No. 6 Penn State field hockey (14-3, 6-2 Big Ten) took down Indiana (6-12, 0-8 Big Ten) on Sunday in their last game before the Big Ten Tournament.
After winning their last home game of the season against Rutgers, the Nittany Lions traveled to Bloomington to take on a struggling Hoosiers squad that had won just one game in their last 10. Penn State showed no mercy towards Indiana, pouring on seven goals to spoil the Hooisers’ Senior Day.
How It Happened
The momentum of the match was decided early, with a controlling Nittany Lion group launching itself like rockets at the Indiana goal. Forward Moira Putsch scored her 17th goal of the season in the 6th minute after finishing a long pass with an incredible spin move to get Penn State on the scoreboard.
The Hoosiers tried to get themselves into the Penn State zone, but a staunch defense prevented any substantial movement by the Indiana. After repelling the initial Indiana surge, Penn State jumped right back on the goal train, with Putsch redirecting a shot into the net. Shortly after, a pass from forward Emily Klinger to midfielder Mary Nell Smith would result in a goal for Smith and give the Lions a 3-0 lead just 18:01 into the first period. Finally, a goal from Klinger would make it 4-0 Penn State going into halftime.
The Lions would keep on pounding the Indiana defense, losing no gas coming in at the half. A ringer from forward Cassie Kline off a rebound made it 5-0 in favor of Penn State just three minutes in. Another bombardment from the ravenous Penn State offense would come at the 50:00 mark, with two goals coming from captain Skyler Fretz off a penalty corner and from Putsch, giving her a second-straight hat trick.
Those last two goals would prove to be the last ones for the Lions. The bench would get plenty of time this match, with Klinger and backup goalie Colleen Conway seeing time in the second period. Indiana would find their way on to the scoreboard however, with a bouncing shot launched hard at goal from midfielder Kelsey Giese made it tough for Conway to stop it. The score would stay at 7-1 and the Nittany Lions would leave Bloomington with a win to bring with them to the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 3 seed.
Player Of The Game
Moira Putsch | Junior | Forward
Putsch continues her incredible stretch of play, knocking home her second hat trick in a row after wrecking Rutgers with one on Friday. She’ll finish the regular season with 19 goals.
With a change in format to the conference tournament, the Nittany Lions will host Iowa in the quarterfinals at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex on Sunday at noon.