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No. 14 Penn State Field Hockey Drops 1-0 Heartbreaker To No. 15 Michigan

No. 14 Penn State field hockey (5-3, 1-1 Big Ten) lost to No. 15 Michigan (6-3, 2-0 Big Ten) at home in a rematch of last season’s Big Ten championship game.

The Nittany Lions were stymied by the Wolverines’ defense for all 70 minutes of Friday’s game, failing to score despite finishing the game with a 14-13 advantage in shots. Penn State also won nine penalty corners compared to Michigan’s four.

Senior goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo made seven saves on eight Wolverine shots on goal.

How It Happened

The game was tight at the start, as both teams registered a couple of good shots on goal. Penn State won the first penalty corner of the game in the 21st minute, but it was denied by the Wolverine defense.

Michigan defended well and, after an attempted counter attack, the Nittany Lions were given another penalty corner. Anna Simon launched a shot into the back of the net to seemingly put Penn State up by a goal. However, a high stick call after further review reversed the goal, keeping the game knotted at zero.

The game returned to a back and forth. Michigan was able to get into Penn State’s zone, but the Nittany Lions got better chances. A near goal came after a drive from Alexis Horst resulted in the ball rolling into the net after a tussle in front of the goal, but it was ruled out due to another foul. 

More corners came for both teams as the first half trickled down, but good defense and goaltending prevented any scores. Penn State had one final chance during a last minute corner, but once again couldn’t finish.

The game stayed scoreless well into the second half. Penn State was able to launch some shots and a corner early on, but the Lions couldn’t get through the Wolverine defense. Despite a strong performance featuring crisp passing and excellent goaltending from Jenny Rizzo, the Nittany Lions weren’t able to break through.

More corners came for Penn State, with three coming in a row at one point, but the team still couldn’t find the back of the net. Michigan generated plenty of chances, including a breakaway, but Rizzo made a heroic save to keep her shutout going.

Penn State’s luck couldn’t last the rest of the half though. A controversial call gave Michigan a penalty stroke with two minutes left. The shot just made its way in after a great effort from Rizzo and gave Michigan its sixth victory of the season by the slimmest of margins.

Player of the Match

Jenny Rizzo | Senior | Goalie

Rizzo played an outstanding game in goal despite letting in the penalty stroke to win the game for Michigan.  She had seven saves and was a presence in the net all game. 

What’s Next?

Penn State will take on Michigan State to continue its conference slate at noon Sunday. The game will be played at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.

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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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