No. 7 Penn State field hockey (3-0) cruised past Temple in its home opener, topping the Owls 5-0. Aurelia Meijer, Moira Putsch, Alexis Horst, Madison Morano, and Cassie Cline all scored for the Nittany Lions Friday.
How It Happened
Penn State seemed to dominate possession throughout most of the first half, but Temple’s defense stifled and frustrated the Nittany Lion attack. It was a quiet night for junior goalie Jenny Rizzo; she made her first and only save of the game with eight minutes remaining in the game. The Lions outshot Temple 27-1, and dominated possession for most of the evening.
Penn State won three penalty corners in five minutes midway through the period, but the Lions were unable to convert on any of them. One of the misses came off of the stick of sophomore defender Bes Bovelander, whose shot hit the post and bounced away from danger.
The opening goal finally came with 5:29 left in the half when Aurelia Meijer put a shot past Temple goalie Maddie Lillock. The goal was Meijer’s first of this season after her strong 2016 campaign.
“The team played very, very well and kept their composure when we just kept trying to get a goal and it didn’t come in the first half,” head coach Char Morett-Curtiss said.
The first half ended with three more Penn State penalty corners, but Temple’s defense held strong again and did not concede, forcing the Lions to take just a one-goal lead into halftime. The lead could have easily been larger if not for Temple’s defense; the Lions outshot the Owls 14-0, and Lillock made six saves for Temple.
Penn State continued to pile on the chances at the start of the second half, but this time, it got an early goal off the stick of Moira Putsch. Meijer crossed the ball into the middle of the offensive zone, where Putsch was waiting for an easy tap-in for her second goal of the season.
As the Nittany Lions continued to dominate, Alexis Horst scored off of Penn State’s 12th penalty corner of the game to give her team a 3-0 lead. Madison Morano and Cassie Kline added goals late in the game to cap off a comprehensive victory for the Nittany Lions.
Player Of The Game
Aurelia Meijer | Junior | Forward
Meijer was the driving force behind Penn State’s attack, scoring a goal and assisting on two others. After being shut out in the first two games of this season, Meijer drove her team’s offense en route to an emphatic victory.
Penn State returns to the Field Hockey Complex Sunday for a ranked showdown with No. 15 Wake Forest at noon.
“We saw them play today against Indiana,” Morett-Curtiss said. “It was a tough loss for them; they played very well, but I think they’re gonna regroup and be ready for a tough game on Sunday.”