Field Hockey Wins The Big Ten Championship 2-1 Over Maryland
Penn State (17-2, 6-2 Big Ten) played for the Big Ten Championship against top-seeded Maryland in College Park. The Terrapins (17-4, 7-1 Big Ten) were hoping to defend their Big Ten Tournament title, but a second half surge pushed the Nittany Lions to the 2-1 win.
How It Happened
Penn State pressed the Maryland defense in the opening minutes and created a number of opportunities. The Nittany Lions couldn’t find the opening goal during this stretch and the Terrapins gained momentum as the half progressed.
Maryland scored the opening goal with just more than nine minutes remaining in the half. Maryland’s Welma Luus took the ball down the end line and had her cross deflected into the air, which Emma Rissinger flicked over Penn State’s Jenny Rizzo for the opening goal.
Penn State started the second half with a big opportunity on a penalty corner. Aurelia Meijer would tie the game for the Nittany Lions, taking a rip from the top of the circle that landed in the back of the net to make it 1-1 with 33 minutes left.
Gini Bramley gave Penn State the lead minutes later. Meijer drove into the circle and centered to Bramley, who chipped the goalie and snuck the shot in just under the bar to put the Nittany Lions ahead 2-1 with 25 minutes left.
Trailing a goal, Maryland increased the pressure to force Jenny Rizzo and the Penn State defense to hold firm and close out the game. Rizzo made a big stop on the ground with 12 minutes left to keep the score at 2-1.
Meijer nearly tacked on a third goal for the Nittany Lions off a penalty corner with 10 minutes left. The All-Big Ten First Team player ripped her shot into the back of the net, but the direct hit was too high and the goal was disallowed.
Penn State held on in the final minutes, even clearing a ball off the line in the with less than a minute left, to win the Big Ten Championship 2-1.
Player Of The Game
Aurelia Meijer | Forward | Sophomore
The Dutch star scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the game-winner to help Penn State win the title.
The NCAA Tournament bracket will be unveiled Sunday at 10 p.m. Currently ranked No. 6, Penn State is likely to host an opening round game next weekend.