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Nov. 13, 2007
University Park, Pa. - Junior back Jen Long, this year's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, was named the womensfieldhockey.com National Player of the Week on Tuesday after her outstanding play on defense contributed to the Nittany Lions winning their first and second round games in the NCAA Tournament to advance to this weekend's NCAA Final Four.
Long came off the bench to start the second half in Saturday's first round game against Virginia after not starting the game for the first time in her career with a sore hamstring that she injured in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal against Michigan back on November 2. With Penn State trailing 1-0 at halftime, Long played the entire second half as the Nittany Lions rallied back with three straight goals before yielding a late score to the Cavaliers but holding on for the 3-2 victory. Long also had an assist on Mallory Weisen's eventual game-winning goal, her team-leading 11th helper of the year.
Then on Sunday, Long played the entire game at back against Maryland as the Nittany Lions turned in their most outstanding defensive effort of the year to defeat the two-time defending national champions 1-0 to advance to the program's seventh all-time NCAA Final Four.
Long and the Nittany Lions will take on Wake Forest at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night in College Park, Md. in the national semifinals.