Field Hockey Game Notes
GAME 16: Oct. 20, No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (14-3, 4-0 Big Ten)
Friday's Game: With a win tonight, either team can clinch at least a tie for the Big Ten regular season title. The Lady Lions on an 11-game tear, and after holding steady at No. 6 in the national rankings, swapped positions with the Wolverines who had been at No. 5 most of the year. There is a short but heated history between the teams. In 1996, 1997 and 1998 , Penn State knocked U-M out of the Big Ten Tournament, twice in the semifinals as the Lions went on to win the title each year. But last season, the Wolverines got their revenge, bouncing PSU in the second round, eliminating any chance for the Lions to win their fifth-straight title. Michigan, who went on to win the title, advanced as far as the NCAA Championship game. Tonight will also mark the seniors' final regular season home game.
Penn State Coach's Chair: Head coach Charlene Morett is in her 14th season at the Lady Lion helm and 17th overall. She boasts an overall record of 266-87-16 and a 229-71-8 record at Penn State. Last year, Morett reached yet another milestone, winning the 250th game of her career (10/15/99 vs. Northwestern). She guided Penn State to its 18th-straight NCAA Tournament and the 13th under her guidance. Her 1999 Lady Lions received 17 postseason honors, including Big Ten Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year (Tracey Larson), and four were named USFHA All-Americans. The Lions also reached No. 1 in the first poll of the season last year. Since entering the Big Ten in 1992, Morett's teams have garned three conference titles and an unprecedented four straight tournament titles from 1995-98.
U-M Head Coach: Head coach Marcia Pankratz has lifted the Michigan field hockey team to national prominence in her five seasons. The Wolverines' first coach to ever record 15 or more wins in three seasons, she directed U-M to the NCAA Championship game in Michigan's first NCAA Tournament appearance. Named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association's 1999 West Region Coach of the Year, her previous coaching experience was as an assistant at North Carolina from 1988-91. She enters today's contest with a record of 72-33.
Scouting U-M: Michigan snapped a 12-game winning streak when it lost to a couple of ACC foes in North Carolina (4-0) and Wake Forest (2-0). The team's only three losses have come to those two squads, dropping an earlier contest to UNC at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in St. Louis. Senior Kelly Gannon leads the Big Ten in scoring with 37 points (13 goals, 11 assists). Including Ke. Gannon, Michigan has five of the top ten scorer's in the conference. Sophomore Molly Powers is thrid in the conference and second on the team (14g, 2a, 30 pts), while freshmen April Fronzoni and Kristi Gannon are tied for fifth with 28 points.
National Stats (as of 10/17): Michigan has not only dominates the Big Ten statistical rankings, but also is prominent in the national rankings. Michigan's scoring defense is 13th (1.23), while the offense is the sixth-best in the country and just ahead of Penn State at 4.16. The 2.93 margin of victory is also sixth.
In the individual categories, Ke. Gannon is 10th in points (37) and 19th in points per game (2.176) while Powers is 16th with 30 goals. Powers' 14 goals ranks 11th, with Ke. Gannon and Fronzoni ranking 14th at 13. Senior Courtney Reid leads the country in assists with 19, Ke. Gannon is 13th (11) and junior Catherine Foreman is also 13th. Reid's 1.12 assists per game is fifth, Foreman is 15th (0.688) and Ke. Gannon is 20th (0.647) in that same category. Lastly, both Wolverine goalkeepers rank among the nation's top 20. Newcomer Molly Maloney is ninth with a 1.12 goals against average and junior Maureen Tasch is 17th at 1.33.
PSU vs. U-M: Penn State leads the all-time series, 15-3. The team's met three times last season, with the Lady Lions sweeping the home-and-home regular season series. But the Wolverines topped the Lions in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament en route to their first Big Ten Tournament title.
