Penn State Field Hockey Falls To Iowa 1-0 In Season Opener

Penn State field hockey (0-1) lost a defensive battle to Iowa (2-0) 1-0 in its season opener in Virginia Beach Sunday afternoon.

Despite having two penalty chances in the final two minutes of the game, the Nittany Lions were unable to convert and fell to the Hawkeyes in a heartbreaker.

How It Happened 

The first quarter started off physical as both teams tried to find their groove and feel the game out. The Hawkeyes tried pushing the ball up field multiple times but were unsuccessful as Penn State defended the passes perfectly all quarter. Neither offense could put together a string of plays to put their team ahead and the quarter ended with neither able to score a goal.

The physicality continued into the second quarter as the refs tried to tame the game and keep the players in check. The Nittany Lions were unable to capitalize on a penalty corner early on in the second as Iowa’s defense was too much for them. In the following minutes, Penn State had a few more chances to score in addition to another penalty corner.

The Nittany Lion offense dominated early in the second quarter with the ball but could not put it together to get the lead. The teams traded off on the offensive side, with each taking turns controlling the ball for a few minutes at a time. Despite that, this game continued as a defensive showcase tied at zero at halftime.

A penalty corner early on in the second half gave the Hawkeyes an early chance to take the lead, but Penn State’s defense prevailed again. The Iowa offense put pressure on the Nittany Lions, testing them multiple times in the third quarter.

As the game went on, it became clear that whichever team was the first to get on the board would be the team to win the game. Iowa scored halfway through the fourth quarter on a goal by Senior Midfielder Ellie Holley to go up 1-0.

Following the Hawkeyes’ goal, Penn State had to put the pressure on Iowa’s defense and was able to get a penalty corner for the first time in the second half. After a video review in the final two minutes of the game, Penn State was awarded a penalty stroke but an amazing save for Iowa gave the Hawkeyes a 1-0 win.


  • Both teams defense was phenomenal all game, keeping the offense in check. For the Nittany Lions, it was an impressive showing on that side, especially considering it was just heir first game of the season and only the Hawkeyes’ second.
  • Penalties played a key role in this game after it was so physical. There was multiple penalty corners throughout the game, giving each team a chance at finally scoring a goal, but the defense was successful at stopping each one. If each team wants to find momentum in the future on offense, capitalizing on those chances will be key.
  • Iowa controlled much of the second half with Penn State losing its intensity a bit more after the break. Penn State coach Char Morett-Curtiss was visibly frustrated with her team, even being issued a warning by the refs. The adjustments that Iowa made for the second half proved to be too much for the Nittany Lions. Going forward, they’ll need to make more adjustments and come out with more energy in the second halves if they want to make a difference.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions face Northwestern at 12:45 p.m. March 5 in Virginia Beach.

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About the Author

Katie Braun

Katie is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from "just outside of Philly" like every other Penn Stater. Her only trait is being a huge fan of both the Sixers and Eagles. Unfortunately, lots of frustration comes along with that. Share your tears with her on Twitter @katiebraunn or Instagram @katiebraunn

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