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Penn State Field Hockey Defeats Louisville 5-0 In Opening Round Of NCAA Tournament

No. 6 Penn State field hockey defeated No. 12 Louisville 5-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It was a rematch for both teams who faced off earlier in the season when the Cardinals defeated the Nittany Lions on their home turf 2-1.

This time around, it was a different story as Penn State came out and dominated this game from start to finish. It was nice to see, as the Nittany Lions were coming off a very disappointing early loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.

Five goals were scored in the first 20 minutes of the game, two coming from Sophia Gladieux and Anna Simon and the other one coming from Jemma Punch.

How It Happened

Right out of the gate, Penn State was ready to play getting two penalty corners in the first two minutes of the game, however, both resulted in no goals. With four minutes left in the first, Penn State had back-to-back-to-back penalty corners, and it took till the final corner for a goal to be scored.

It was Anna Simon who was able to strike one past Louisville goalkeeper Sasha Elliott and into the back of the net for her ninth goal of the season.

Now with the lead, Penn State didn’t want to settle for just one goal. It kept the pressure on the Louisville defense, and who else but Sophia Gladieux extended the lead to 2-0.

With only six seconds remaining in the quarter, Gladieux was able to maneuver through multiple defenders and score a beautiful back-handed goal to extend Penn State’s lead.

Last week’s loss to Michigan saw the Nittany Lions only have three penalty corners in the entire game. Penn State was able to nearly double that with five in just the first quarter.

The first 15 minutes of gameplay was some of the best Penn State has looked all year, and it continued that play right into the second quarter.

Two minutes in, another penalty corner was awarded to Penn State, and Mackenzie Allessie set up a great shot for Jemma Punch who fired one in the back of the net.

Up 3-0, the Nittany Lions weren’t done scoring. With possession in their zone, Grace Wallis was able to ride the baseline and get a pass to Gladieux. I’m sure you can guess what happens next.

Gladieux scored her second goal of the game and extend the lead to 4-0 just 20 minutes into the game.

After that Louisville threatened with three penalty corners of its own before the first half ended. However, Brie Barraco was able to fend off all three scoring attempts with three saves to keep the 4-0 lead going into the half.

With a dominant 4-0 lead, Penn State continued to maintain possession and prevent Louisville from even getting a chance to get on the board. With only four seconds left in the quarter, Penn State had another penalty corner and Simon was able to score her second goal of the game to extend the lead to 5-0.

Going into the fourth quarter Penn State was able to just play keep away and hold on to the lead, winning 5-0 and advancing to its first quarterfinal game since 2017.

Takeaways

  • Anna Simon scored two goals in today’s shutout win. If she can stay hot throughout the rest of this tournament, this team has a great chance of winning it all.
  • Who else but Sophia Gladieux? The junior forward scored two amazing goals to help improve her season goal total to 23. Head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss said Gladieux needed to touch the ball more, and she did in today’s win. The Nittany Lions are 12-3 in games where Gladieux scores.
  • Penn State scored five goals in the game for the third time all season, and it was also its seventh shutout of the season. Both the offense and defense had a great showing today. If that type of gameplay continues, this team can bring a National Championship back to Happy Valley.

What’s Next

Penn State will move to the quarterfinals and take on Albany after it defeated No. 4 seed Michigan earlier today. That game will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, and will air live on BTN+.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a Junior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in Sports Studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him watching reruns of "The Office" or "Friends." To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected]

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