No. 7 Penn State field hockey (1-0) came back for a thrilling 3-2 win over No. 23 Old Dominion (0-1) in the season opener. Junior Moira Putsch scored the game-winning goal with 3:55 left and added an assist in the victory. Fellow junior Gini Bramley and sophomore Maddie Morano also scored for the Nittany Lions. Goaltender Jenny Rizzo made three saves.
How It Happened
Penn State recorded the first three shots of tonight’s game, with the latter two of those coming after a penalty corner. Junior Aurelia Meijer and sophomore Bes Bovelander both had shots blocked by ODU’s defense 10 minutes into tonight’s game.
The Monarchs opened the scoring a little more than five minutes later off of a penalty corner of their own; Amie Olton scored the first goal conceded by Penn State this season on a deflected shot.
Old Dominion tapped in its second goal of the game at 22:59 of the first half. The goal came on the Monarchs’ second shot of the game, while the Nittany Lions recorded four shots without a goal in the same period of time.
Penn State had yet another chance from a penalty corner roughly five minutes later, but it was denied by ODU goaltender Kealsie Robles. A shot wide of goal from junior Gini Bramley with 34:01 on the clock ended a frustrating first half for the Lions with a 2-0 deficit to come back from.
At the beginning of the second half, two early penalty corners for Penn State gave it chances to cut ODU’s lead in half, but Robles and the Monarch defense were there to deny Penn State on both occasions.
Penn State scored its first goal of the season off the stick of Gini Bramley ten minutes into the second half; her first of the year was assisted by Moira Putsch, who led the team in scoring last season. The goal halved ODU’s lead and gave the Nittany Lions momentum for the home stretch of the game.
Old Dominion continued to absorb pressure throughout most of the second half, coming close to conceding an equalizer multiple times. The Monarchs held firm until sophomore Maddie Mariano tied the game with less than six minutes left in the second half.
Mariano’s first of the season came from a penalty stroke, and it set up an exciting final five minutes of regulation. Her goal was quickly followed by Moira Putsch’s first of the year that gave Penn State its first lead of the ball game with 3:55 left in the game.
Penn State held on in the final minutes to seal a big comeback victory on opening day of the 2017 season.
Player Of The Game
Moira Putsch | Junior | Forward
Although Old Dominion kept Penn State’s star player quiet for 66:05, the junior scored the game-winning goal in tonight’s game, and added an assist on the equalizer for good measure. Her clutch performance in the face of adversity is a huge reason why her team is 1-0 to start the 2017 season.
Penn State will face off against No. 10 Virginia in Charlottesville on Sunday for its first top-ten matchup of the 2017 season.