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Penn State Field Hockey Splits Weekend Contests Against Northwestern & Iowa

Penn State field hockey (1-2) started off its weekend with an exciting 2-1 double overtime win over Northwestern Friday. The Nittany Lions couldn’t keep rolling on Sunday, however, as they lost to Iowa for the second time this season in a 1-0 defensive battle.

Penn State couldn’t put it together on the offensive end of its contest against Iowa, but the win over Northwestern was a key confidence boost before it begins play at home this week.

Game One

The first period went scoreless despite both teams getting off multiple shots on goal. Northwestern even had a player advantage after Penn State was given a green card but both sides evened out later on with the Wildcats picking up one as well.

Early on in the second, Northwestern’s Sabrina Solomen scored to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage. The sides traded off on shots the rest of the period while both goal keepers locked down the goal.

Despite outshooting Northwestern, the Nittany Lions trailed 1-0 going into the second half. To start off the third period, Penn State pushed the ball into the Northwestern territory but had no success with Northwestern getting a few penalty corners. The Penn State defense stood its ground and took over the ball, taking it down to the other end.

Bree Bednarski struck back on an assist by Abby Myers, tying the game at 1-1 midway through the third period. Northwestern attempted to take its lead back two minutes later through a penalty corner but could not get the ball past the Nittany Lions’ defense.

The first bit of the fourth period was dominated by the Penn State offense, but the Northwestern defense was able to hold it down with the Wildcat offense dominating the other part of the fourth. Both teams defenses put together good stretches to send the game into overtime

To open up the first overtime, Penn State took possession first trying to go end the game but Northwestern fought back. Neither teams were successful in the overtime period with the defenses being too much. The Wildcats took possession first in the second overtime period and had multiple shots all throughout the period but the Penn State defense was too much, taking the game into a shootout.

Penn State scored three goals and saved three of Northwestern’s shots giving the Nittany Lions a 2-1 win.

Game Two

The first period was very evenly matched in the game against Iowa with both teams trading possessions and shots all throughout. Iowa was awarded a penalty stroke with just under five minutes left in the game but Penn State held it down on the defensive end making it a scoreless first period.

Iowa’s offense proved to be too much for Penn States defense when it scored on a penalty corner goal by Anthe Nijziel with a few minutes left in the second. Iowa had a 10-1 shot advantage to Penn State.

The Penn State offense got back on track in the third period, putting pressure on Iowa’s defense. The Nittany Lions finally got their first penalty corner of the game midway through the third but could not finish it. Much of the theme of the game continued as Iowa’s defense stopped the Nittany Lions hopes of scoring every time.

Iowa dominated the ball in the first few minutes of the final period but could not put it together to go up two scores. The teams went back and forth, with Penn State trying to tie up the game. The Nittany Lions almost had a chance to tie it up on a penalty corner, but the referees decided to call off the corner leading to a 1-0 Iowa win.

Takeaways 

  • The Nittany Lions finally got their first win of the season, giving them a confidence boost in a long, hard fought game that led to a shootout. Games like those are so rewarding for a team, seeing all the hard work pay off. Unfortunately the confidence did not help them in the game against Iowa. It will need to try to carry momentum from games like that in the future.
  • Penn State’s defense has been outstanding lately, and goal keeper Brie Barraco will need to continue to dominate in the goal. Barraco has made a few great saves in the last few games, and has kept the Nittany Lions alive in several contests while the offense has struggled.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will face Maryland at 3 p.m. Friday, March 12 for their home opener.

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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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