No. 6 Penn State field hockey (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten) lost a nailbiter to No. 5 Michigan ( 19-2, 8-0 Big Ten) in the Big Ten Championship final.
The neutral zone match at East Lansing looked more like a home game for the Wolverines, with plenty of fans deciding to make the hour drive between the universities. Cold, foggy weather greeted both teams when they stepped onto the turf as the Nittany Lions looked to keep their hot streak going, having gone 8-2 since the end of September.
Penn State would see two of its players, Maddie Morano and defensive back Cori Conley, nab Big Ten All-Tournament team placements.
How It Happened
The game proved to be a tug of war between both teams, with the first period going back and forth as soon as the match started. Penn State was able to get to the net more however, with seven shots to Michigan’s one by halftime. Michigan goalkeeper Sam Swenson proved to be a hard netminder to beat as she blocked all four of Penn State’s shots on goal.
The second period saw Michigan’s offense come alive, with it sending nine shots Penn State’s way. The Nittany Lions’ defense appeared ready however, with superb goaltending from Jenny Rizzo. The offense remained tenacious as well, with leading goalscorer Moira Putsch and midfielders Madison Morano and Aureila Meijer leading the charge.
This game seemed destined for overtime until a quick shot from Michigan midfielder Esther de Leijer made its way into the back of Penn State’s net. With just over fives minutes to go, that goal proved to be the decider.
Player Of The Game
Aurelia Meijer | Junior | Midfielder
Meijer was the most active Nittany Lion on offense, leading the team in shots with five.
Penn State awaits the seeding announcement of the NCAA Tournament. The first round starts on Nov. 10.