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ORV Penn State (5-10, 1-3 Big Ten)
at #20 Indiana (9-5, 2-2 Big Ten)/Pacific (3-8, 2-3 NorPac)
Friday, October 23, 2009 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 24, 2009 12 p.m.
IU Field Hockey Field, Bloomington, Ind.
Following a narrow 1-0 defeat at Iowa, the Penn State field hockey team looks for its second Big Ten win when it travels to Indiana to face the Hoosiers on Friday at 3 p.m. The Nittany Lions will then remain in Bloomington for a neutral site tilt against Pacific on Saturday afternoon. Please note, the original start time for Saturday's game was 2 p.m. but has since been moved to a 12 p.m. start.
Penn State looks to avoid what would be its only losing conference record in program history. It has finished 3-3 on numerous occasions, so with wins against Indiana and Michigan State, the Lions are primed to equal that mark.
Gametracker will be available and as always, be sure to check the Penn State field hockey twitter page before, during and after the game to stay updated on the Nittany Lions. This includes live in-game score updates for all home and (the majority of) away games!
Penn State Successful In Big Ten Action
Despite holding a 1-3 conference record, Penn State still hopes to finish .500 by winning its last two games, at Indiana and vs. No. 8 Michigan State. The Lions do have their nonconference tilt vs. Pacific sandwiched in between.
The Lions owned a 94-39 all-time record in conference play entering the season. They have finished .500 or better in each of their 17 seasons in Big Ten action.
Two wins would give them a 3-3 mark which would be their fifth 3-3 finish all-time.
The last time it happened was in 2007 when they advanced all the way to the National Championship Game.
Ali's "Double Trifecta"
Junior goalkeeper Ali Meves has enjoyed a sensational season which could see 100 as a significant number by year's end.
With three regular season games and at least one postseason contest still to come, she has a realistic chance to reach 100 saves. If she cracks triple digits, it would mark the first time that a Penn State goalkeeper has done so since current assistant coach Annie Zinkavich had 137 in 2003.
More amazingly, it could happen despite redshirt freshman Ayla Halus starting twice. This is the first time since 2000 that two Penn State goalies have eclipsed 100 minutes played while it could also see one (Meves) reach 100 saves. Ironically, Zinkavich was part of the 2000 scenario as well.
Meves is also atop the Big Ten in saves (82) and save percentage (.774).
Big (Ten) Network Attention
Sunday's game at Iowa was Penn State's second televised contest of the season. The first was the classic 2-1 overtime win over Ohio State.
Leah Secondo and Karen Weaver were on the call for both games.
The Iowa contest debuted on the Big Ten Network on Monday (Oct. 19) at 8 p.m. It could be shown again, so if you missed either the Ohio State or Iowa games, check back to GoPSUsports.com for potential air dates.
Highlights from both games are also available on the Big Ten Network field hockey web page. Just click here to watch!
Penn State is one of five Big Ten schools (along with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State) to have two games televised this season.
Additional Penn State games could be broadcast this year if the Nittany Lions reach the Big Ten Semifinals. Both the semifinals and finals will be live on the Big Ten Network.
Three Penn State games were on the "BTN" last year - at Ohio State, vs. Iowa and the Big Ten Semifinals vs. Ohio State.
Amy Racking Up The Shots
True freshman Kelsey Amy has become much more aggressive on the forward line, leading to three goals and a number of shots.
Despite not scoring at Iowa on Sunday, she had endless opportunities in hopes of netting the tying score. In total, she finished with a game-high seven shots, including an incredible five in a span of 1:33 with under five minutes remaining in regulation.
This came one game after a career-high eight shots vs. Bucknell (Oct. 13). Her (and the game's) first shot found the back of the cage for her third-career goal.
Her 15 shots in a two-game span upped her total to 41 to leapfrog redshirt freshman Hannah Allison for tops on the team.
Looking back even further, she has racked up 31 shots in the last six games coinciding with her six consecutive starts. She's been in the starting lineup ever since the Big Ten opener at Michigan.
Additional Iowa Tidbits
As part of the late surge, Penn State had four consecutive penalty corners with less than five minutes remaining, directly leading to Amy's glittering scoring chances.
The Nittany Lions finished with a 7-6 corners edge meaning they have now "out-cornered" their opponents seven times this season. Final corners were tied on three occasions and they have only been "out-cornered" five times.
Sunday marked the Lions' third 1-0 loss of the season (also to Virginia and Lafayette), the most since 2004 when they also had three. Penn State has suffered two 1-0 defeats in each of the last three seasons.
Redshirt sophomore back Lauren Alloway started her first game in well over a month (Sept. 12 at Maryland). She has seen key minutes off the bench the previous eight contests.
Fellow back Kristen Schaefer also started her 10th consecutive game while Hannah Allison started her second in a row after coming off the bench the previous four.
After playing a pair at Indiana, the Nittany Lions return home for the final regular game of the season on Halloween Day (Saturday, Oct. 31) as they face No. 8 Michigan State at 12 p.m. It will be Senior Recognition Day marking the final regular season home game for seven seniors (Gina Bartolacci, Amy Bonenberger, Laura Cahill, Christine Dudek, Brooke Hoffsmith, Bethany Marvel and Jen Miller).
Following that game, the Lions head to Michigan State for the Big Ten Tournament from Nov. 5-8. The first round games are on the fifth and semifinals on the sixth, all leading up to the Big Ten Championship Game on the eighth.
The Hoosiers have enjoyed an upstart season, posting a 9-5 record, 2-2 in conference play. They are coming off a huge win over No. 16 Northwestern on Saturday.
Among their nine were impressive victories against American (2-1), Louisville (2-1), Iowa (2-1) and California (1-0).
Morgan Fleetwood leads the offensive attack with 21 points (8g, 5a) while Alina Valenti is the only other Hoosier in double figures with 10 (4g, 2a). Three others have eight points (Meg O'Connell, Katie Griswold and Kelsey Hiper) while Haley Funk has six. Hiper leads the way with six helpers while O'Connell and Grisworld each have two goals and four assists.
Alex Mann has seen most of the action in the cage, posting a 2.62 GAA and .663 save percentage to go with one shutout.
The Series With Indiana
Penn State owns a commanding 11-1 advantage in the all-time series with Indiana.
The two teams actually met first in 1978 and 1980 then didn't reconvene until Big Ten action in 2000.
The Nittany Lions' only loss came on Oct. 29, 2006 at Penn State when the 14th ranked Hoosiers topped the No. 7 Nittany Lions by a slim 1-0 final.
The squad is a perfect 4-0 all-time at Indiana and 6-0 in games away from home (including two neutral site contests).
Last year, Penn State avoided an upset with a 1-0 overtime victory behind Amy Bonenberger's golden goal. It proved to be a crucial win as the Lions went on to win their fifth Big Ten Championship.
The Tigers owned a 3-8 record heading into their Thursday tilt at Louisville.
Their wins on the season include Missouri State (2-1), California (2-1) and UC Davis (1-0).
Pacific has enjoyed a balanced offensive attack, led by Kiddy Leubane with nine points (4g, 1a) followed by Kim Keyawa and Lisa Muhl with eight (4g each). Katy McDonough also has seven (2g, 3a).
Ashlee Schlesier has played every minute thus far, posting a 3.27 GAA and .729 save percentage.
The Series With Pacific
Penn State has never faced Pacific in its storied history.
The Tigers will be only the fourth California team that the Lions have ever faced. They have played California three times and Stanford and Long Beach State twice.
Penn State is 6-1 all-time against teams from the "Golden State."
Receiving The "Popular" Vote
Penn State's streak of only facing opponents receiving votes in the National Poll will end on Saturday vs. Pacific after facing its ninth ranked foe of the season in No. 20 Indiana on Friday.
Incredibly, prior to the matchup vs. the Tigers, every team that Penn State has faced thus far was been receiving votes at the time of the matchup.
Old Dominion (16), Virginia (6), Connecticut (5), Maryland (1), Princeton (7), Ohio State (18), Stanford (14) and Northwestern (18) were all ranked on game day vs. the Lions.
Meanwhile, Lock Haven, American, Lafayette, West Chester, Michigan, Bucknell and Iowa were among "also receiving votes."
Among remaining foes, Michigan State is currently ranked.
Watch Ali Meves' Interview On The Big Ten Network!
Junior goalkeeper Ali Meves sat down for an interview that was featured on last Monday's Women's Show on the Big Ten Network.
If you missed it, be sure to watch it in its entirety on the Big Ten Network field hockey web page. Just click here.
Amy, Meves Garner Big Ten Weekly Awards
Penn State field hockey goalkeeper Ali Meves (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and forward Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) were named Big Ten Defensive and Freshman of the Week on Monday (Oct. 5) after their stellar efforts led to Penn State's thrilling 2-1 overtime win over No. 18 Ohio State. Meves made 11 saves, including nine sensational stops after halftime, to keep the score tied while Amy scored the game-winning goal in overtime to send the Lions home winners.
To read the whole release, please click here.
Field Hockey Featured On Big Ten Network
Not only are two Penn State field hockey games scheduled for the Big Ten Network, but a number of features will be run on the network as well, which started on Monday, Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m.
As part of the first episode of Penn State: Access Granted, redshirt sophomore Lauren Alloway and redshirt freshman Ayla Halus gave fans an all-access tour of their facilities, plus a special trip to the Berkey Creamery!
If you missed the first few showings, check it out at one of the remaining re-air times: Oct. 28 (6:30 p.m.).
You can also watch it online by clicking here.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com within the coming weeks for news on another must-see field hockey feature!
Bonenberger, Hoffsmith Featured On Big Ten Website
Seniors Amy Bonenberger and Brooke Hoffsmith were recently featured on the Big Ten official website. The two have been teammates for eight consecutive years after suiting up together in high school.
To read the article, please click here.
Coming In Pairs
Freshman Kelsey Amy scored her first-career goals as part of Penn State's recent four-game homestand. In total, she netted three goals (which all proved to be game-winners). Ironically, teammate Jessica Longstreth scored in each of those games as well.
Amy's first-career goal came in overtime against No. 18 Ohio State (10/2). Longstreth scored Penn State's only other goal, off a penalty corner in the first half.
Next game against No. 14 Stanford (10/5), Longstreth scored the Lions' first marker via a successful penalty stroke. After the Cardinal tied the score at one, Amy responded with her second goal in as many games, which proved to be the difference.
Then vs. Bucknell (10/13), Amy scored just 1:49 into the game while Longstreth made it 2-0 at 3:27.
The one time Amy didn't have a goal was vs. No. 18 Northwestern (10/9), but she did have a number of glittering scoring chances which included a shot argued to have forced a penalty stroke.
More Amy Notes...
Amy's overtime game-winner against the Buckeyes marked the first time in well over 10 seasons that a Penn State rookie has netted an overtime game-winner. She is also the first freshman this century to do so. The "youngest" class that recently scored an overtime game-winner was a sophomore.
The goal also extended an incredible streak of a different Penn State player scoring her first-career goal in the first four home games of the season. It started with Hannah Allison vs. Lock Haven (9/4) leading up to Casey McCartin (9/6), Alex Schlener (9/20) and Amy (10/2). It ended vs. No. 14 Stanford (10/5), but redshirt freshman Kristen Schaefer did record her first career-point (an assist).
Amy's goals vs. Ohio State and Stanford came in consecutive games, marking the first time that a Nittany Lion has accomplished that feat since Allison Scola did so last Oct. 26 and 31 against Michigan and Michigan State.
It was also the first time that a Lion player scored what proved to be the game-winner in back-to-back games since last Oct. 5 and 10 when Daneen Zug did just that against Lock Haven and No. 5 Iowa.
The Bucknell game was also a historically quick start for the Nittany Lions.
Less than four minutes into the game, Penn State was already leading by a pair, only its third multiple-goal lead all season (with the others coming vs. West Chester and Lock Haven).
It was by far the Nittany Lions' quickest goal this season. The previous had been against West Chester on Sept. 20 when Christine Dudek scored at 4:03.
It was also the earliest that Penn State scored since Sept. 28, 2005 when Annelise Legel's goal came only 1:16 into a game vs. Syracuse. Ironically, next time out, the Lions had a quick start as well with Shaun Banta scoring at 2:01 in a game at Michigan.
The last time a Nittany Lion scored less than a minute into a game was on Sept. 21, 2003 when Timarie Legel did so at 0:58 vs. Saint Joseph's. Penn State topped the Hawks, 12-1.
The two-goal outburst was the quickest since Sept. 15, 2006 when Penn State scored at 2:24 and 3:46 in a win over Lafayette.
Penn State enjoyed its string of four straight early October home games by going 3-1 to up its home record to 5-2.
The squad is also 2-2 against ranked foes at home while posting an 0-4 mark on the road. It beat No. 18 Ohio State and No. 14 Stanford while dropping slim one-goal games to No. 5 Connecticut and No. 18 Northwestern.
The forward line stepped up during the four-game homestand with four different forwards accounting for all nine of the Lions' goals: Kelsey Amy (3), Jessica Longstreth (3), Hannah Allison (2), Christine Dudek (1).
In seven home games, Penn State has outscored its opponents, 18-9.
The Lions have also outshot their opponents, 106-67. On the contrary, they have been outshot, 121-62 away from home.
Oct. 13 against Bucknell was only the third time all season that the Lions have scored first, all coming at home.
The other times were vs. Stanford (Oct. 5) and West Chester (Sept. 20).
Penn State is a perfect 3-0 on the season when scoring first and 2-10 when allowing the first goal.
Stroke Of Excellence
Penn State already has four penalty stroke attempts on the season.
Sophomore Jessica Longstreth found herself in a familiar position in the second half of the Bucknell game when she took her fourth penalty stroke of the season (and her career).
The native of Richboro, Pa. released a beautiful shot, but Bison goalkeeper Jessie Atieh made an outstanding lateral save to prevent Penn State from scoring an insurance goal.
It was her fourth attempt overall and second unsuccessful try. She found the back of the cage on consecutive opportunities against American (Sept. 13) and Stanford (Oct. 5) after a failed attempt vs. Lock Haven (Sept. 4).
In addition, with just over two minutes remaining vs. Northwestern (Oct. 9), Penn State thought it would be awarded a stroke, but to no avail.
Penn State had two penalty strokes last season, both from Allison Scola, and both goals.
The most attempts this century was four in 2004, a mark that the Lions have already tied with four regular season games and the postseason still to come.
The 336 fans at the Northwestern game pushed Penn State's cumulative attendance (including road and neutral site games) to 5,326.
That figure is significant because it is more than last season's cumulative attendance of 5,223 through 20 games. It came a full seven games earlier than last year!
Despite frigid weather, 190 did come out for the Bucknell game. That pushed the Nittany Lions' cumulative total to 5,516.
Then the attendance at Iowa was 117, upping the total to 5,633.
The squad has averaged 376 fans at its games (including road and neutral site contests), which is over 150 more than the next "most-seen" Big Ten school, Michigan.
Penn State field hockey would like to thank all fans for their tremendous support! Remember, you can still see the Nittany Lions in home action, Oct. 31 against Big Ten rival Michigan State.
Among The Nation's Attendance Leaders
Penn State will undoubtedly be among the nation's leaders in average attendance this year and still has an outside chance to lead the nation.
The Nittany Lions have averaged 395 fans at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex, which is on pace to top last year's figure of 372, fourth best in the nation.
They could also garner one of Penn State's largest home attendances in program history. For comparison, the Lions averaged: 372 (2008), 406 (2007), 364 (2006), 318 (2005), 390 (2004), 293 (2003), 413 (2002) and 302 (2001).
With a strong showing on Halloween Day vs. No. 8 Michigan State, the Lions could crack 400 fans/game for only the third time this century.
The 395 fans for home games are also only 36 less than last season's national leader (North Carolina, 431).
The mark of 395 stands as second in the Big Ten, only trailing Michigan (430). But that comes in only four home games for the Wolverines. When looking at total attendance, Penn State has seen well over 1,000 more fans (2,767 to 1,721) at its home games than Michigan.
More Attendance Tidbits
Many fans stopped by the home opener vs. Lock Haven (Sept. 4) on their way to football eve, creating a buzz of an atmosphere.
Then on Sunday, Sept. 6, (vs. No. 5 Connecticut), the third largest crowd in the history of the Penn State Field Hockey Complex (694) witnessed a thrilling game.
The 694 fans only trail the 794 on Sept. 1, 2008 against Maryland and 770 on Sept. 2, 2007 versus Connecticut. Four of the top five crowds in the facility's history have come against the Huskies.
The attendance total of 694 stands as the 23rd largest crowd in NCAA Regular Season history and 32nd largest in NCAA history.
Sept. 20 vs. West Chester saw another large crowd with the final total standing at 513.
Oct. 2 vs. No. 18 Ohio State was one of the "lowest" of the season, partially due to inclement weather. But the attendance total was still impressive with 343 faithful braving the elements.
In very similar conditions, Penn State saw 336 come out for Pink Day against No. 18 Northwestern.
Frigid temperatures didn't stop 190 faithful from coming to this past Tuesday's tilt with Bucknell.
Fans can continue these attendance figures with one home game still remaining. With a strong showing, Penn State has a chance to lead the nation in attendance. COME BE A PART OF IT!
Penn State has played some of the top teams in the country and it shows when looking at their cumulative record.
In total, the Lions' nine losses have come to teams with a combined record of 103-48 (.682 win percentage). Five have double-digit wins led by No. 1 Maryland (16-0), No. 3 Virginia (14-2), No. 4 Princeton (11-2), No. 7 Connecticut (14-2), No. 19 Northwestern (12-5) and Lafayette (11-4).
Penn State's five wins have come against teams with great records as well, led by Lock Haven (14-3), No. 12 Stanford (12-2), No. 15 Ohio State (11-4), Bucknell (9-6) and West Chester (7-8) for an overall opponent record of 156-71 (.687 win percentage).
Five of the losses have come to top-10 squads. The Nittany Lions will still play another top-10 team this season in Michigan State.
Start Of A New Streak?
Penn State won its second straight game over a Pennsylvania foe on Oct. 13 with its 2-1 win over Bucknell.
After a loss to Lafayette on Sept. 16 ended a 30-game winning streak against instrate foes, the Nittany Lions regrouped with a win over West Chester (on Sept. 20).
To put the streak into perspective, an astonishing 2,194 days (over six years) came in between losses to teams from the Keystone State.
Lions Roar Back To (Almost) Tame The 'Cats
The Nittany Lions showed their resiliency against Northwestern (Oct. 9) when they fought back to tie the Wildcats on two occasions.
It marked the fourth and fifth times this season that the Lions have tied the score after falling behind. It was also the first time they've come back twice in a game.
They had previously tied the score vs. Old Dominion (1-1), Lock Haven (1-1) and Ohio State (1-1).
Unfortunately, they weren't able to do it for a sixth time this season (and third in the game), as their late surge to tie the score at three fell short.
It also marked the second straight Friday that they faced the 18th nationally ranked team. The weather was also eerily similar as the first half proved overcast both days before rain began falling in the final 35 minutes.
"Wild" Cat Game
There were six total cards (and five yellow cards) handed out vs. Northwestern (Oct. 9). Penn State finished with three yellow cards, all coming in the second half.
For prospective, the Nittany Lions had two yellow cards in their first 12 games combined. They also had fewer yellow cards in seven of their previous eight seasons than they did in that second half alone: 2008 (2), 2007 (1), 2006 (1), 2005 (1), 2004 (2), 2002 (2) and 2001 (0). The only season in which they had more was in 2003 with four.
Don't Forget About Me!
Not to be forgotten, a recent star, especially in both home upsets was junior goalkeeper Ali Meves. She was in goal every minute of the recent four-game homestand.
Following a sensational effort Oct. 2 vs. No. 18 Ohio State, she was solid in making six saves vs. No. 14 Stanford.
The Oct. 2 game may not have reached overtime if not for Meves' efforts. She kept the score tied with one incredible save after another, mostly in the second half and overtime.
She finished with 11 stops, good for her second double-figure save performance of the season (and her career). They both came in two of her previous three starts (also at Princeton on Sept. 23).
Shutting The "Ivy" Door
Meves also had a stellar performance against Ivy League opponent Princeton on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
After allowing a goal on the Tigers' first shot, she stopped 14 of the next 16 sent her way for the most saves by a Penn State goalie since Jen Beaumont had 16 against Ohio State on Oct. 8, 2006.
She's had a number of monster save performances to go along with her most recent career effort. The native of Lower Gwynedd, Pa. also made seven saves at Lafayette (9/16), eight vs. Lock Haven (9/4) and nine at Virginia (8/30).
Meves then made four saves at Michigan (9/27) in her first-career start against a Big Ten foe.
I've Got Your Back
When Meves didn't make the save vs. Stanford, her teammates came up big with an incredible four defensive stops, all coming from seniors.
This came after two defensive saves in the first 11 games combined.
Brooke Hoffsmith had two for the game, one in each half, while Amy Bonenberger and Laura Cahill had big stops as well to keep Penn State up by one.
Penn State already has two overtime games this season through 15 games.
Last season, the Lions had two games go into an extra session which included the postseason.
The squad has a slight chance to finish with the most overtime games since 1995 when there were six.
Four games went to overtime on multiple occasions between 1995 and `09.
The school record for overtime games was seven in 1986. That included an incredible four straight overtime contests.
New Foe = New Conference
After playing seven different conferences, the NorPac was the eighth (and final) conference that Penn State played.
The Nittany Lions have faced teams from the Big Ten (Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern, Iowa) Ivy League (Princeton), CAA (Old Dominion), ACC (Virginia, Maryland), NEC (Lock Haven), BIG EAST (Connecticut), Atlantic 10 (West Chester), and Patriot League (American, Lafayette, Bucknell).
Along with Stanford, another NorPac squad in Pacific is on the docket.
The most-played "non-conference" on Penn State's schedule this season is the Patriot League.
The Lions lost to the league's preseason favorite, American, 3-1 on Sept. 13. The Eagles were selected as the favorites for a seventh straight season.
Penn State then fell to Lafayette, ranked No. 2 in the preseason conference poll, 1-0 in overtime on Sept 16.
It went on to defeat Bucknell (predicted fourth), 2-1 on Oct. 13.
Even with two losses against the Patriot League, Penn State is still an incredible 56-6-2 all-time against the Patriot League.
The Lions have faced Bucknell the most (32-2-2 record) followed by Lafayette (14-2), Lehigh (8-0) and American (1-2).
Field Hockey RPI Released
The most recent NCAA field hockey RPI was released on Tuesday (Oct. 20) with the Nittany Lions coming in 19th.
Penn State moved up three slots after finding itself 22nd in the previous ranking and 26th in the initial RPI of the season.
Three of the Nittany Lions' opponents are in the top five, five in the top ten and 12 in the top 30.
Maryland comes in second followed by Virginia (3), Princeton (5), Michigan State (7), Connecticut (9), Old Dominion (13), Ohio State (16), Northwestern (17), American (21), Stanford (22), Indiana (24) and Michigan (28).
Offensive Explosion Versus West Chester
The Nittany Lions had an offensive outburst on Sunday, Sept. 20, vs. the Golden Rams which led to their second win of the season, both coming at home.
Entering the game, the Lions had scored seven goals in the first seven games, but finished with five in a 5-0 rout.
Only one of the seven goals had been in the first half, but they scored three in the first stanza, including one only 4:03 into the game. That ended a scoreless drought of 222:22 in the first half of games. The only other first half goal prior to that had been in the season-opener at No. 16 Old Dominion.
The Nittany Lions also had 29 shots, 22 on goal, the most since last Sept. 19 vs. Georgetown when they had a whopping 36 shots and 24 on goal.
Junior Daneen Zug finished with a game-high seven shots (six on goal), mostly coming off penalty corners. She more than doubled her shot total in the game alone. She entered the day with six and finished with 13.
Penn State hopes that Sept. 20 proves to be déjà vu to last season.
One year and one day before the 5-0 win over West Chester, the Nittany Lions dominated Georgetown, 6-0. Both games were at home.
That win propelled them to 10 wins in the next 11 games to put themselves in prime position for an NCAA Tournament berth.
In both games, Christine Dudek had a hand in two of the goals. She posted a goal and assist vs. the Rams while she had a career-high two scores last year against the Hoyas.
Both games also compared in the amount of relentless pressure by the Penn State offense. Along with the similar shot totals, the opposing goalkeepers finished with huge save totals - Georgetown's Deirdre Crovo had 18 and West Chester's Joelle Zarefoss finished with 17.
Penn State has spread the wealth on the offensive end with Jessica Longstreth leading the team with five goals, Hannah Allison (4), Kelsey Amy and Christine Dudek (3) and two others (Amy Bonenberger & Casey McCartin) with two apiece.
Bonenberger, Dudek, Longstreth and McCartin all scored their second goals in the 5-0 win over West Chester on Sept. 20.
Longstreth netted her third vs. No. 18 Ohio State (Oct. 2), fourth vs. No. 14 Stanford (Oct. 5) and fifth vs. Bucknell (Oct. 13).
Allison scored her fourth and Dudek picked up her third against No. 18 Northwestern (Oct. 9).
Longstreth propelled into sole possession of first with her fifth goal while Amy tallied her third against Bucknell.
Amy's first came against the Buckeyes while her second was against the Cardinal.
Allison also scored in the last minute of the Stanford game for her first goal in over a month.
There's A First Time For Everything
Four Nittany Lions have scored their first-career goals this season (Hannah Allison, Kelsey Amy, Casey McCartin, Alex Schlener).
Junior goalie Ali Meves had her first-career double digit save performance at Princeton (and had her second on Friday, Oct. 2 vs. Ohio State).
She then won consecutive games for the first time in her career by defeating No. 14 Stanford on Oct. 5.
Meves' first-career start came in the season-opener at Old Dominion (8/28). She entered the season having played in four career games, all in relief.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Ayla Halus picked up her first-career shutout vs. West Chester. It was also Penn State's first shutout of the season.
Halus made her first collegiate appearance in relief of Meves at Maryland on Sept. 12. She was strong, making seven saves in the final 45:46.
Halus then made her first-career start the following day against American. She made six saves in that contest.
Redshirt freshman Kristen Schaefer made her first-career start against American (Sept. 13). She was one of six Lions to play all 70 minutes.
She also had her first-career shot on Oct. 2 vs. Ohio State and actually finished with two shots in the game.
Then vs. Stanford, Schaefer recorded an assist on Amy's go-ahead goal off a penalty corner.
Redshirt sophomore back Lauren Alloway recorded her first-career shot vs. Michigan (Sept. 27). She then had a shot in the following game as well, vs. Ohio State.
Second Half Bunch
The Lions have impressed in second half action this season with 11 of their 21 goals (52 percent) coming in the final 35 minutes along with one in overtime.
Christine Dudek's goal vs. West Chester snapped a scoreless first half skid which reached 222:22. Prior to the marker, Penn State's previous six goals had come in the second half. Amy Bonenberger scored in the first half in the season-opener at No. 16 Old Dominion.
Tides turned vs. Ohio State and Stanford with Penn State getting out to a fast start in both games. It scored five goals in those games, three coming in the first half (60%).
The Lions then scored both of their goals vs. Northwestern in the second half.
Things continued to flip-flop as Penn State not only scored both goals in the first half vs. Bucknell, but they both came within the first 3:30 of the game.
Ironically, the trend was opposite last season, with nearly 66 percent of their goals (27 of 41) in the first half, 13 in the second and one in overtime.
Redshirt senior Christine Dudek has tallied a team-leading five assists through 14 games played this season after having none in the first three years of her playing career.
After a scoreless freshman and sophomore year, she broke out with 10 points (five goals) last season.
This year, she assisted on Hannah Allison's second goal vs. Lock Haven a few days after setting up fellow senior Amy Bonenberger in the season-opener at then-No. 16 Old Dominion.
Dudek then scored a goal at defending national champion and No. 1 Maryland. It came on only her second shot of the season with both coming in a span of nine seconds. The second shot found the back of the cage after a scramble in front of the goal.
Most recently, Dudek tallied assists off penalty corners, vs. West Chester (9/20), Stanford (10/5) and Northwestern (10/9). She also scored her third goal of the season against the Wildcats.
Her 11 points and five assists lead the team.
Junior Ali Meves and redshirt freshman Ayla Halus have shared time in goal, with Halus recording 185:46 while Meves has played 870:44.
Halus started her second game of the season (and career) on Sept. 20 and earned her first-career shutout.
Meves received the starting nod the previous two Wednesdays after Halus played the final 115:46 at the Terrapin Invitational. The junior keeper had 14 saves at Princeton (9/23) and seven at Lafayette (9/16).
She recorded her first-career win in the home opener vs. Lock Haven. Meves finished with eight big saves, including a number in the first half to keep the Lions close, allowing them to take a second half lead behind an offensive outburst.
On Aug. 30, Meves made a then career-high nine saves on 10 shots to keep the Nittany Lions close against No. 6 Virginia.
This season marks the first time that two Penn State goalies have eclipsed 100 minutes since 2000 when Heidi Leuchte played 488 and current assistant coach Annie Zinkavich played 1,150.
Meves and Halus look to fill the hole left by departed All-American goalkeeper Jen Beaumont.
Why Does My Shirt Have To Be "Red?"
The Penn State field hockey team has a number of redshirts on its 2009 roster, led by four redshirt freshmen (Hannah Allison, Ayla Halus, Kristen Schaefer, Alex Schlener), a redshirt sophomore (Lauren Alloway) and two redshirt seniors (Christine Dudek, Jen Miller).
The squad only includes two true freshmen, but when you add the redshirts, the freshmen become 38 percent of the team.
In total, 7 of the 19 players have redshirted.
Fantastic Freshman Performance
Speaking of freshmen, one of those redshirts, Hannah Allison, had a performance to remember in the home opener vs. Lock Haven on Sept. 4.
She had a hand in all of Penn State's goals, finishing with five points, the most by a Nittany Lion freshman since Brittney Long had that many on Sept. 18, 2005 vs. West Chester.
Another freshman, Shaun Banta, also had five (2g, 1a) on Sept. 17, 2004 vs. Lafayette.
Allison was the first Nittany Lion with five points in a half since yet another freshman, Kristen Miller, had two goals and an assist in the second half of a 12-1 home win over Saint Joseph's (Sept. 21, 2003). Current assistant coach Annie Zinkavich was the starting goalkeeper in that game.
The five points were also the most for any Lion since Allison Scola last Oct. 19 at Northwestern.
The last player to have more than five was current senior Bethany Marvel when she recorded a hat trick (six points) on Oct. 23, 2007 at Bucknell. In that game, her sixth point came only 1:50 into the second half.
The performance earned her Penn State Student Athlete of the Week on Sept. 7, an honor she shared with senior football quarterback Daryll Clark.
Overall, Allison is third on the team in scoring with nine points and tied for second (with Jessica Longstreth) with four goals.
Coaches Who Know How To Win
Penn State is playing some of the greatest coaches in NCAA history.
The squad has already faced three of the top five winningest active coaches (all win totals as of the beginning of the season): Beth Anders (Old Dominion, 554), Nancy Stevens (Connecticut, 462) and Missy Meharg (367, Maryland).
Current Lion coach Charlene Morett is fourth on that list with 389 career wins entering the season.
All-time, Anders is first in NCAA Division I history with her 554 wins while Stevens is second, Morett is fourth, Meharg is fifth, Virginia's Michele Madison is 18th (250 wins) and West Chester's Kathy Krannebitter is 24th (212).
In addition, Lock Haven's Pat Rudy had 459 wins entering the year, but she isn't yet eligible as a DI coach since Lock Haven recently moved to Division I.
The "Big" CC?
Penn State could make a case to be an honorary member of the ACC due to the number of nonconference games against one of the top conferences in the country.
This season is no different, with Virginia and Maryland, arguably the ACC's two best teams, on the slate.
Over the previous two years (2007 and '08), Penn State played nine games against ACC squads, posting a 5-4 record. That included four straight games in 2007 as part of its magical run to the National Championship Game.
All-time, Penn State has faced - Maryland (31 times), North Carolina (28), Virginia (16), Duke (5), Wake Forest (4) and Boston College (1).
Ironically, Penn State head coach Charlene Morett began her head coaching career with a current ACC school, Boston College.
The latest NFHCA Coaches Poll (Oct. 20) sees an incredible nine of Penn State's opponents among the Top-20 (and five in the top 10): Maryland (1), Virginia (3), Princeton (4), Connecticut (7), Michigan State (8), Stanford (12), Ohio State (15), Northwestern (19) and Indiana (20). Additionally, American, Old Dominion, Michigan, Iowa, Lock Haven and Lafayette are also receiving votes.
Also on the docket are eight NCAA Tournament teams from 2008, including National Champion Maryland and National Semifinalist Iowa.
The Lions also face 10 from the preseason top-20 and five more who received votes. Only three teams - Lafayette, Pacific and West Chester - didn't garner votes.
Facing Defending National Champions
As part of their challenging schedule, the Lions faced a defending national champion for the 21st time on Sept. 12 at Maryland.
With the loss, Penn State is now 5-16 against defending champs, with the last win coming, 1-0, over the Terps on Nov. 11, 2007.
ONLY THE BEST...
Along with facing the defending national champion and a number of ranked foes, the Nittany Lions also face four preseason conference favorites.
In total, they face four who were predicted to win their respective conferences in their preseason polls: Old Dominion (CAA), Virginia (ACC), Lock Haven (NEC) and American (Patriot League).
The Big Ten, NorPac and Ivy League don't have preseason polls. Otherwise, the number could be even more with Big Ten powers along with teams like Stanford and Princeton on the slate.
Lions Ranked 11th In Preseason NFHCA Poll
Following a Big Ten Championship season, the Penn State field hockey began 2009 ranked No. 11 in the preseason Kookaburra/NFHCA Coaches Poll. The Nittany Lions, who concluded last season in the same position, have 10 opponents ranked in the top-20.
In total, 10 of the Lions' 2009 opponents garnered a preseason national ranking, including six of the top nine: Maryland (1), Connecticut (5), Virginia (6), Princeton (7), Michigan State (8), Iowa (9), American (14), Old Dominion (16), Ohio State (18) and Michigan (19). Other opponents, Northwestern, Indiana, Lock Haven, Bucknell and Stanford all received votes as well.
Five of the seven Big Ten squads were ranked in the top-20, second most of any conference behind the ACC. The other two teams - Indiana and Northwestern - received votes, effectively ranked 26th and 27th, respectively.
Streaks To Greatness
The field hockey program has put together a number of impressive streaks both recently and looking back to its storied history. The Lions look to extend these streaks in 2009.
With Penn State's nine game winning streak in 2008, the squad put together streaks of nine games or more in three of the previous four seasons (also 10 in 2006 and a school-record 17 in 2005). Ironically, the one season that it didn't put together a streak of that magnitude was in the National Finalist season in 2007 when the longest win streak "only" reached five.
Entering 2009, the Nittany Lions have picked up double-figures in wins in an incredible 31 consecutive seasons, a streak that is still alive.
Additionally, the Lions have never had a losing record under Morett. The worst season came in 2004 when they finished 10-10. Every other season of her storied career has consisted of a winning record.
2009 Media Guide Now Available!
The 2009 media guide is now available! In it, you can find everything you need to know about Penn State field hockey including stats, player bios, a complete history section and much more!
Copies are available for only $5. They will be available at every home game and can also be purchased through the publications store on GoPSUsports.com. Click here to order!
Sign Up For Penn State Field Hockey News
Fans, want to stay up to date on the Penn State field hockey team? Sign up today by contacting Justin Lafleur (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Penn State Athletic Communications Department. You will receive game previews, game recaps, news releases and more, straight to your inbox!
Follow Penn State Field Hockey On Twitter!
Penn State field hockey is now on Twitter! You can find exclusive notes and features to help you stay one step ahead when following the Nittany Lions.
Included will be live in-game scoring updates, so if you can't make it to Happy Valley, you'll still be able to follow all the action. Go to www.twitter.com and search for the username PennStateFH. Click here for a direct link.