Fall/Winter Sports Wrapup: Disappointing Finishes
Throughout the turmoil of last week, many of Penn State’s other fall sports teams faced important tests. Several seasons also came to an abrupt end. Here’s a recap of the happenings of Penn State’s non-revenue sports during the past week:
The men’s soccer team finished the regular season on Tuesday with a 1-1 tie against Hofstra, which is very symbolic of the type of season they had. The men made things exciting, however, during their run in the Big Ten Tournament. It all started on Wednesday when they upset the 2-seed Ohio State Buckeyes in a 2-0 victory in which freshman goalie Andrew Wolverton set a school record with eleven shutouts.
The Lions notched another upset against 3-seed Wisconsin two nights later, notching another shutout for a 1-0 victory in which Penn State didn’t allow a single shot. This was a common theme all year, as the defense constantly dominated Big Ten offenses while their offense struggled to score.
However, the dream of a conference championship came to an end Saturday, as Penn State gave up two second-half goals, falling 2-1 to 1-seed Northwestern. After scoring early and only allowing four shots-on-goal, two quick scores in the second half were too much to overcome.
Penn State finishes the season a disappointing 9-9-4 after being nationally ranked during the first few weeks of the season. They will not receive a seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The ladies kept their amazing season going, placing second in the Big Ten Championship and also notching a win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. After being upset by Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament championship a week ago, the team rebounded by beating Army 1-0 at home to advance to the next round of the national tournament.
With 4:27 left in the game, Christine Nairn hit her second goal of the season to lead the girls to victory. Penn State (20-4) will face Marquette this Friday on the road in the second round of the tournament. Keep an eye on this team, as Penn State certainly has the talent to win it all.
After winning the conference championship last weekend, the field hockey team failed to live up to expectations for a second year in a row. Penn State took care of business on Saturday en route to a 1-0 win over Northeastern, but fell 3-2 to UConn the following afternoon.
Kelsey Amy scored her 25th goal of the year, and Jenna Chrismer tacked on one of her own, but three unanswered goals in the second half left Penn State losing early in the tournament for the second straight season. Penn State finished 17-6 on the year, but you can’t help but wonder how far this team could’ve gone in the tournament.
The defending national champion wrestling squad opened up their season on Saturday against Bloomsburg at Rec Hall, cruising to an easy 39-3 win. Derek Reber at 133 was the only Nittany Lion to lose his match, and Nico Megaludis, David Taylor, and Quentin Wright all pinned their opponent. Frank Molinaro at 149 also picked up a dominant technical fall in the second period.
Penn State takes on #5 Minnesota next weekend at home to open up conference play, which will certainly be a better test.
The volleyball team faced mixed results this past week, falling in 3 sets to 7th ranked Illinois on Friday but rebounding to shutout Northwestern 3-0 on Saturday.
Deja McClendon recorded 17 kills, and Micha Hancock notched 3 aces against Illinois but the Illini proved too much for the 9th ranked Nittany Lions. Penn State came within 2 points of winning 2 sets, and lost all 3 sets by a combined 8 points in the rematch. The girls also fell to Illinois 3-2 last month.
Penn State was able to turn around the weekend Saturday by dominating Northwestern. Deja McClendon once again shined by adding 20 more kills. Northwestern was only able to score a high of 18 points in one set as Micha Hancock picked up 42 assists in the match.
Penn State moved on to a 19-7 record, including a 12-4 in the conference. By the standards of previous years, the team has struggled thus far and have their work cut out for them if they want to win a 5th straight National Championship. The ladies are back in action this Friday and Saturday at home in Rec Hall against Indiana and Purdue.
The 12th ranked Lady Lions opened their season on Friday against Washington State. Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley each scored 22-points on the way to a confident 72-60 victory. After struggling early in the first half with turnovers, Penn State didn’t look back and controlled the rest of the game.
Action continued on Sunday as Penn State took on Middle Tennessee State. After struggling for most of the game, even going down by 10 points midway through the second half, Penn State went a 19-point run led by Maggie Lucas and Zhaque Gray to win 65-49. The Lady Lions next game comes again Delaware on the road this Thursday.
Check out Drew Balis’s separate post for our review of the Men’s Basketball game this weekend.