No. 3 Penn State field hockey (5-0) defeated No. 12 Princeton in a ranked matchup today on the road. Juniors Moira Putsch and Aurelia Meijer scored goals for the Nittany Lions, while junior goalie Jenny Rizzo recorded her third consecutive shutout.
How It Happened
After her team’s victory last Sunday against Wake Forest, junior standout Moira Putsch said that the young Princeton team would give the Lions their toughest challenge yet.
“Princeton has a really good freshman class,” she said earlier in the week at the team’s media availability. “Practice is going to be really important this week; it’s going to be our toughest game yet.”
The Media, PA native made her presence felt early on in today’s game, scoring in the 15th minute to open the scoring and give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead. Putsch’s 5th goal of the season was a deflection from a shot off of a penalty corner, a part of the game that head coach Char Morett-Curtiss’ squad has improved on throughout this season.
Outside of Putsch’s goal, the first half was a tight affair, ending 1-0 in favor of Penn State. The first half was more of the same for Penn State, which has not trailed at any point in a game since opening day against Old Dominion. The Nittany Lions dominated possession for most of the first half, but only had the one goal to show for it.
In the 2nd half, the course of the game changed. The Tigers sustained some attack zone possession for good chunks of time. However, Penn State’s staunch defense, anchored by junior goalie Jenny Rizzo and senior back Cori Conley, did not break.
Despite their lack of possession, Penn State converted on another penalty corner to double their lead. This time, junior Aurelia Meijer blasted a shot past Princeton’s defense to give the Lions breathing room into the home stretch of today’s game.
Penn State’s defense was tested shortly after the second goal; Princeton won a penalty corner with a chance to halve the Lions’ lead, but they could not convert. Rizzo and the Lions’ defense held firm, just as they did all game.
Princeton won another penalty corner with 9:35 left in the half, but Rizzo stood tall and made an excellent save to maintain her shutout.
After Penn State missed a penalty corner with a chance to ice the game, Princeton got one of their own late to give them a chance of a comeback, but it was ultimately denied. The missed penalty corner summed up the Tigers’ offense today, as the game ended with another Penn State victory.
Player Of The Game
Jenny Rizzo | Junior | Goalie
The starter for the United States’ under-21 field hockey team recorded her third consecutive shutout for Penn State. The entire defensive unit was strong today, especially in the second half when Princeton attacked the Lions’ goal in search of a comeback.
She made an excellent save off of a penalty corner late in the second half to preserve the shutout and stop the Tigers from generating any momentum for a possible comeback.
Char Morett-Curtiss’ squad is back in action on Tuesday when it takes on Bucknell on the road at 7 p.m.