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Penn State Field Hockey Can’t Pull Off Another Upset, Falls 4-1 To No. 6 Iowa

Penn State field hockey (3-9, 2-2 Big Ten) couldn’t keep up its momentum going after upsetting No. 8 Northwestern on Friday night as it let a close, defensive game get away from them Sunday.

No. 6 Iowa (10-3 , 4-1 Big Ten) and the Nittany Lions battled for most of the first half. Shots were hard to come by in a slugfest full of arguments with referees and physicality from both sides, but Penn State ultimately fell short 4-1.

How It Happened

Iowa appeared to have more control of the game in the first, but it wasn’t by much. While the Hawkeyes had more shots than Penn State and were able to get into the Nittany Lions’ zone pretty often, they only had a 2-0 lead on shots to show for it. Penn State’s defense held tight, preventing any of the chances from hitting their mark.

The Nittany Lions had their first chance with a penalty corner with four minutes to go in the first quarter, but they weren’t able to capitalize. The Hawkeyes had themselves another solid shot at goal, but an excellent play from Brie Barraco prevented a score.

That scoreless streak continued for most of the second quarter, with both teams finding shots hard to come by. Bree Bednarski had a close chance, but her shot went just over the net — close but no cigar. Defense was the name of the game, much like the Penn State-Iowa football game the night before.

It was the Hawkeyes who made the first strike, getting a chaotic two-on-one break to go in their favor and sending a roller just past the reach of Barraco. With only two minutes to go in the second quarter, Iowa was able to keep that 1-0 lead going into the second half. .

That lead would not last for long, though, as Penn State capitalized on another corner less than two minutes into the quarter. Abby Myers sent a boomer past the Iowa defense that trickled past the goalkeeper after bouncing off a pad to tie the game up at 1-1.

Penn State had a couple more chances coming off the sticks of Grace Wallis and Paityn Wirth, but neither could find the net. Iowa rebounded after the long Penn State attack, as it got another close shot and — after being upheld against a challenge by Charlene Morett-Curtis — was given a penalty stroke. Barraco couldn’t make the save and the Hawkeyes took a 2-1 lead.

The fourth quarter seemed to be all Hawkeyes as well, as Iowa started out with a goal just a minute in. The Hawkeyes would continue to press Penn State, who was desperate for a goal to bring the game within reach. The Nittany Lions were held without a single shot for much of the fourth, with Iowa dominating the ball.

Another goal came the Hawkeyes’ way later in the quarter, making it a 4-1 lead for Iowa. With a potential penalty corner overturned after a video review, Penn State found it hard to get opportunities to claw its way back despite manic play. With a tough Iowa defense to break through, it wasn’t enough and Penn State took the 4-1 loss at home.

Player Of The Game

Maddy Murphy | Forward

Murphy was tough for Penn State to mark up. She notched an assist and a goal on the day to help lead the Iowa offense.

What’s Next

Penn State is back on the road to take a tour of the Mitten State and play Michigan State and Michigan. The first game will be against the Spartans at 3 p.m. Friday, October 18.

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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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