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Sophia Gladieux’s Outstanding Play Highlights Commanding Start For Penn State Field Hockey

Just six games into the 2023 field hockey season, Sophia Gladieux is reminding folks why she’s the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year.

In only six outings, Gladieux tallied nine goals, including three multi-goal games. She also registered her fifth career hat trick in the Nittany Lions’ 4-1 win over No. 19 Delaware.

She couldn’t manage to find the back of the net in her senior season debut against Virginia, but since then, Gladieux has been on fire.

“I think she’s feeling good,” head coach Lisa Bervinchak Love said of Gladieux. “She had a bit of a slow start, but she was just thinking too much. She was putting too much pressure on herself and I told her, just let the game come to you.”

Gladieux’s stats are hard to deny, and the Nittany Lions are 4-1 in games where the forward nets a goal. The Boyertown, Pennsylvania, native is integral to the team’s goal-scoring finesse, but high-energy play and on-field leadership contribute to Penn State’s success regardless of goals scored.

“She creates so many opportunities for us,” Bervinchak Love said. “She’s feeling good, she’s better on the press, she’s more engaged, which helps our team out as well.”

Four Nittany Lions have scored their first career goals this season, and that’s largely due to Gladieux’s All-American play and selflessness on the turf.

Still, Gladieux’s 1.5 goal-per-game average settles in the top 15 of Division I goal-scorers nationally, and she’s on pace to overcome her 2022 total. With Big Ten play on the horizon in just four days, Bervinchak Love is expecting strong performances from the forward as the conference slate begins with tougher opponents.

“It’s like a new season,” Bervinchak Love said. “The Big Ten is a great conference and we can expect a physical game.”

The Nittany Lions will remain at home and host an undefeated Rutgers side to open Big Ten competition. Though Penn State boasts two losses within its record thus far in 2023, the blue and white most recently knocked the Scarlet Knights off with a 3-1 win in 2022. Bervinchak Love’s roster holds an 8-6 record against Rutgers within the last 16 years, but Gladieux has yet to score against the New Jersey team throughout her career at Penn State.

Gladieux, Bervinchak Love, and the Nittany Lions will welcome Rutgers at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 15, at the Field Hockey Complex.

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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 "The Office." To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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