PSU vs. Michigan
1 at University of Iowa
2 at Northwestern University
3 at Big Ten Tournament
Last Time Out: Penn State won its 11-consecutived game with a 5-0 win over Northwestern one week ago. Outshooting the Wildcats, 25-0, Penn State started the scoring with a Traci Anselmo penalty stroke with 9:50 remaining in the first half. Just over a minute and a half later, Meredith Shulzitski fired a loose ball past the outstretched arms of NU goalkeeper Jessica Yates making the score 2-0. Shulzitski recorded her second goal of the game in the 33rd minute of play, taking a pass from Kiley Kulina. The Nittany Lion offense again clicked in the second half as Kulina scored twice on penalty corners with help from teammates Maegan Galie and Jill Martz.
11 And Counting...: The Lady Lions stretched their win streak to 11 games, the longest win streak since 1993. In that season, Penn State won a school-record 15 games en route to Big Ten regular season and tournament crowns. That season also saw the Lions advance to the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
At Home: The Lady Lions have been tough to beat at home. In the program's 36-year history, it has notched a 216-42-13 record. Penn State has been even better since moving to Bigler Field from Holuba Field in 1996. The Lions have won 39 of 45 games and set the school record with 25 straight-home wins last year. The streak spanned 1997-99.
Anselmo Tabbed Top Penn State Fall Athlete: In a web site fan poll administered by www.GoPSUsports.com , the fans voted senior co-captain Traci Anselmo Penn State's Top Fall Athlete. Anslemo won the poll by a large margin, garnering 41.5% of the votes. She led women's soccer star Christie Welsh (23.8), men's soccer standout Derek Potteiger (14.6), cross country runner Chris McGinness (12.9) and NCAA Championship volleyball team member Mishka Levy (7.2).
Players of the Week! Martz/Kulina Named Players of the Week: Sophomore Jill Martz picks up her second-straight Player of the Week honor, while junior Kiley Kulina receives the honor for the first time this season. Martz' defensive efforts in the three games last week allowed Penn State to give up just two shots and two penalty corners for the week. She also notched at least one point in each of the three contests. Kulina earns Offensive Player of the Week after collecting 11 points on four goals and three assists in the games. Against Northwestern and West Chester, she notched two goals and an assist.
Martz Named Player of the Week: The Penn State defense and sophomore defender Jill Martz had a solid week last week. Martz's defensive efforts led to Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. A starter on defense in every game, to limit Temple and Indiana to a combined six shots, while helping PSU goalkeepers post the fifth shutout of the season over the Hoosiers on Saturday. IU was allowed just one shot for the game. Martz's defense in the two contests allowed for transition opportunities which resulted in two assists and her first career goal. The Penn State defense has been solid all season, with Martz playing a key role. The times has the Lion defense not given up a shot or a penalty corner for the entire game.
Galie Named Player of the Week: For the third time this season a Lady Lion has been honored for her play on the field. Senior Maegan Galie notched the game-tying and game-winning goals in the 3-2 overtime win at No. 18 Michigan State. Her efforts in that game earned her Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. It is the first time she receives the honor this season. She leads the team in assists and is second in scoring.
Anselmo Named Player of the Week: Senior co-captain Traci Anselmo had a breakout weekend at Connecticut and Boston College. During that weekend, she notched 11 points which led to Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week laurels for the first time this season. She led the team to a 5-4 victory against the Huskies with four goals. Against the Eagles, Anselmo recorded a goal and an assist. The 1999 All-American was named Big Ten Player of the Week and National Player of the Week once last season en route to a slew of honors.
Zinkavich Named Player of the Week: Redshirt freshman Annie Zinkavich made her first collegiate appearance in the Lady Lions' season opener against Old Dominion. In 44 minutes of playing time, Zinkavich did not give up an ODU goal and made six saves. The following day against Kent State, she earned her first career start and posted her first career shutout in 70 minutes. Her performances earned her Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first week of the season. Currently, she is ranked 10th nationally with a 1.12 goals against average. Statistics and rankings are as of 10/10.
Among the Big Ten Leaders (as of 10/17): Penn State's offensive surge the last several weeks has put three Lions in the Big Ten's top 10 in scoring. Senior Traci Anselmo is second with 34 points (12g, 10a) and classmate Maegan Galie is tied for third with 30 points (10g, 10a). Junior Kiley Kulina is tied for fifth with 28 points (12g, 4a). Also in the top 20 are four other Lions. Redshirt freshman Timarie Legel is 14th and junior Meredith Shulzitski and freshman Neilye Stoner are both ranked 15th. Sophomore defender is topping out at 19th with 13 points.
