Big Ten Champion Nittany Lions Look for Fifth Big Ten Tournament Title
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. November 3, 2005 - The No. 6 ranked Penn State field hockey team will play in the Big Ten Tournament at the University of Iowa, which begins Friday, Oct. 4. The Lions, who won the Big Ten regular season title with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play this year, will face the winner of Friday's Iowa-Michigan match. Penn State's contest on Saturday will begin at 12 p.m. ET. Iowa will be providing live scoring, and fans can check Penn State's official athletic website, www.GoPSUsports.com for the GameTracker link to Penn State's contests.
The Championship game is on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 12 p.m. ET. CSTV will air the game on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.
Penn State (17-2, 6-0) is coming off an historic regular season. The team won a program-record 17 straight wins, and went a perfect 10-0 at home at brand-new Astroturf Field. During the season head coach Char Morett also claimed her 300th career victory at the University with a 5-0 victory at Temple on Sept. 14. Morett's impressive career record now stands at 347-122-16, while her mark at Penn Stat is 310-106-8.
Shaun Banta (Gibbsboro, N.J.) has led the way offensively for Penn State with a team-high 15 goals, which also ranks second in the Big Ten and 14th in the nation. Annelise Legel (Morgantown, Pa.) ranks second on the team in scores with 14 and first in points with 33. Kiersten Wood (Lititz, Pa.) tops the squad in assists with eight and Natalie Berrena (State College, Pa.) has contributed nine goals and seven assists on the year. Penn State put together one of its best offensive seasons ever as the team ranked No. 6 in the nation through the regular season in scoring offense at 3.74 goals per game.
Defensively, the Lions have been just as strong. The unit ranks among the Big Ten best in nearly every category, and ranks No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense, giving up just under one goal per contest (0.99). Senior goalkeeper Megan Akstin ranks among the Big Ten and nation's best in goals against average (0.95) and save percentage (.806).
The Big Ten recognized Penn State's outstanding team, and honored six different Lion with seven Player of the Week awards. (Berrena won the honor twice.)
The NCAA Tournament begins Saturday, Nov. 12. The selection show will air on CSTV on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on Penn State athletics and Nittany Lion field hockey, visit www.GoPSUsports.com.