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No. 15 Penn State Field Hockey Falls 2-1 To No. 16 Michigan

No. 15 Penn State field hockey (7-6, 2-3 Big Ten) fell 2-1 to No. 16 Michigan (7-7, 2-5 Big Ten) in Ann Arbor Sunday afternoon.

For what always proves to be a great game between these two dominant programs, both teams needed today’s win to help improve their Big Ten standings.

How It Happened

The Wolverines came out strong, seeking to bounce back from their three game losing streak. Brie Barraco started the game off with a busy start, tallying three saves from an urgent Michigan offense.

With an early corner, Michigan slapped one into the back of the net but was deemed dangerous and called back.

Penn State scored first with a wicked signature reverse shot from Sophia Gladieux. It marked Gladieux’s 16th goal of the season.

After plenty more chances of its own, Michigan failed to capitalize and couldn’t get one in the net. Penn State led 1-0 after the first quarter.

Barraco continued to remain a strong force in the goal for the first quarter with save after save on corners and drives. She tallied six total saves in the first quarter.

Just a few minutes into the second quarter, a reverse shot by Michigan’s Isabella Palde found the goal to tie the game at 1-1.

Gladieux took a quick break midway through the second quarter, but the Wolverines couldn’t capitalize without Penn State’s primary goal scorer on the field.

The second quarter remained a back-and-forth battle between the two teams. The Wolverines continued to get find their way into the circle, whereas the Penn State offense was relatively quiet with no corners or shots. The second quarter came to a close still tied up at 1-1.

There was an early delay in the third quarter due to an official injury, but luckily both teams stayed warm and ready to start the second half off strong. Moments later, Michigan’s Kate McLaughlin sent a picture-perfect shot into the back of Penn State’s cage to bring the score to 2-1.

The Nittany Lions appeared a little shaken up after the second Michigan goal, and possession was a back-and-forth struggle. The Penn State offense was largely held off by a strong Michigan defense.

With only 15 seconds left in the third quarter, Michigan landed itself another corner, but the call was challenged by the Penn State coaching staff, revoking the opportunity for another goal moving in to the last 15 minutes of play.

Michigan continued to add more shot attempts in the fourth quarter, but Barraco held strong for the Penn State defense. The Penn State offense continued to look for other opportunities to score but couldn’t get a shot off.

Michigan stalled the ball and aimed possession for most of the fourth quarter to effectively hold off Penn State from scoring again. In the final few seconds, Penn State found a corner attempt but couldn’t convert.

The game came to a close just seconds after, and Michigan secured the win over Penn State 2-1.

Takeaways

  • With the Big Ten Tournament quickly approaching, this was a big game for both teams. This game is a key example of how challenging of a conference the Big Ten is.
  • Sophia Gladieux and Mackenzie Allessie are a power team when they work together. Michigan did a strategic job of trying to cover Allessie to disrupt this connection, ultimately aiding it in its win.
  • This game was riddled with green cards, only proving how hard each aggressive and intense each minute of the matchup was. Both teams showed up ready to play, but Michigan ultimately possessed the ball more on its own offensive end.
  • Brie Barraco was a dominant force in today’s game despite the loss. She tallied 12 saves amid a peppering of shots from the Michigan offense.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions return will return to Happy Valley on Friday, October 20, to face off against No. 1 Northwestern. The game will begin at 5 p.m. at Char Morett-Curtiss Field.

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About the Author

Ally Eaton

Ally is a freshman public relations major from York, Pennsylvania and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She gets to write awesome feature stories and create epic content for our social media pages. Ally is a lover of country music and Trader Joe's. If you'd like to discuss March Madness or your most creative coffee order, feel free to contact her on Twitter @allyeaton31 or in her inbox [email protected].

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