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Shaun Banta leads Penn State with 16 goals this season.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., November 10, 2005 --The No. 8 Penn State field hockey team will play No. 6 American in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex at the University of Maryland. The winner will play either Maryland or Richmond on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. Maryland will be providing the GameTracker feature, and fans can log onto www.GoPSUsports.com on Saturday for a link.
This will be only the second meeting between the schools. Penn State won the only contest between the schools in 1982, 7-0.
The Nittany Lions are led by Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Natalie Berrena (State College, Pa.) and unanimous first team selection Kiersten Wood (Lititz, Pa.). Berrena tallied nine goals and seven assists on the season. Sophomore Shaun Banta (Gibbsboro, N.J.) leads the team in goals with 16.
The Penn State defense is anchored by second-team All Big Ten backs Sara Cahill (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Bekah Hostetler (Hershey, Pa.). The defense is giving up just under a goal a game and has recorded nine shutouts on the season.
American is led by the Infante sisters. Junior midfielder Camila Infante scored 14 goals and notched 14 assists en route to being named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. Sophomore defender Denise Infante earned Patriot League Tournament MVP honors for the second consecutive year.
This was a record-setting year for the Nittany Lions. Penn State won a program-record 17 straight games this season. Head coach Char Morett earned her 300th victory at Penn State on Sept. 14 with a 5-0 victory over Temple. Morett also won her third Big Ten Coach of the Year award.
Penn State, the Big Ten regular season champions, earned an at-large bid to the tournament after falling in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to Michigan, 2-1.
American earned an NCAA bid by winning the Patriot League tournament. They defeated Holy Cross, 4-2, in the championship game.
The winner of this bracket will advance to the Final Four, held at the University of Louisville on Nov. 19 and 20.