BLOG: Lions Look to Remain Undefeated in Big Ten
Oct. 18, 2013
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
"It's going to be a tough game," said senior captain Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.). "I mean, hopefully everyone's pumped up, you know last home game, senior day. They'll be fired up as well because we both have three wins. We're tied for Big Ten right now, so it should be a really competitive game."
As Grzywacz mentioned, this game will not only be the last home game of the 2013 season, but it will also be senior day for members of the class of 2014.
"Senior day sometimes has the tendency to be a little emotional, but this senior class has been grounded since they got here as freshmen," said head coach Char Morett. "I feel like there's enough of them that they can keep each other focused on the game, and I think they'll play with high energy. We're playing very well at home, so I expect that to continue."
In order to prepare for the match, the Lions have been hard at work this week, perfecting their game in practice.
"We're just getting back to our possession aspect," said Morett when describing the team's main focus. "When I looked at the film of Ohio State, then the film of Bucknell, it was just two different games. We didn't really connect in the Bucknell game, so we went back to playing a lot of possession yesterday and back to defense inside our 25. We're going to focus today on defense inside the 25 and then again, just our flow during the run of play."
Senior captain Whitney Reddig (Lititz, Pa.) agreed with her coach, believing that practices this week are of the utmost importance for the success of the Lions against Michigan State.
"We know that they're 3-0, so I mean, we have to take them seriously and just come out strong and have a good week at practice," said Reddig. "This week at practice, we're probably just going to try and work on staying connected as a unit, defense, and bringing the energy."
The team understands that they will need to be aggressive, as Michigan State is a very competitive group and has won four of its last five games.
"They have a lot of dangerous players on their field, and I think that they play a very competitive schedule," said Morett, "They took Princeton to overtime, three great wins in the conference already. I think that really speaks volumes of their talent. They have strong goaltending, and they have some scoring threats in Abby Barker and Heather Howie. Those two really can do some damage. They dive after balls. I think they're like the engines for that team."
The last time these two teams met, Penn State defeated the Spartans by a final score of 6-1 and clinched the Big Ten regular season title, an event Reddig thinks will be at the forefront of this current Michigan State team's mind.
"It's definitely going to be a tough game," said Reddig. "Every team plays hard against us, but I think that they'll probably remember that loss from last year and give it their all against us on Saturday." Morett expects Saturday's match to be an offensive battle, as both teams are highly skilled up front. "I think both teams have the ability to score a lot of goals," said Morett. "Obviously, you need that solid goaltending at both ends. I think that you'll have some high quality scores that's going to make it an exciting game."
This final home game of the 2013 season will begin at noon on Saturday at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.