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No. 7 Penn State Field Hockey Goes 2-0 On The Weekend Against Michigan State

Penn State field hockey (4-3) swept Michigan State (1-6) in two games this weekend in East Lansing. The Nittany Lions’ defense was all the difference in both games, particularly Sunday’s matchup.

Penn State was too much for Michigan State in both contests, as Char Morett-Curtiss’ squad applied nonstop pressure on the Spartans throughout. Freshman Sophia Gladieux dominated with four unassisted goals in the first game, which brought Penn State back from being down 2-0.

Game One

The first game of the two started off with a Michigan State goal off a penalty corner by Celina Riccardo. The Spartans took a 1-0 lead with 6:55 left in the first period. Following the goal, the Penn State’s offense was awarded a few penalty corners but couldn’t even up the game.

The second period was controlled by Penn State for the most part, yet the Nittany Lions again could not put together a scoring possession. Freshman Sophia Gladieux had a few shots on goal but the goalkeeper from Michigan State kept the Nittany Lions in check. Heading into halftime, the Spartans had a 1-0 advantage.

A penalty corner goal by Ellie Wheatley early on in the third period gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Gladieux then took over for the Nittany Lions, notching three straight goals throughout the third period. The freshman was too much for the Michigan State defense and put Penn State up 3-2 going into the final period.

Within about two minutes left in the fourth period, Penn State scored its fourth goal of the game on a Madison Hutson goal assisted by Bree Bednarski. Gladieux only expanded on the Nittany Lion lead on a fourth goal for her with just under two minutes left in the game. The whistles blew and Penn State notched its third win of the season, 5-2.

Game Two

Penn State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a shot by Anna Simon off its first penalty corner of the game. The Nittany Lions controlled much of the game early on as Michigan State had no answer. The first period came to a close with a failed Michigan State possession with Penn State leading 1-0 going into the second period.

The second period opened up with a Michigan State possession, but Penn State applied pressure on the Spartan offense. A little less than halfway through the period, Penn State was awarded just its second penalty corner, a change from the 13 penalty corners last game.

The Spartans first shot on goal came with just over one minute left before halftime but Brie Barraco made the save. Michigan State started to gain some momentum right before the half, but Penn State clung onto a 1-0 lead.

The two teams traded possessions early on in the third period, with the Nittany Lions getting a few great shots on goal. Michigan State had a few great shots on goal and it looked like it would tie up the game, but Barraco had the answer to everything.

With under two minutes left in the third period, Penn State was awarded back to back penalty corners. The Nittany Lions took advantage of the second penalty corner, as Madison Hutson scored to put Penn State up 2-0 going into the final period.

Penn State was awarded multiple penalty corners in the fourth period but couldn’t score another goal on them. Sophia Gladieux then scored her fifth goal of the weekend as Penn State went up 3-0 to beat Michigan State.

Takeaways 

  • Freshman Sophia Gladieux dominated in the first game of the weekend, to put it simply. Gladieux scored four (Yes, FOUR) unassisted goals in the match. The Michigan State defense had no answer on how to stop her and she did it all with ease. Gladieux also leads the Big Ten in goals, so if the freshman does this often, she is going to be fun the watch for the next four years.
  • The Penn State defense is the real deal. It applied pressure and came up big when needed, while goalie Brie Barraco has played outstanding as of late. Barraco had multiple saves Sunday that you don’t see very often from others.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will face Rutgers on at 1 p.m. Friday, April 2 in Piscataway.

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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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