No. 11 Penn State Field Hockey Defeats No. 12 Virginia 3-2 In Season Opener

field hockey, sports

No. 11 Penn State field hockey (1-0) defeated No. 12 University of Virginia (0-1) 3-2 in both teams’ first game of the season.

While Penn State looked to be the better team through most of the game, the scoreline wasn’t able to reflect that until the end when Sophia Gladieux called game with a late game-winning goal.

How It Happened

Even though Penn State started with possession, both teams had good chances early on. Virginia took its time working up the field before it worked the ball into the shooting area, while the Nittany Lions won their opportunity on a quick drive, though neither team recorded a shot.

Both offenses were aggressive from the start of the game but failed to translate any momentum into shots. For the hosts and the visitors, their best chances early on came with penalty corners, but neither team was able to score.

Penn State was nearly able to strike first, as Gladieux’s goal was called back five minutes into the second quarter after several good moments of momentum for the home side. Instead, it was Virginia’s Jans Croon who struck first from a penalty corner just a moment later.

It took some time, but the Nittany Lions earned their redemption at the end of the first half, as Meghan Reese worked the ball through a crowded Cavaliers defense from a penalty corner. Her goal came after a good quarter from Penn State, which finally solified into a tie game just before the half.

Penn State controlled the game early in the second half and saw a goal taken away for the second time. Sophia Mannino’s shot from a recycled penalty corner came once again from a good Nittany Lion attack, but she was ultimately unable to give her team the lead.

Despite Penn State’s chances, Virginia scored the second goal, as Laura Jannsen scored unassisted as she lifted the ball over Penn State goalie Brie Barraco. Once again, just moments later Penn State tied the score at 2-2 as Jemma Punch placed a penalty corner into the net.

The Nittany Lions eventually took a lead in the game, and it came at the most opportune time. With less than 30 seconds left in the match, Gladieux called game on a last-chance attack, and soon after, the Penn State bench ran onto the field to celebrate its 3-2 win.


  • If anything, this game showed that Penn State has some heart. Despite having two go-ahead goals called back and going down as many times, the Nittany Lions responded well. They tied the game both times in a matter of minutes and played their game throughout. Gladieux’s goal came after one of her earlier attempts was called back, demonstrating what she calls the team’s “grit.”
  • Penn State is ready for its season. With a big win over a closely ranked opponent, the team seems ready for its next competition.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will stay at home for another ACC matchup with No. 9 Louisville at noon on Sunday, August 28.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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