Penn State Field Hockey Riding Two-Game Win Streak Into Big Ten Tournament Opener
With the regular season complete for Penn State field hockey, the only thing that stands between the Nittany Lions and a spot in the NCAA Tournament is the Big Ten Tournament.
The Nittany Lions sit at a 9-7 record and are ranked No. 14 in the NFHCA poll.
With only the conference tournament remaining for Penn State, the group needs to secure multiple big wins to remain in contention for a spot in the NCAA bracket.
Despite entering a new chapter of its 2023 campaign, the Nittany Lions are sticking to their game plan and playing Penn State field hockey through and through.
“We just talked about a lot of our press and our outleting, just going back to the basics and keeping things simple,” she said. “It’s a new season, and I think the last two weekends we gained some great momentum going into the tournament and just some great confidence.”
After falling to 7-7, the chances of Penn State earning a seed in the Big Ten Tournament came into question. At 2-2 in conference play, had the Nittany Lions lost its final two games of the season, the hand of their season would’ve been out of their hands.
However, with the future on the line heading into its matchup with then-No. 5 Iowa, Penn State came to play and converted two massive goals by Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Sophia Gladieux to upset the Hawkeyes.
“I feel like when we play together with energy we’re at our best,” captain Carly Gannon said. “I’m really proud of us. Iowa is a really tough team. We came out and played our hardest and played our best.”
That play continued into Penn State’s final game of the regular season against Indiana, where the Nittany Lions took care of business on the road in Bloomington with a 3-1 win. The 2-0 record to close out the season helped clinch Bervinchak Love’s squad the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Now awaiting Penn State are the Ohio State Buckeyes, who the Nittany Lion defeated in an upset win, which along with the victory over Iowa, gave the Nittany Lions the tiebreaker in the Big Ten standings.
Now, the blue and white will aim to secure their second triumph over the No. 11-ranked team this season.
“Our main focus right now is just taking it one game at a time. We have to take care of business on Thursday against Ohio State,” Bervinchak Love said. “Ohio State’s a super fast team. They’re very aggressive. Their forwards and middies really are attack-minded, they go hard, and they’re scrappy in the circle and looking for first, second, and third shots.”
It will truly be a battle for the Nittany Lions, who will be in a win-or-go-home mode for the remainder of the season. Their game against the Buckeyes to open the conference tournament is set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 2, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The game will be streamed on BTN+.
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions’ contest at Ford Field will be televised on NBC.
Wallace appeared in six games this season.
Our staffers unanimously predicted the Nittany Lions to win convincingly in Detroit.