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Penn State Field Hockey Tops Michigan 3-2 In Regular-Season Finale

No. 7 Penn State Field Hockey (13-4, Big Ten 6-2) beat No. 2 Michigan (13-3, Big Ten 5-3) in the final game of the regular season on Friday. The 3-2 win also served as senior night for the Nittany Lions, honoring five players.

Heavy rain and slippery conditions made it a challenge for both teams on the turf. However, the defense prevailed in true Big Ten fashion making it a close one to close out the season.

How It Happened

The first quarter began with high pressure from both teams, especially on the defensive side. The majority of the quarter was spent with even more high intensity and effort. Penn State got their first break with a penalty corner with 35 seconds remaining. A shot on goal was made, but the score remained 0-0 through the end of the quarter.

After a short break, the intensity continued and Michigan was able to draw their first penalty corner of the game. Penn State’s defense was able to make a stop and regain possession. The score remained 0-0 heading into halftime.

The second half immediately saw action as Michigan got its second penalty corner at the 14:22 mark. A nice save by Brie Barraco kept the score tied. Within the next minute, Emma Spisak, assisted by Jemma Punch, scored the first goal for the Nittany Lions to put Penn State up 1-0.

In the next few minutes, an official review evened the penalty corner count to give Penn State its second of the game. Still, the score remained 1-0.

The third quarter closed out without another score, leaving the Nittany Lions with a 1-0.

As time was ticking down in the fourth, Michigan used its video referral to overturn a call and earn them a penalty corner. The Wolverines’ first shot was blocked by Barraco, but the second attempt by Alana Richardson was successful to even the score 1-1.

Another penalty corner at the 2:54 mark gave Michigan another goal, making the score 2-1. The official video review confirmed the goal.

The final two minutes saw a Penn State penalty corner and another goal by Sophia Gladieux, giving the sophomore her 16th on the season. Regulation play ended in a 2-2 tie.

Overtime saw great drives from both teams throughout the entirety of the extra play. With just under five minutes, Michigan attempted to score on its penalty corner but once again was unsuccessful.

At the 2:27 mark, the Nittany Lions were able to secure the 3-2 win with a goal by Mackenzie Alessie, assisted by Emma Spisak.

Player Of The Game

Emma Spisak | Midfielder

On senior night, Spisak was able to lead her team to a win and a second-place spot in the Big Ten with her goal in the second quarter and an assist on the game-winning goal in overtime. Spisak was also a strong presence on the field being a consistent help to the team both defensively and offensively.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will head to Rutgers next week to begin their run in the Big Ten tournament. Game times are still up in the air.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a freshman staff-writer majoring in English and Public Relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara and for more formal affairs her email is [email protected]

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