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Nov. 6, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Making its 28th appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, the Penn State field hockey team earned the No. 4 seed to host the first two rounds of playoffs in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions (17-3), No. 3 in the NFHCA Poll, will take on Albany (13-7) on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. at the Field Hockey Complex. This is Penn State's third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to taking on the Great Danes on home turf, the Lion's will serve as the host of the opening round matchup between Syracuse and Massachusetts on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m., as well the Quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 11. Penn State last hosted in 2010, when the squad took on Syracuse in the First Round. Previously, the Lions had not hosted the NCAA Tournament since 2002, when they went on to finish as the national runner-up.
"We are so excited to host the first two rounds and have that great Penn State fan support at home," said head coach Charlene Morett.
Tickets for the First and Second Round games are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and students with valid college or university IDs. Tickets will be sold at the gate on the day of the game only.
Penn State earned the Big Ten's automatic berth into the tournament after claiming the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Championship for the second consecutive year with a momentous 2-0 victory over No. 13 Michigan this past weekend. The Lions also earned the Big Ten Conference Title with an overall regular season record of 15-3 and a 5-1 mark in conference play. After a stellar season of offensive domination and relentless defense, the squad all but swept the Big Ten yearly honors, with Morett named Coach of the Year, senior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) named Offensive Player of the Year and junior Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) named Defensive Player of the Year.
Additionally gaining recognition for a tremendous season, Amy, Grzywacz and sophomore Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) earned All-Big Ten First Team. Junior Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.) earned All-Big Ten Second Team, while redshirt senior Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.) was recognized as a Sportsmanship Award honoree. In regards to postgame performance in the Big Ten Tournament, Gebhart and goalkeeper Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) were named to the All-Tournament Team and Amy was named the Tournament MVP for the second consecutive year.
Penn State has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in eight of the past 10 years, making four quarterfinal appearances, one semifinals appearance and one appearance as a NCAA Finalist in 2007. In the history of the field hockey program, the Lions have made seven semifinal appearances and two Championship game appearances. Penn State's overall record in NCAA Tournament play is 22-31 for the fourth-highest total of tournament games played to date.
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