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Penn State Field Hockey Falls To No. 7 Iowa 1-0 in Big Ten Championship Game

Penn State field hockey (8-12, 5-5 Big Ten) fell in overtime to No. 7 Iowa (16-4, 8-1 Big Ten) in the Big Ten Championship game Sunday afternoon at the PSU Field Hockey Complex. 

Despite leading in shots on goal throughout the duration of the game, the Nittany Lions were unable to connect with the back of the cage through four periods of regulation and overtime.

How It Happened

Despite an aggressive first quarter of play, neither team was able to jumpstart their offense to get an early lead. The Nittany Lions led with shots on goal 2-1 over the Hawkeyes, which included big scoring chances by junior midfielder Emma Spisak and junior forward Bree Bednarski.

Both teams had opportunities to score on a penalty corner, but couldn’t execute the plays. Penn State goalie Brie Barraco made a key save on Iowa’s Anthe Nijziel, which kept the game scoreless through one.

Penn State continued to play with the same level of determination throughout the 2nd period. The Nittany Lions drew their second penalty corner of the game with a powerful shot by sophomore defense Anna Simon, but the attempt was unsuccessful at finding the goal.

Emma Spisak and Anna Simon dominated with two shots on goal each in the 2nd quarter, but were unable to give the Nittany Lions the advantage.

In the final 1:25 of the half, Penn State tried to get on top by drawing its 3rd penalty corner of the game. The rocket shot by Anna Simon went wide of the cage and brought an end to the first half.

The Nittany Lions defense opened the third quarter by denying Iowa a chance its second penalty corner of the game. The Nittany Lions continued to display stellar defense, which kept the Hawkeyes at just one shot on goal.

Both teams continued a rough and gritty style of play, which led to quite a few cards being handed out throughout the game. Penn State’s Anna Simon received a yellow card in the final minute of the third, which resulted in a lengthy five-minute suspension into the fourth period.

Penn State’s defense continued to be productive in front of the goal to start the final quarter, as Barraco made a stellar save on a corner shot by Iowa’s Lokke Stribos. The Nittany Lion defense was on its A-game once again, which helped force the game into extra minutes.

Just 23 seconds into the overtime period, Iowa’s Maddy Murphy scored the game-winning goal and ended the Nittany Lion’s season in heartbreak.

“The tournament was the best hockey we’ve played all year. So I think that’s the memory I really want them to have,” head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss said after the game. “I think the future is bright.”

Player of the Game

Brie Barraco | Goalkeeper 

Brie Barraco kept the Nittany Lions perfect throughout regulation. This allowed the team to try to take advantage of opportunities to put themselves on top. Barraco’s intensity in front of the cage helped spark the Nittany Lion’s momentum many times throughout the game. She served as the backbone of the Nittany Lion’s tournament run.

What’s Next

A loss in the Big Ten tournament brings a dramatic, yet hopeful end to the Penn State field hockey season. From a team that started the season 0-7 that ended with knocking off top teams Michigan and Maryland in the conference tournament, the Nittany Lions have every reason to walk off the field with their heads held high.

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About the Author

Mikayla Moskowitz

Mikayla is a freshman contributor majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She is from Clarksburg, Maryland, or "just outside of DC". She is a die hard sports fan, music lover and travel junkie. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @mikayla_ann114 for obnoxious amounts of Washington Capitals content.

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