No. 6 Penn State Field Hockey Grinds Out 1-0 Win Against No. 7 Virginia

No. 6 Penn State field hockey (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) opened its season on Sunday afternoon, welcoming No. 7 Virginia (0-1, 0-0 ACC) to Happy Valley for a top-ten matchup.

The game was very physical throughout, and goals were hard to come by. The Nittany Lions emerged victorious by just one goal after an extremely demanding performance.

How It Happened

A back and forth tug of war was the story of the first minutes of the match, with both teams looking at goal early. Penn State struck first as senior Gini Bramley put her squad’s first goal in the net after just four minutes.

Despite continued pressure from Virginia, the Nittany Lion defense proved impenetrable for the duration of the first half. Even with the occasional midfield slip-up from Penn State, the Cavaliers were frustrated for most of the afternoon.

The game went back to the tug of war battle, with Virginia searching for an equalizer and Penn State hoping to take a solid lead into halftime. It was the home team who took the advantage, but a near goal from a penalty corner and an outstanding run from Maddie Morano wasn’t enough for the Nittany Lions, leaving them with a slim 1-0 lead going into the second half.

The stalemate continued in the second half. Despite a clear lead in shots, Penn State still couldn’t double its lead. A pair of penalty corners for the Cavaliers almost tied things up, but superb goaltending from Jenny Rizzo kept a hungry Virginia team off the scoresheet.

Penn State continued to create chances through penalty corners, but couldn’t find the back of the net as a rock solid Virginia defense and goalkeeper Carrera Lucas kept Penn State out.

A dramatic last few minutes saw Virginia make one last push for an equalizer, but the Nittany Lions defense proved too much for the Cavaliers.

Player of the Match

Gini Bramley | Senior | Midfield

The senior scored the only goal of the game four minutes into today’s contest.

What’s Next?

Penn State’s first road test awaits them as they meet Temple in Philly on August 31. The game will be played at 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Since graduating from Penn State in 2021, Matt is (hopefully) manning a successful job and (hopefully) living a happy life by now. In a past life, he was a writer for Onward State and remains a proud alumnus of the best student publication in the country. Check out Podward State too, Onward State's official podcast, that he co-founded alongside Matt Ogden and Mitch Stewart in 2019. It's his baby, give it a wave and make sure it's doing okay. Thanks to da king Sam Brungo and everyone who follows, it most definitely is.

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