No. 7 Field Hockey Travels to No. 21 Ohio State Friday
Oct. 17, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a commanding 5-1 victory over No. 11 Iowa on Sunday, the No. 7 Penn State field hockey team heads back out on the road to take on No. 21 Ohio State. The 3 p.m. contest will be aired by the Big Ten Network, with coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m., and will be available via GameTracker.
The Nittany Lions, now 12-3 overall with a 3-1 mark in the Big Ten, are currently in a three-way tie to lead the conference with No. 8 Northwestern and No. 12 Iowa. The Wildcats hold the edge, however, as they defeated the Lions earlier in the season.
"We need to really be prepared to play on the road," said head coach Charlene Morett. "The Big Ten has always had an aggressive style, which we welcome. And every team is battling for that Big Ten Championship. It's still wide open, so I think that everyone recognizes the importance of each game in the Big Ten...I said to the players on Sunday, `You're playing for the Big Ten Championship.' They're playing for the Big Ten Championship again on Friday. It's not ours; we don't have it yet. We need to continue to keep fighting and keep trying to win the game to reach our goal."
Senior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) led the squad against the Hawkeyes, recording three goals and an assist for a seven-point game. The forward's stellar performance earned her Big Ten weekly honors, as she was named the Offensive Player of the Week. Amy, leading Penn State in goals and points scored, has recorded 46 points on 19 goals and eight assists this season, and currently has tallied 71 goals and 162 points in her career.
Recording the game-winning goal for the fourth time this season, junior Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.) found the back of the cage twice during the Iowa contest. The forward, who tallied her 20th career goal against the Hawkeyes, is the second leading point scorer with 11 goals and two assists for 24 points. Sophomore Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) and junior Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.) each notched their 11th assist of the season for the Lions, increasing their point totals to 21 and 17, respectively.
Anchoring Penn State's defense, goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) stood strong in net, allowing only one goal in 70 minutes of action against Iowa. Halus made five saves, extending her season total to 62, and currently holds a .721 save percentage. The netminder, boasting a 1.77 GAA, was aided by excellent defensive performances from junior Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.), Katie Breneman (Washington Boro, Pa.) and Abby Fuhrman (Bainbridge, Pa.). Grzywacz has notched 19 points this season, while Breneman and Fuhrman have led a defense that has only allowed 25 goals compared to 67 goals allowed by opponents.
Coming off of a tough loss to No. 16 Michigan, Ohio State now sits at 9-6 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten. Despite losing their last three conference games, the Buckeyes recorded an unexpected upset over then No. 10 Northwestern on Sept. 21, defeating the Wildcats 3-2. Senior Danica Deckard leads the squad with 13 goals and 31 points, and most recently recorded the lone goal against the Wolverines. Deckard also scored the third goal for Ohio State against Northwestern, putting a comeback out of reach for the Wildcats.
Senior Berta Queralt has also enhanced Ohio State's offense, recording nine goals and three assists for 21 points. Senior Paula Pastor-Pitarque and sophomore Mona Frommhold each rest at 16 points, with Frommhold most recently recording an assist in the Michigan contest. Goalkeeper Emma Voelker has been the backbone of the Buckeyes' defense, making four saves against the Wolverines to bring her season total to 52. The junior currently holds a 1.47 GAA and a .703 save percentage.
Meeting for the 47th time since 1977, Penn State leads the all-time series against Ohio State with a 33-11-2 record. Last season, the Buckeyes upset the Nittany Lions with a 2-0 victory in Happy Valley during the regular season. The two squads met again in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, with the Lions coming out on top with a 1-0 victory. Penn State went on to win the Big Ten Tournament with a 3-2 victory over Michigan.
The Lions will return to Happy Valley on Tuesday, Oct. 23, for the final home game of the season at 6 p.m. against Bucknell. Penn State will conclude the 2012 regular season on the road on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Michigan State.
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