What’s Shakin’ with Penn State’s Lesser Known Sports
Women’s Field Hockey
The No. 10 Penn State women’s field hockey team highlighted the week that was in Penn State’s non-revenue fall sports scene, notching three wins, one against a ranked opponent, in a busy week that concludes with the team’s Big Ten opener in Iowa City to square off with the thirteenth ranked Iowa Hawkeyes.
Kelsey Amy continues her strong start, as she has now scored in seven straight games with goals number 11 and 12 on the season in a lopsided 4-0 route of Temple at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex, and junior goalie Ayla Halus earned Big 10 defensive player of the week honor for her stellar performance against No. 6 Duke, stopping ten of eleven shots that came her way, including a dangerous penalty that came her way in the early stages.
The Penn State’s men soccer team played to a disappointing draw in their lone contest with host Hartford, as freshman goalie Andrew Wolverton stopped all five shots he faced. Penn State has now gone 388 minutes without allowing a goal, although they could not find the net themselves, even with an 18-10 shot advantage against an outmatched Hartford (1-5-1). The offensive trends will need to change as the Nittany Lions open B1G play at Indiana tonight, where they have not won since 2005.
The Lady Lion kickers return to Jeffery Field to open their home Big Ten slate with dreadful Northwestern this evening, who comes in with a 1-7-1 record. Penn State has won 15 in a row against Northwestern, and there is no reason for that not to be extended to 16 by the end of 90 minutes tonight. The true test will come on Sunday at 1 p.m., when Penn State plays game two of three on their eight day home stand with twenty-second ranked Illinois, who features last year’s Big Ten Freshmen of the Year, Vanessa DiBernardo, who has scored nine of Illinois 30 goals this season in a match-up that will test Penn State’s back line. Looking back on the weeks results, Penn State’s 1-0 loss at Wisconsin to open the Big Ten schedule in a game featuring 27 Wisconsin fouls and the lone goal by the Badger’s Laurie Nosbusch. Such B1G life, where physical play and low scoring is the normal, and when abnormalities like Illinois role in to town, top effort is a must.
If anything was learned from the opening of Big 10 play at Nebraska, it’s that this team has a ton of fight, and is a lot closer to coming around in to the national contender Penn State volleyball has represented over the last five years. As Drew Balis points out, three of Penn State’s youngest players, Ariel Scott, Micha Hancock, and Ali Longo continued their lights out play, and save for a few too many forced errors, Penn State would have come out on top. That is the biggest area of concern for the Nittany Lions right now, as spikes and digs that could have been points down the line turned in to balls out of bounds, which will need to be correct as Big Ten play heats up. This is another team that will also visit Iowa City this weekend, as Penn State gears up for a rebound effort against Iowa at 8 p.m. Saturday.
What are your thoughts on the week that was and the week that will be for Penn State’s fall sports teams? Is the volleyball team on the verge of success, or coming around at a pace not good enough for Big 10 play? Will Kelsey Amy continue her tear through any opponent the Penn State field hockey team meets? And will Penn State soccer continue it’s climb through the rankings? Leave your thoughts below.