No. 7 Penn State field hockey (4-0) cruised again on Sunday afternoon, beating No. 15 Wake Forest 6-0.
Junior Moira Putsch scored a goal and assisted two more in the victory over the Demon Deacons (1-3). Juniors Aurelia Meijer, Gini Bramley, and Katie Dembrowski were among the other goal scorers. Junior goalie Jenny Rizzo made nine saves.
How It Happened
Penn State gained a clear advantage in terms of chances created and possession in the early stages of today’s game. However, as head coach Char Morett-Curtiss predicted after the Lions’ win over Temple on Friday, Wake Forest put up a strong fight against her team off the heels of their loss to Indiana.
The Nittany Lions won a penalty corner with 22 minutes left in the first half, but a strong save from a shot by sophomore Bes Bovelander kept the score tied at zero.
Penn State got the opening goal of the game from Gini Bramley at 18:15 of the first half. The junior placed a backhand shot perfectly into the bottom corner of the goal for her fourth of the season.
Wake Forest responded well to the goal with some sustained offensive zone possession, but Penn State’s defense stifled the Demon Deacon attack.
Aurelia Meijer scored her 2nd goal in two games seven minutes after Bramley’s opening goal to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead. Goalie Jenny Rizzo made her first save of the afternoon on a chance in tight off the stick of Wake Forest’s Brooks Doxey.
Penn State took a 2-0 lead and a 13-1 advantage in shots into halftime; both figures accurately reflected how dominant the Lions were.
The second half began with two quick penalty corners for Wake Forest, but the Demon Deacons failed to convert on either opportunity. Jenny Rizzo made an excellent stick save on the second penalty corner, keeping her shutout alive with her fourth save of the afternoon.
“My defense was on their game,” Rizzo said. “All three of the backs were really on top of it, marking and we just felt really good today.
Penn State hit Wake Forest on the counter attack to extend their lead to 3-0 after a Demon Deacon turnover. Moira Putsch made an excellent move in the middle of the field, setting up an easy tap-in for junior Mary Nell-Smith.
The Lions opened the floodgates midway through the second half with goals from junior Katie Dembrowski and senior Shay Cannon, extending their lead to 5-0. Dembrowski’s goal came off of a penalty corner, and Cannon’s was a simple tap-in from a cross by Moira Putsch.
After assisting on two previous goals, Putsch got a goal of her own off a rebound with 17 minutes left in the game to put the Lions up by six goals.
The game ended with Wake Forest failing to break Rizzo’s shutout and a statement win over a top-15 opponent for Penn State.
“I thought our kids played so, so well today,” head coach Char Morett-Curtiss said. “I just think this team plays so well together; they play as a team, they have each others’ backs, they don’t leave anybody hanging on the field.”
Player Of The Game
Cori Conley | Senior | Defender
While the attack exploded for five goals, the senior was excellent at the back throughout today’s game and was a huge part of why Wake Forest couldn’t get anything going on the attack. Her stick checking to stop opposing attacks and quick outlet passing to generate Penn State’s attacks were huge reasons why the Nittany Lions had success today.
“She played really well,” Morett-Curtiss said. “I think she knew that we had to stop [junior Jule Grashoff]and she was ready for the challenge. It was great to see her composure and defensive skills.”
Penn State will travel to New Jersey for their second top-ten matchup of the season against No. 8 Princeton on Sunday at noon.
“Princeton has a really good freshman class,” Moira Putsch said. “Practice is going to be really important this week; it’s going to be our toughest game yet.”