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No. 8 Penn State Field Hockey Takes Down No. 12 St. Joseph’s 2-1

No. 8 Penn State field hockey (3-1) outlasted No. 12 St. Joesph’s (2-2) with a final score of 2-1 at Ellen Ryan Field on Friday evening.

Goals from Mackenzie Allessie and Grace Wallis were all the Nittany Lions needed to take down the Hawks. This game marks the eleventh straight win for Penn State against St. Joesph.

How It Happened

St. Joseph’s started the game aggressively and was rewarded with two corners in the first minute of action. On the second attempt, Leigh James found the back of the net for her first goal of the season, thanks to a deflection that sailed over the head of Brie Barraco.

The Hawks kept up their tempo and were able to draw a green card on Anna Simon six minutes into the first quarter. However, they were unable to make use of the penalty as the Nittany Lion defense held strong.

Penn State had its first scoring opportunity when Jemma Punch found herself on a breakaway attempt, but a late deflection from St. Joseph’s defense prevented Punch from getting a shot off. On the Nittany Lions’ corner attempt, Sophia Gladieux ripped a shot on goal, but it was easily kicked away from Robin Bleekemolen to keep the Hawks up by one at the end first quarter.

The second quarter began with a lot of back-and-forth play, with neither team able to control the offensive zone. Five minutes in, Gladieux was able to sneak in a shot, but it was too much as it sailed over the right side of the net. After her shot, Penn State controlled the game offensively for the majority of the second quarter, but a stout Hawks defense allowed just one shot from Punch which went wide of the left post.

With just four minutes left in the quarter, the Nittany Lions were able to tie the game as Mackenzie Allessie used the left post to score her first goal of the season. Moments later, Penn State had an opportunity to take the lead off a penalty and corner attempt, but it was unsuccessful. The score remained knotted at 1-1 as the halftime buzzer rang.

St Joesph’s started the third quarter like it did the first: a corner in the first minute of action. Freke Van Tilburg took the shot, but Barraco laid her body out to stop it. Lily Santi also had an opportunity, but her shot went wide. The Hawks continued to dominate throughout the first half of the third quarter and were even able to get one past Barraco. However, the goal was called back due to a push prior to the shot.

With three minutes left in the quarter, the Hawks were awarded a penalty and a corner on back-to-back plays. Van Tilburg and Katy Benton rifled shots at Barraco, but both were pushed away to keep this game tied at one. Moments later, Gladieux showed offensive life for Penn State as she marched down the field, but her shot was gathered by Bleekemolen. The score remained tied after three.

Yet again, the Hawks started the quarter aggressive with Maaike Gorissen blasting a shot on net, but Barraco was able to prevent it from crossing the post. However, it was Penn State who was finally able to take the lead as Grace Wallis put one past Bleekemolen off a great pass from Punch.

Despite letting up the goal, the Hawks didn’t keep their foot off the pedal as they were awarded their seventh corner of the game with under five minutes to go. Although, Penn State smothered the attempt as St. Joseph’s was unable to get a shot off.

With two minutes to go, the Hawks were awarded another corner, but Manu Ghigliotti’s shot was deflected out of bounds. They continued to keep up the pressure, but Penn State was able to hold them off as they cruised for the eleventh straight win against St. Joesph’s.

Takeaways

  • St. Joesph’s lost this game more than Penn State won it. The Hawks had more shots, shots on goal, and corners than the Nittany Lions, but were still unable to come out with a win. They also dominated possession as the ball seemed to be on the defensive side of Penn State throughout the whole match.
  • Penn State needs to start leaning on Jemma Punch moving forward. Punch looked absolutely stellar today on the offensive side of the field. She commanded breakaways for Penn State and was even able to collect her first assist of the year on the game-winning goal. With a three-headed dragon of Gladiuex, Anna Simon, and Punch, the sky is the limit for this team.
  • All in all, this weekend is a true test for this squad. If it can defeat Delaware on Sunday and collect two ranked wins, there could be some gold in the Nittany Lions’ future. Regardless, time will tell.

What’s Next

Penn State will stay on the road for a battle against No. 24 Delaware at Fred P. Rullo Jr. stadium for a noon start on Sunday, September 11.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to primetobey@gmail.com or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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