No. 6 Nittany Lion Field Hockey Heads to Big Ten Tournament
Mallory Weisen (above) and the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions field hockey team will look for the program's fifth all-time Big Ten Tournament Championship this weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich. Penn State opens with Northwestern on Friday at 3:00 p.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 1, 2006 - The Penn State field hockey team will look to rebound from the disappointment of dropping its final game of the season on Sunday by winning its fifth all-time Big Ten Tournament Championship. The No. 3 seed Nittany Lions, who are tied with Michigan for the most all-time Big Ten Tournament Championships with four, will open play at the 2006 Big Ten Tournament on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich. against the sixth seed, Northwestern.
The Nittany Lions have a 14-8 all-time record in the Big Ten Tournament and have appeared in the conference championship game six times, going 4-2 in those games. Penn State's 14 all-time tournament wins and .636 winning percentage in the tournament is also tied with Michigan for the most and the best amoung all Big Ten teams.
This is the third time that Penn State will have the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State won the tournament in 1996 at the third seed and lost in the semifinals in 2002. The Nittany Lions also defeated Northwestern in the first round in 2002. Penn State will be looking to break a three-game losing streak at the Big Tournament this year. The Nits went out in their first game in each of the last two years and also lost in the championship game in 2003.
Penn State defeated Northwestern 3-1 this season back on October 20 behind the natural hat trick from Allison Scola (Hummelstown, Pa.). That win was the 13th straight against the Wildcats, dating back to 1997.
The Nittany Lions enter the Big Ten Tournament leading the Big Ten in all defensive categories. Penn State leads the conference in goals against average, shutouts, fewest goals allowed, and fewest goals allowed per game.
If Penn State is victorious on Friday, then the Lions will move into the semifinal round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against the winner of the Indiana/Michigan State game. The Hoosiers, who tied with the Nittany Lions and Michigan for second place in the Big Ten at 4-2, got the No. 2 seed based on their win over Penn State on Sunday. If the Lions get through Saturday's game, a potential match with top-seeded Ohio State, or Iowa or Michigan awaits.