No. 10 Field Hockey Eyes to Extend Streaks in Evanston
Oct. 17, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 10 Penn State field hockey team travels to Evanston, Ill. Sunday to take on Northwestern at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The game can be followed via GameTracker on GoPSUSports.com.
The Nittany Lions (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten) are on a six-game winning streak that includes wins over then-No. 4 Iowa, -No. 10 Virginia and -No. 16 Ohio State. Penn State defeated Bucknell, 4-2, Tuesday in Lewisburg, Pa. The Nittany Lions were led by Jessica Longstreth's two goals, Amy Bonenberger - who played a part in both the game-winning and insurance goals - and Daneen Zug, who tallied the game-tying goal and assisted the go-ahead goal. Allison Scola extended her five-game scoring streak.
Northwestern (6-9, 0-3 Big Ten) is on a two-game slide after a trying weekend slate that featured No. 3 Wake Forest and No. 4 Michigan State. The Wildcats contended with the Spartans, 3-1, but were no match for the Demon Deacons, which won in convincing fashion.
After Sunday's contest, Penn State hosts two Big Ten opponents next weekend. On Friday, Oct. 24, head coach Charlene Morett's squad will take on Indiana at 5 p.m at the Field Hockey Field. The Hoosiers come off a weekend in which they defeated Michigan, 2-1. The Nittany Lions take on the Wolverines two days later at noon in its final home game of the season. The only remaining game on Penn State's schedule is at Michigan State, which will likely be for the top spot in the Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, Ind.
The Series vs. Northwestern
Penn State owns a 23-3-1 advantage over the Wildcats. Northwestern hasn't defeated the Nittany Lions in field hockey action since 1997, when it upended Penn State, 2-1, in triple over-time. Since then, the Wildcats lost the past 15 games against their conference foe. In 2007, Penn State easily defeated Northwestern, 5-0.
Scouting the Nittany Lions
Zug and Scola lead the Nittany Lions with 16 points each. Zug leads the team with seven goals, followed closely by Longstreth, who has six. Scola has ten assists on the season for a team lead. Scola is 14th in the nation in assists per game, averaging .75 assists per game (not including Tuesday's game at Bucknell). Jen Long has nine assists.
Penn State leads the nation in one statistical category: save percentage. As of Oct. 13, the Jen Beaumont and Ali Meves own a combined team save percentage of 82.9 percent - well ahead of second-place James Madison (80.6 percent). Beaumont is first in individual save percentage, stopping 82.4 percent of shots on goal. She is third in goals against average, letting up 1.06 goals per game. Beaumont and Meves' shutouts per game (six) are third in the country.
The Nittany Lions have been successful in the penalty corner facet of the game as of late. They are fifth in penalty corner opportunities per game (9.38).
Scouting the Wildcats
Northwestern is 0-7 against ranked opponents this season. It has defeated one team, which received votes when it upended Miami (Ohio), 3-1.
Emily Kyle has 92 saves on the season. Her 6.13 saves per game is 22nd in Division I field hockey. Alexandra Quinn is the Chicagoland school's leading player with 12 goals and 28 points. Annie Boslett has the most assists (six) on the team.
The Wildcats, as a team, are 28th in scoring, averaging 2.4 goals per game.
Penn State's defense has only allowed .36 goals per second half this season. It has shut out opponents in the latter frame in 10 of its 14 games this season.
Bountiful Supply of Accolades
After their convincing wins over the Hawkeyes and Cavaliers, the Big Ten recognized Jen Beaumont as its Defensive Player of the Week and Allison Scola as its Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Beaumont also received recognition from the athletics department, as she was named Penn State Student-Athlete of the Week. Meanwhile, Scola was named National Player of the Week by womensfieldhockey.com. Beaumont let up one goal in two games and made seven saves for a shutout over the Wahoos. Scola played a hand in each of the Nittany Lions' three goals in both games, earning two assists and one goal.