last Friday, when the Lions topped Michigan 4-0.
That win over Michigan helped the Nittany Lions move up to #8 in the latest STX/NFHCA Top 20 poll. Ohio State enters Sunday's game ranked seventh in that same poll. The Buckeyes will play at #2 Wake Forest on Friday night before returning home to take on the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes enter Friday's game at Wake with an 8-1 overall record and will enter Sunday's game with a 1-1 mark in Big Ten play. OSU won its first eight games of the year before dropping a 2-1 decision to Indiana last weekend. They are currently in the middle of a four-game stretch in which they will play four straight ranked opponents, with Penn State being the third of those four. Ohio State currently leads the Big Ten in several offensive categories, including scoring margin, scoring average, goals and assists. They are also tied with the Lions for fewest goals allowed and are second in goals against average.
The Nittany Lions, who enter Sunday's game with a 10-2 overall record and a perfect 2-0 mark in Big Ten play, have won 10 straight games and have won eight straight Big Ten games dating back to last season. Penn State currently leads the Big Ten in several defensive categories, including shutouts, goals against average, and fewest goals allowed. The Lions are also fourth in the country in goals against average at 0.91, and goalkeeper Jen Beaumont is fourth individually in the country in goals against average.
Offensively for the Nittany Lions, Shaun Banta has scored a goal in seven consecutive games entering this weekend and she currently leads the Big Ten in points, goals, and goals per game. She is also 15th in the country in points per game and ninth in the nation in goals per game. Allison Scola, meanwhile, has put together a streak of her own, as she has recorded at least one point in seven consecutive games also.
In the all-time series with Ohio State, Penn State holds a lopsided 27-6-2 all-time mark against the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions have won the last four meetings, eight out of the last 10, and 12 out of the last 15 meetings. Ohio State¡¯s last win came in 2001. The series began back in 1977, a 5-1 win by Penn State, and the teams played every year from 1977-1988 except for the 1986 season. After a three-year layoff, the series began again in 1992 when Penn State joined the Big Ten and teams have played every year since.