Early Goal, Tight Defense Carry No. 4 Field Hockey Past Michigan State 1-0
No. 4 Penn State field hockey defeated Michigan State 1-0 in a tight, defensive game on the road in East Lansing Friday.
Junior Moira Putsch scored the only goal of the evening, with fellow junior Aurelia Meijer recording the lone assist. Junior goalie Jenny Rizzo made six saves en route to her fifth shutout of the season.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions struck first in a game that got off to a very fast start, but slowed down considerably as it progressed. After Jenny Rizzo made her first save of the evening, Penn State’s deadly counter attack found the back of the net to open the scoring just 2:06 into the game.
Moira Putsch’s ninth goal of the season was assisted by Aurelia Meijer, and it came on the Nittany Lions’ first shot of the evening. Penn State dominated for the majority of the first half, recording 14 shots on Michigan State’s goal. 11 of those were on target, and the team won six penalty corners throughout the period.
In contrast, the Spartans recorded just three shots on Jenny Rizzo’s goal, but they were all on target. The defensive unit, led by Rizzo and senior Cori Conley, was solid throughout the game.
In the second half, Penn State continued to pour on the chances, but they could not find a second goal. The Nittany Lions won four penalty corners in the period, but Michigan State’s defense stopped all of those chances.
Michigan State struggled to generate quality chances because of Penn State’s staunch defense. The Spartans only recorded five shots during their comeback bid in the second half, and none of them found the back of the net.
Two of them came in the final ten minutes of tonight’s game; one was denied by Rizzo, and the other sailed wide of goal. A tight defensive affair came to an end with Penn State scoring the only goal of the game. With the victory, the Nittany Lions improve to 9-2 on the season, and 3-1 in Big Ten play.
Player Of The Game
Jenny Rizzo | Junior | Goalkeeper
The United States’ under-21 starting goalie wasn’t too busy this evening, but she and the Penn State defense bounced back nicely from last Sunday’s loss to Michigan.
Rizzo made six saves against the Spartan attack, recording her fifth shutout of the season.
Penn State is back in action on Sunday when it travels to Kent State for a non-conference contest at 1 p.m.