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Penn State Field Hockey Downs Albany 1-0, Advances To NCAA Tournament Semifinal

No. 6 Penn State field hockey took care of business against No. 16 Albany Sunday afternoon, advancing to the NCAA tournament semifinal.

After defeating No. 12 Louisville on Friday, the Nittany Lions had another rematch with Albany, who they defeated earlier this season 6-2.

It was a very back-and-forth defensive game, and Penn State was able to stay in the game thanks to a fantastic performance from goalkeeper Brie Barraco. The game remained 0-0 until late in the fourth quarter when senior captain Mackenzie Allessie changed that with an impressive game-winning goal.

How It Happened

The first quarter was a very back-and-forth battle of really nothing happening for both teams. Nearly every time either team had possession, it was quickly stopped or turned, as both teams were without a shot for the first 13 minutes.

Finally, Penn State got an opportunity to score with two penalty corners. However, both attempts were unsuccessful, keeping the game 0-0 after one.

Penn State would get a few more chances to score, with two more penalty corners. But, again, both were unsuccessful due to high and wide shots from Sophia Gladieux and Jemma Punch.

Albany, who went the first 21 minutes without taking a shot, finally got a scoring chance thanks to a penalty corner, but Barraco made a nice kick save to keep the game tied.

The next ten minutes would be a lot of the same for both teams, as neither could capitalize on their scoring opportunities, keeping the game scoreless going into the half.

With the second half underway, Penn State tried to get things going, but it was more of the same. The next 15 minutes saw only one shot attempt from both teams, as the defenses were both playing great games.

Barraco made another great one-on-one save late in the corner, but she once again had another great save to keep the game tied.

With only 15 minutes remaining in the game, the pressure was on Penn State to get a goal and prevent overtime. At the 54-minute mark, Mackenzie Allessie took care of business and struck one into the back of the net for the first goal of the game.

Now with the lead, Penn State was able to continue to play excellent defense for the final five minutes. The Nittany Lions prevented the equalizer from being scored and hung on to a 1-0 victory.

Takeaways

  • Mackenzie Allessie, who has not scored a goal since the Nittany Lions October 21 win over Maryland, scored what could be the most important goal of her career late in the fourth quarter. Allessie had a very impressive game, as it felt like she was all over the field in today’s win.
  • With the Penn State offense having a very slow and down day, Brie Barraco kept this team in the game thanks to many very excellent saves. She finished the game with five huge saves and was really the MVP of today’s game.

What’s Next

Penn State will move on to the semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament. Its next opponent will be undefeated No. 1 North Carolina, and the two teams will meet on Friday, November 18. The time will be announced at a later date.

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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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