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Nov. 1, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK , Pa. - The Penn State field hockey team (13-5, 4-2) opens the 2011 Big Ten Tournament this Thursday with the Northwestern Wildcats in a 2:30 p.m. showdown at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex. The last time the Big Ten Tournament was staged on the University Park campus came in 2003, where Penn State made it to the Big Ten Championship game.
For Penn State's game with Northwestern, the first 100 students will receive free admission. If the Nittany Lions were to advance to Friday's semifinals and Sunday's championship game, admission will also be free to the first 100 students. In addition, free pizza courtesy of Rotelli will be served at Thursday's game.
Tickets for the Big Ten Tournament can be purchased by contacting the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office at 814-865-5555. All session passes are $18 for adults and $12 for students/senior citizens. Single session tickets will run at $8 for adults and $5 for students/senior citizens. Groups of 15 people or more may also purchase tickets at $12 for all session passes and $5 for a single session. Parking for the games on Thursday and Friday will be available at the East Halls parking deck, located behind the Creamery.
Penn State has a long and successful history in the Big Ten Tournament dating back to 1994. Over the last 16 years, the squad has advanced to the semifinals 14 times. Of those trips, the team continued on to the finals seven times and captured four postseason championships.
The Wildcats enter the Big Ten Tournament with a 12-8 overall record and a 1-5 mark in conference play. Four of Northwestern's 12 wins have come against ranked opponents, including No. 8 American, No. 11 California, No. 18 Virginia and No. 7 New Hampshire. Leading the way for Northwestern is Chelsea Armstrong, who is first in the conference in goals (23) and points (53). Regan Mooney has contributed eight goals and a Big Ten best 19 assists as well. Maddy Carpenter is expected to make the start in the cage for the Wildcats. She is 11-8 on the year with a 2.62 GAA.
In 31 all-time matchups with the Wildcats, Penn State holds a commanding 26-4-1 lead in the historical series. Penn State has won 19 of the last 20 matchups, with Northwestern's lone win in that span coming on October 9, 2009 in Happy Valley.
With a victory on Thursday, Penn State would advance to Friday's semifinals, where it would face the winner of No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Michigan State at noon. The championship game is slated for 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued Penn State Field Hockey updates throughout the 2011 season.
Follow Penn State field hockey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PennStateFH and www.twitter.com/GoPSUGreg.