Weekend Sports Recap: Tournaments and Tip-offs
This past weekend was an up and down one for Penn State Athletics. A few teams saw their seasons come to an end while a few winter sports started off the year with a victory. All of the action is recapped below:
Penn State Field Hockey saw an impressive season come to an end at the hands of Syracuse in the NCAA quarterfinals yesterday afternoon. Junior Whitney Reddig scored both goals for the Lions, but it would not be enough as Syracuse won 5-2 on the road behind a great effort from goalkeeper Leann Stiver. The Orange scored the first two goals of the game and never relinquished the lead.
The Men’s Soccer team took home several conference awards but dropped its Big Ten semifinal matchup on Friday to Michigan State 3-1 in Evanston, Illinois. Minh Vu scored the lone goal for the Nittany Lions, but it did not come until the final few minutes with the Blue and White already trailing by three. The NCAA Tournament draw will be announced today.
The Women’s Soccer team is moving on to the second round in the NCAA tournament after a dominating 4-0 win over the Long Island Brooklyn Blackbirds Saturday night at Jeffrey Field. Christine Nairn got the Nittany Lions on the board in the 24th minute, and Maya Hayes, Raquel Rodriguez, and Tani Costa added goals later on to finish off the shutout. The second round matchup is this Friday against Boston College with the action set to begin at 7:30 at Jeffrey Field.
This weekend was more of the same for the No. 2 Penn State Women’s Volleyball team who improved to 25-2 overall and 15-1 in the Big Ten after sweeping Northwestern (25-16, 25-16, 25-16) Saturday night in Rec Hall. Nia Grant and Deja McClendon led the way with 8 kills apiece while Megan Courtney added five blocks. Russ Rose’s squad has not dropped a set in its last three matches and will look to continue that impressive streak on the road against Indiana Friday night.
Guy Gadowsky’s squad responded from a 5-1 Friday night loss to Air Force with a 5-1 Victory Saturday night at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Max Gardiner registered a career best three points while five different Nittany Lions found the net for goals. More details can be found in our hockey recap.
After a sweep against Sacred Heart a week ago, it was a bit of a rough weekend this time around as the Lions dropped Saturday and Sunday contests to Robert Morris by scores of 7-1 and 4-1 respectively. This concluded a six game home stretch at Greenberg Ice Pavilion as Women’s Hockey now tries to get back on track against Lindenwood in Wentzville, Missouri Friday night.
The first fifteen minutes at the Bryce Jordan Center yesterday were not pretty as the Lady Lions trailed Howard 31-25 with 4:41 to go in the first half. From there, the Lady Lions went on a 14-0 run to close out the half and never looked back, winning their season opener 72-61. Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley, both of whom have been named to some impressive preseason lists, led the way with 25 and 14 points respectively. Mia Nickson also added 14 points as part of a double-double with 10 rebounds. They are back in action at Texas A&M on Wednesday before returning home to host Lafayette next Sunday.
Despite low shooting percentages, the Nittany Lions won their season opener at the Bryce Jordan Center against St. Francis (Pa) Friday night 65-58. Tim Frazier began his senior campaign with 23 points and 6 assists while Southern Mississippi transfer D.J. Newbill added sixteen in his Penn State debut. More details can be found in the basketball recap. The competition gets a bit tougher now, and the venue gets a bit more interesting. Pat Chambers’ squad will travel to Puerto Rico to play in a three-game tournament beginning on Thursday against No. 6 N.C. State. They will then face either Providence or Massachusetts on Friday before a final game on Sunday.
Penn State has seen much better sports weekends so far this year, but the beginning of basketball signifies that winter sports are well underway while the Women’s Soccer team fights to keep their season alive.