Four Lions Earn All-Big Ten Honors
Nov. 4, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. - Four members of the No. 8 ranked Penn State field hockey team earned 2010 All-Big Ten honors and were celebrated for their achievements during the Tournament banquet hosted at the Skokie Doubletree Hotel on Thursday evening.
Kelsey Amy, Ayla Halus, and Jessica Longstreth headlined the evening as all three standouts earned first-team All-Conference honors. Freshman Brittany Grzywacz also was selected to the second-team squad and was one of only four first-year players to receive All-Big Ten accolades.
Penn State was the only squad that had three players earn first-team honors. The three selections were also tied for the most by the Nittany Lions since they placed six on the first-team squad in 1998.
Kelsey Amy has been at the forefront of Penn State's potent attack in 2010. A sophomore forward, she leads the team and ranks third in the conference with 18 goals. She is currently averaging one goal per game, which is the ninth highest rate in the NCAA.
A two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week selection in 2010, Amy has recorded five multi-goal performances during the season. Her year has been highlighted by a pair of four-goal efforts, including one in the regular season finale against Northwestern. She also tallied four scores in the first half against Monmouth on October 3, which set a new single-game scoring record at the PSU Field Hockey Complex.
Amy has been assisted on the offensive end by Jessica Longstreth. A junior midfielder, she ranks second on the team with 35 points after collecting 15 assists and 10 goals. One of the top goal producers in the country, she is one of only five players in the nation with at least 15 assists and 10 goals.
During the year, Longstreth has posted at least two assists in five games, including a four-assist performance in the regular season finale at Northwestern. She also recorded three assists against Old Dominion on August 27 and Iowa on October 2 while collecting a pair of goals against Bucknell on October 9 and Indiana during the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Longstreth has also converted all six of the team's penalty stroke attempts, which is currently tied for the highest total in the country.
On the defensive end, Ayla Halus has been simply sensational in the cage. A sophomore goalie, she ranks second in the nation with a stellar .832 save percentage. She is also the only player in the country who has recorded at least 90 saves while surrendering fewer than 20 goals.
A four-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honoree, she has posted six shutouts during the season. Her year was highlighted by a 1-0 blanking of No. 5 Princeton, who had not been shut out in two years and entered the October 24th matchup with the second-ranked offensive attack in the nation. Earlier in the year, she also blanked Old Dominion in the season opener after posting a career-high 13 saves against the Monarchs.
Brittany Grzywacz has burst onto the scene with a strong showing during her first season in Happy Valley. A freshman midfielder, she has started all 18 games and tallied 10 points after recording four goals and two assists during the 2010 campaign.
Along with her offensive performance, Grzywacz has been a standout on the defensive end as well. She leads the team with two defensive saves after posting one in the team's shutout victories over Old Dominion and Princeton. Entering postseason play, she is one of only five players in the Big Ten with at least two goals, assists, and defensive saves. She is also the only underclassman to accomplish that feat.
In addition to Penn State's four All-Conference selections, Jenny Purvis was celebrated as the team's Sportsmanship Award honoree. A leader on the team, she has started all 18 games during her senior season. Overall, she has two goals and an assist while also anchoring the team's midfield unit.
A perennial member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad, Purvis has appeared in 66 games during her four-year stint at Penn State. This year, she posted a goal and an assist in the Nittany Lions' 4-1 victory over Bucknell on October 19 before collecting the game-winning score in the team's crucial 2-1 win against No. 17 Duke on October 23.
During the evening festivities, the league also handed out several individual honors. Northwestern's Chelsea Armstrong was named the Offensive Player of the Year, while Michigan's Marcia Pankratz was selected as the top coach. A pair of Buckeyes rounded out the award-winners as Ohio State's Aisling Coyle was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Paula Pastor-Pitarque took home the top freshman honors.