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No. 5 Penn State Field Hockey Defeats American 3-2 In Comeback Win

No. 5 Penn State field hockey (1-1) defeated American University (1-1) 3-2 in overtime for its first win of the 2023 season. Overtime was needed to decide a winner, and Mackenzie Allessie answered the call for Penn State in under two minutes past regulation.

Despite Penn State controlling the shots and penalty corners for the first half of the game, the Eagles were able to grab the first two goals before Penn State fought back with three goals of its own to pick up the win in overtime.

New head coach Lisa Bervinchak Love also picked up her first win at the helm of the Nittany Lions. After serving as an assistant to long-time head coach Char Morett-Curtiss, Bervinchak Love was given control of the program after Morett-Curtiss’ retirement over the past offseason. The victory was also the first time that Penn State field hockey defeated American in program history.

How It Happened

Similar to the start of its game versus Virginia, Penn State dominated the first quarter with five shots and three penalty corners, however, it could not score. Meanwhile, the Eagles were produce much on offense, firing off only one shot in the first 15 minutes keeping the game tied after one.

Halfway through the second quarter, American threatened to score after putting up its first shot on goal before getting a penalty corner. The Eagles set a beautiful play for Alyssa Freeman, who put up a shot that went right under goalie Brie Barraco to give American a 1-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions threatened again in the final minute of the first half with two more penalty corners, but were unable to score on either, going into the break down one goal.

That one-goal deficit quickly turned into two in the second half. Two minutes into the third quarter, Emilia Winkler scored her first goal of the year to extend the Eagles’ lead. Penn State continued to struggle to find the back of the net throughout the third quarter, putting up 10 shots before finally scoring its first goal.

Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Sophia Gladieux smoked a ball past American goalie Bryn Underwood to score the first goal of the game for Penn State and her first goal of 2023.

Heading into the fourth quarter the Nittany Lions trailed by one and had a chance to tie the game early on with a penalty corner. Natalie Freeman set up a great pass for Mackenzie Allessie who put a shot past the defenders to tie the game up at two.

Tied at 2-2, both Penn State and American continued to fight to take the lead before regulation was over, however, neither could score. At the end of the first 60 minutes, the game was forced into overtime.

Only two minutes of overtime was needed for Mackenzie Allessie who finished her second goal of the game to help the Nittany Lions pick up the comeback 3-2 win over the Eagles.


  • Have a game, Allessie. Despite being down 2-1 heading into the fourth quarter, Allessie continued to fight scoring the tying and winning goal in this comeback win.
  • The offense struggled to get things moving, but eventually found its stride midway through the third quarter. Penn State put up 27 shots on American, as well as 13 penalty corners. While those are both great stats, turning those into goals is something Bervinchak Love will want to improve before next week’s contests.
  • Gladieux scored her first goal of the season during the contest to finally help the Nittany Lions get on the board. Her goal-scoring will be relied on heavily this season if Penn State wants any chance of another postseason run.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel out west for a matchup versus the University of California at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 1.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior 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 Community or The Office. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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