The Nation's Leaders: As of October 17, the Penn State field hockey team figures prominently among the nation's best in several statistical categories. The Lions' winning percentage of .867 is third-best in the country, while the scoring offense jumped up from 16th two weeks ago to seventh at 4.09 goals per game in 15 contests. The Lady Lion defense is among the best in eighth, allowing just 1.10 goals. Penn State's victory margin of 2.99 is fifth which is up from 15th two weeks ago.
Senior Traci Anselmo makes another showing in the national top 20. Her 34 points is 14th and 12 goals is 17th. The 2.267 points she collects per game is 15th, while the 10 assists she has dished out is 17th. She also is 18th overall with 0.667 assists per game.
Senior Maegan Galie is 16th with 30 points, 17th with 10 assists and 18th at 0.667 assists per game. Junior Kiley Kulina makes her first appearance in the top 20. The 12 goals scored is 17th, while the 0.857 goals per game is 17th. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Annie Zinkavich continues to be among the best goalkeepers in the nation. She dips under one for the first time this season in goals against average. Her 0.96 goals against average is third in the nation.
Century Mark: With two assists in the 4-0 win over St. Joseph's, senior co-captain Traci Anselmo became the 12th Lady Lion to ever register 100 career points. She moves passed 1999 Big Ten Player of the Year Tracey Larson and into eighth place with a total of 128 points. Her five goals at Connecticut (4) and at Boston College (1) not only puts her in the top 10 on Penn State's career goals list, but she catapulted up the charts and is ranked fifth all-time with 53 career goals, three goals ahead of head coach Charlene Morett.
Approaching the Top: Senior Maegan Galie ranks among the best field hockey players in Penn State history. She moved into the top 10 on Penn State's career goals list earlier this season and her two goals at Northwestern put her into a tie in sixth with head coach Charlene Morett at 50. She is already in the top 10 in career assists and career points. She tied with 1999 Big Ten Player of the Year Tracey Larson and has 45 (7th) after picking up two against Northwestern. Sixth all-time with 145 career points, Galie is just one point behind Kristen Winters ('90) and eight behind 1998 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Dawn Lammey.
Meanwhile, senior co-captain Traci Anselmo moved into the top 10 in goals and points this season as well. She has made a steady climb all season and is now fifth with 53 goals, three ahead of Morett. She moved passed 1999 Big Ten Player of the Year Tracey Larson on the career points list and is in eighth place with 128.
New Faces: There are several new faces on the squad this year. Redshirt freshmen Annie Zinkavich, Timarie Legel and Heather Conroy have gotten their opportunity to show their stuff after sitting out all of the 1999 campaign. Zinkavich earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after outstanding play in the net against Old Dominion and Kent State. Conroy notched the first two goals of her career in the win over St. Joseph's, and Legel also recorded her first career goal in that same game. Neilye Stoner is the only true freshman to get any playing time. She has started every game but two, picked up the first assist of her career against the Hawks, and tallied two goals in the win over Iowa, including her first as a Lady Lion.
Tough Slate: The Lady Lions have traditionally taken on one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and the 2000 campaign is no different. Appearing on the schedule are seven of last year's 16 NCAA Tournament teams (ODU, Kent State, Iowa, Michigan, UVA, UNC, UConn). Big Ten foe Michigan was an NCAA finalist. Eleven of the 20 teams ranked in this week's STX/NFHCA National Coaches polls are Penn State opponents, including six of the top 10.
On Deck: Penn State will travel to No. 7 Princeton for another tough matchup. The Lions have not met the Tigers since a 3-1 loss in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. The Lady Lions leads the all-time season, 14-1.
Lady Lions on the Air: Catch the Lady Lions live on the radio at WMAJ 1450 AM or on Penn State's official athletics web site at www.GoPSUsports.com four times this season. The schedule is as follows: