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#8 Michigan State (14-3, 5-0 Big Ten)
at Penn State (6-11, 1-4 Big Ten)
Saturday, October 31, 2009 12 p.m.
Penn State Field Hockey Complex, University Park, Pa.
The Penn State field hockey team looks to gain momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament as it welcomes No. 8 Michigan State on Saturday at 12 p.m. It is also Senior Recognition Day marking the final regular season home game for seven Nittany Lions.
Gina Bartolacci, Amy Bonenberger, Laura Cahill, Christine Dudek, Brooke Hoffsmith, Bethany Marvel and Jen Miller will all be honored prior to the game.
Saturday is also the second-consecutive Halloween Day matchup for these two rivals. Last year, Michigan State was victorious by a 2-1 final.
The Spartans enter the game with an undefeated 5-0 Big Ten record. Penn State is the only team in the way of its run at perfection, which would be the first since the Michigan Wolverines in 2007.
It is also your last chance to catch the Nittany Lions at home. Be sure to pack the Penn State Field Hockey Complex as the squad attempts to take down its highest ranked foe of the season.
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!
For a complete rundown of senior capsules, please click here. In each writeup, you can find brief overviews highlighting all seven seniors' respective careers at Penn State.
Penn State On Halloween Day
This season marks Penn State's 13th all-time game on Halloween Day and the third against Michigan State (all in a row).
The Nittany Lions have posted a 10-1-1 record in the previous 12 contests.
It's only the third home Halloween game of all-time.
Those three matchups against Michigan State set a new mark for the most-common Halloween foe in program history. The Spartans had been tied with three other squads.
In total, the Lions have faced the following teams on Halloween (which includes this Saturday's game): Michigan State (3), Northwestern (2), Ursinus (2), Susquehanna (2), Ohio State (1), Lehigh (1), Maryland (1) and Dickinson (1).
Follow Next Week's Big Ten Tournament on Twitter!
Be sure to check the Penn State field hockey twitter page for live updates throughout the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament. Check back to GoPSUsports.com next week for complete coveage of the Nittany Lions' bid for a Big Ten Championship.
What's On The Line?
Not only is perfection on the line for Michigan State on Saturday, but the game proves crucial for the Lions as well.
With a win and a Northwestern loss, Penn State would earn the sixth seed heading into next week's Big Ten Tournament. A loss would garner the seventh seed and a likely first-round matchup against Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions look for their third win over a ranked foe and first residing in the top-10.
Penn State field hockey has enjoyed tremendous fan support this season, averaging 395 fans at its home games. The Lions need a crowd of at least 435 Saturday to average 400+ fans for only the third time this century. The highest was 413 in 2002, meaning Penn State would need a crowd of at least 540 on Saturday to surpass that mark. In addition, the Lions are only three behind Michigan for the top attendance in the conference. A lot is on the line, so come be a part of history!
Outstanding Offensive Output
Penn State enjoyed its largest goal-scoring performance of the year (six goals) on Saturday vs. Pacific.
That total was one more than Sept. 20 vs. West Chester and was the most by the Nittany Lions since last Sept. 19 vs. Georgetown (also six).
Both senior Gina Bartolacci and junior Jenny Purvis scored their first goals of the season in the first half, which was also the first of Purvis' career.
Freshman Kelsey Amy and junior Daneen Zug scored a pair of goals marking the first time since Sept. 17, 2006 that two players finished with multiple goals. Shaun Banta had three and Allison Scola added two in a 6-0 win over West Chester.
In addition, senior Brooke Hoffsmith came off the bench for the first time since 2007 (her sophomore year).
Redshirt freshman Kristen Schaefer also extended her start streak to 12 straight games.
Amy's Emergence Continues, Leads To Second Big Ten Weekly Award
Penn State field hockey forward Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week as announced on Monday (Oct. 26) afternoon. Amy finished the week with a team-high six points (2g, 2a), highlighted by a five-point effort in Saturday's 6-4 win over Pacific. The honor is her second in the span of three weeks after earning the first following her game-winning overtime goal against No. 18 Ohio State on Oct. 2.
The complete release can be found on GoPSUsports.com by clicking here.
Amy also finished Saturday with a whopping 10 shots, the most by any Nittany Lion since All-American Allison Scola had that many on Sept. 19, 2008 vs. Georgetown.
She is now up to a team-leading 53 shots on the season with 43 of them coming in the last eight games.
Amy is also tied for the team-lead in both points (12) and goals (5). All the points have come since she was inserted into the starting lineup late in September. In total, she has 12 points in the last seven games (1.7 points/game).
The native of Sweet Valley, Pa. was also the first Penn State freshman to score two goals since Hannah Allison netted two in the season-opener against Lock Haven. Amy was the first true freshman to have that many since Jessica Longstreth last Oct. 14 at Bucknell.
Impressive Day For The Zugs
Not only did Penn State football wide receiver Graham Zug star on Saturday with three touchdowns at Michigan, but his sister Daneen also had a sensational game with two goals against Pacific.
Daneen scored goals at 52:42 and 55:24 of the second half to break a 3-3 deadlock and give the Lions some breathing room.
The two goals tied a career-high and marked the third multi-goal game of her career (and first of 2009).
She was also credited with her fourth-career game-winning goal (and first of the season).
The goals were scored within 2:42, the shortest span between goals by the same player since Bethany Marvel scored at 34:39 and 36:50 (2:10) at Bucknell on Oct. 23, 2007. They were Marvel's second and third goals of the game for her first (and only) hat trick of her career. It also marks the last hat trick by any Penn State player.
Zug's goals came in the shortest span in the same half since Christine Dudek's two in 2:47 (at 15:57 and 18:44) last year against Georgetown. Amy Bonenberger also scored in between.
"Fresh" Bunch Leading The Way
Among the scoring leaders for Penn State is a pair of freshmen, Hannah Allison and Kelsey Amy, who are both among the top three point-getters on the team. They are also tied for the team lead with five goals.
Together, the pair is among the highest-scoring freshman pairs in program history (when looking at ranking on the team in points).
The second best freshman pair this century was in 2004 when Shaun Banta was third on the squad (18 pts: 7g, 4a) and Kiersten Wood was fifth (11 pts: 3g, 5a). Sophomore Annelise Legel was also fourth with 13 (6g, 1a).
Sophomore Jessica Longstreth is currently fourth on the team in scoring (10) and also tied for first in goals (5) meaning three of the top five scorers so far this season (and 2004) have been freshmen or sophomores.
Saturday vs. Pacific was only the fifth time this season that the Lions scored first and the second away from home.
The other times were against Indiana (Oct. 23), Bucknell (Oct. 13), Stanford (Oct. 5) and West Chester (Sept. 20).
Penn State is 4-1 on the season when scoring first and 2-10 when allowing the first goal. The only loss came on Friday (Oct. 23) against the Hoosiers.
Race For Hope Set For Nov. 1
The fourth annual Race for Hope in Philadelphia is set for this Sunday, Nov. 1 and Penn State fans can get involved by supporting former Nittany Lion lacrosse and field hockey standout Deb Andress, who is waging a battle with a brain tumor. The 5K Run/Walk is sponsored by the Brain Tumor Society and kicks off at 8:30 a.m.
For more information, please check out the complete release at GoPSUsports.com.
In addition, check out this great "Success with Honor" feature by Athletic Communications Student Assistant Alyssa Guttendorf.
New Field Hockey Feature Set For 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 showing, be sure to watch it online. Just click here.
In addition, a second feature is set for Penn State: Access Granted on Monday, Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. See what the Nittany Lions had to say in a fun Q&A about bus trips. Don't miss it!
Senior Laura Cahill answered some fun questions on the WPSU Sports website. Here is the direct link.
After Saturday's regular season finale, the Nittany Lions begin their "second season," the Big Ten Tournament hosted by Michigan State. The first round is set for next Thursday (Nov. 5) with the semifinals on Friday and the championship game on Sunday.
An automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament is on the line.
Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans have breezed through much of their schedule, posting a 14-3 record on the season. They enter Saturday's game with a perfect 5-0 conference record and are riding a nine-game winning streak overall.
Some of their best wins have come against: American (5-1), Old Dominion (4-1), James Madison (4-1), Northwestern (5-2), Louisville (2-1, OT), Indiana (6-2) and Ohio State (2-1).
The fourth-leading scorer in the Big Ten, Floor Rijpma leads the way with 33 points (15g, 3a) followed by Manouk Vernij with 25 (8g, 9a), Jeamie Deacon with 19 (7g, 5a) and a pair (Jantine Steinmetz and Chantae Miller) with 17.
Elissa Unger has played every minute in goal, posting a 1.34 GAA and a Big Ten-leading .758 save percentage. She recently jumped Penn State goalkeeper Ali Meves into the top spot. Unger also has three shutouts on the season.
The Series With Michigan State
Despite Penn State's commanding 22-9 edge, the all-time series has been very competitive.
The Spartans have actually won eight of the last 11 matchups after the Nittany Lions won 19 of the first 20.
Penn State looks to end a mini two-game skid against Michigan State as well, with its last win against the Spartans coming in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament, a 2-1 overtime victory.
The Lions' last home win came back on Oct. 15, 2005 a 2-1 final.
Notably, the Lions are 8-4 at home, 4-1 in overtime games and 2-2 in Big Ten Tournament contests.
The all-time series began in 1987 before Penn State's joining of the Big Ten. All but two of the games have come as conference rivals.
Ali's "Double Trifecta"
Goalkeeper Ali Meves has enjoyed a sensational season which could see 100 as a significant number by year's end.
At 95 saves with one regular season game and at least one postseason contest still to come, she should easily reach 100. If she does, 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 receiving two starts on the season. 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' 95 saves is tops in the Big Ten.
Big (Ten) Network Attention
The Oct. 18 game at Iowa was Penn State's second televised game 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.
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 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 her team-leading 12 points and 43 of her team-leading 53 shots all coming in the last eight games.
She racked up six points (2g, 2a) at Indiana last weekend to double her season total from six to 12. An incredible 10 of the 12 came against Pacific.
Despite not scoring at Iowa on Oct. 18, she had a number of golden opportunities in hopes of netting the tying score. In total, she finished with a game-high seven shots, including 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 a team-high 41 to leapfrog redshirt freshman Hannah Allison for tops on the team. She has easily kept (and actually, increased) the lead every since.
Receiving The "Popular" Vote
Penn State's streak of only facing opponents receiving votes in the National Poll ended on Saturday vs. Pacific after facing its ninth ranked foe in No. 20 Indiana on Friday.
Incredibly, prior to the matchup vs. the Tigers, every team that Penn State had faced was receiving votes at the time of the game.
Old Dominion (16), Virginia (6), Connecticut (5), Maryland (1), Princeton (7), Ohio State (18), Stanford (14), Northwestern (18) and Indiana (20) were all ranked on game day vs. the Lions.
Meanwhile, Lock Haven, American, Lafayette, West Chester, Michigan, Bucknell and Iowa received votes.
Among remaining foes, Michigan State is currently No. 8.
Coming In Pairs
Freshman Kelsey Amy scored her first-career goals as part of Penn State's four-game homestand in early October. In total, she netted three goals (which all proved to be game-winners). 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) in that game.
Amy's scores vs. Ohio State and Stanford came in consecutive games, marking the first time that a Nittany Lion 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, (at the time) its third multiple-goal lead all year (with the others coming vs. West Chester and Lock Haven).
Amy's goal came at 1:49 and was by far the Nittany Lions' quickest 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 0-5 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, 150-96 away from home.
Stroke Of Excellence
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 second unsuccessful try to go along with two conversions. 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.
The two games at Indiana pushed Penn State's cumulative attendance (including road and neutral site games) to 5,939.
That figure is significant because it is more than last season's cumulative attendance of 5,223 through 20 games. The mark was broken a full seven games earlier than last year!
The squad has averaged 349 fans at its games (including road and neutral site contests), which is 123 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 (398). But that comes in only five home games for the Wolverines. When looking at total attendance, Penn State has seen almost 1,000 more fans (2,767 to 1,988) at its home games than Michigan.
More Home 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 an outside 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' 11 losses have come to teams with a combined record of 124-58 (.681 win percentage). Seven (11 total) have double-digit wins led by No. 1 Maryland (17-0), No. 3 Virginia (15-2), No. 4 Princeton (12-2), No. 7 Connecticut (16-2), No. 18 Indiana (11-5) and No. 20 Northwestern (12-6).
Penn State's six wins have come against teams with great records as well, led by Lock Haven (16-3), No. 12 Stanford (13-2), No. 13 Ohio State (12-5) and Bucknell (11-6) for an overall opponent record of 187-93 (.668 win percentage).
Five of the losses have come to top-10 squads. The Nittany Lions still face 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. 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 Friday's 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 four-game October homestand.
Following a sensational effort Friday 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.
Sharing The Workload
Junior Ali Meves and redshirt freshman Ayla Halus have shared time in goal, with Halus recording 185:46 while Meves has played 1010:44.
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 (Lafayette & Princeton) after Halus played the final 115:46 at the Terrapin Invitational.
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.
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 has two overtime games this season through 17 games.
Last season, the Lions had two games go into an extra session which included the postseason.
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 eight different conferences, the NorPac was the ninth (and final) conference that Penn State played.
The Nittany Lions have faced teams from the Big Ten (Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana) 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).
Stanford wasn't the only NorPac opponent on its slate; last Saturday's opponent (Pacific) also resides in the NorPac.
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 Tuesday.
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 Monday (Oct. 19) 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.
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.
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.
Balanced Goal-Scoring Attack
The Lions' offense had a lot of action last weekend as Amy scored her fourth and fifth of the season vs. Pacific. Zug scored her second and third while Allison scored her fifth a day prior against No. 20 Indiana.
Allison has been on fire lately. After over a month without a goal, she has three in the last six games, all against ranked teams (Stanford, Northwestern and Indiana).
There's A First Time For Everything
Five Nittany Lions have scored their first-career goals this season (Hannah Allison, Kelsey Amy, Casey McCartin, Jenny Purvis, 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 (Oct. 5), Schaefer recorded her first-career assist on Amy's go-ahead goal off a penalty corner.
Redshirt sophomore back Lauren Alloway unleashed 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 14 of their 28 goals (50 percent) coming in the final 35 minutes along with one in overtime (meaning 15 after halftime).
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.
The first-half successes continued last weekend with four of the seven goals at Indiana scored in the first 35 minutes.
The trend was opposite last season, with nearly 66 percent (27 of 41) of goals in the first half, 13 in the second and one in overtime.
Redshirt senior Christine Dudek has tallied a team-leading six assists 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), Northwestern (10/9) and Pacific (10/24). The assist against Pacific came on the game-winning goal.
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.
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.
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.
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. 27) 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 (13), Indiana (18) and Northwestern (20). Additionally, Old Dominion, American, Iowa, Lafayette and Lock Haven 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.
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 (email@example.com) 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.