Penn State Field Hockey Is Making Waves
Although Penn State field hockey doesn’t bring the same history to the table as some programs like UNC, Syracuse, or Virginia, it has consistently held its own against almost any opponent — especially in the Big Ten.
Despite the season only being four games deep and Big Ten play on the horizon, Penn State has quietly become a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball. On the attack, Penn State has put up a resounding 20 goals in four games, with 8 goals coming against Temple, and 6 against No. 20 Old Dominion.
The persistent attack isn’t the only strong suit for the Nittany Lions this year, though. The defense has been stellar at limiting ball movement and penalty plays. The goalkeeping has kept the likes of the Virginia and Albany from scoring more than one goal — UVA was a dominant shutout for Penn State.
Early projections couldn’t forecast the upset bids the Nittany Lions have pulled off, which include No. 20 Old Dominion, No. 9 Albany, and most impressively, the formidable No. 5 Virginia, who was seeded No. 1 overall in the National Tournament last year.
The offensive ball movement, stick skills, and second chance points off of relentless attacking are the forces propelling this underdog squad into the starlight at a rate faster than anyone could have predicted. The team has only climbed into the rankings at No. 18 after taking down three ranked teams, two of whom are in the top 10.
Though there are no formidable opponents in the schedule this week, the Nittany Lions will head into Big Ten play soon, and this year the conference is scattered with extremely strong teams and individual players who can force a great game any given night. Equally on the other side, No. 18 Penn State will have the opportunity to assert its dominance in a conference riddled with tough teams like Michigan and Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions may be underrated, overlooked, and under the radar at this point in the season, but there’s potential here for the team to make waves for the remainder of the season — and possibly even make an NCAA tournament run. The team’s consistent play will only further build its reputation.
Make sure to follow along with the Field Hockey team for the remainder of the season as they look to turn the expectations of this season into reality.