As the Penn State field hockey team continues to train and stay focused, let’s take a quick look back at some exciting games from seasons’ past! As 2019 concluded, Penn State hosted the 2019 Big Ten Tournament at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex. The Nittany Lions battled Michigan in the opening round and rode two third period goals (as well as eight saves from keeper Brie Barraco) to a 2-1 victory and a trip to the Big Ten semifinals!Box Score
Recap from last year!
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 7, 2019 – The Penn State Nittany Lion field hockey team (7-11) defeated Michigan (13-6) in the first game of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament at Penn State. Penn State, serving as host site, rode the performance of goalie Brie Barraco (Allentown, Pa.) to a 2-1 victory. The win moves Penn State into tomorrow’s semifinal against top-seed Maryland at 4 p.m. here at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
Michigan took the opening possession and worked the ball down to the Lion side of the field. The Wolverines forced a corner at the 14:06 mark and got off two solid shots that Lion keeper Brie Barraco (Allentown, Pa.) was able to make saves on. A subsequent corner led to two more Barraco saves. Penn State grabbed possession briefly but Michigan stole the ball back. Penn State pushed the ball down into the Michigan circle for the first time but a foul kept Penn State from capitalizing on a nearly open goal and the game moved to the 5:00 mark still knotted in a scoreless tie. Michigan had a final first period push denied by Lion Meghan Reese (Coopersburg, Pa.) and the opening stanza ended in a 0-0 tie.
As the rain began to fall in the start of the second period, the teams traded possessions to start the next 15:00. Penn State took possession at midfield and worked the ball in to the circle for its first penalty corner of the game at the 13:17 mark. Michigan defended the corner and action continued past 13:00. Michigan worked action into the Lion circle and got a corner call with 11:36 on the clock. Barraco made a diving save on the corner and Penn State took over after a Wolverine turnover. The teams battled evenly as the clock moved to the 7:00 mark. Barraco and the Lion defense held off the strong Michigan offense for the next two minutes. A Penn State green card led to a Michigan advantage that Penn State was able to kill. Michigan kept possession but could not break through the Penn State defense and the game moved into halftime tied 0-0.
Michigan outshot Penn State 6-1 in the first half with Barraco notching saves on each Wolverine shot. Anna Spieker had no saves for Michigan as Penn State’s lone shot was wide. Michigan had three penalty corners in the opening half to one for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State took possession first in the third period and quickly moved the ball into the Michigan circle, picking up a penalty corner at the 13:18 mark. Michigan defended the first corner and the Lions quickly got another. Anna Simon (Hanau, Germany) rocketed a shot at Michigan’s Spieker, who pushed the ball back into play. The Lions took an early lead with a goal at the 12:57 mark. Penn State continued to pressure Michigan, picking up another corner with 10:39 on the clock. Simon took control on the corner, moved quickly to the top of the circle and hit Meghan Reese with a nice pass. Reese quickly knocked the ball past Spieker and the Lions took a 2-0 lead with 10:32 left in the third period. Michigan, looking to get cut into the Lion lead, moved the ball into the Penn State circle and picked up a corner with 5:50 on the clock. Michigan’s Hallie O’Neill took control on the play, moved to the right and knocked in an unassisted goal off a Nittany Lion defender’s foot with 5:23 left to cut the Lion lead to 2-1. Penn State carried the one goal lead into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded possession for the first couple minutes. Michigan responded with a fast break of their own that led to another Barraco save. Both teams gave up green cards at the 9:03 mark. The clock moved down to the 4:00 mark with the Nittany Lions still in the lead. Lion freshman Elena Vos (Grave, The Netherlands) pushed back a Michigan drive at the 3:00 mark and Penn State kept the lead as the clock moved to 2:00. The Nittany Lions were able to kill off the rest of the clock and walked away with an impressive 2-1 victory.
Michigan outshot Penn State 9-4 but the Lions made three third period shots count in the victory. Each team had four penalty corners. Barraco was strong in the cage for Penn State for the entire game, finishing with eight saves, including six in the first half to keep Penn State in the game early. Spieker had one for Michigan.
“I’m extremely proud of the way this team battled for 60 minutes,” said head coach Char Morett-Curtiss. “The key was making the changes at halftime and flipping the half. We made a focused effort to put a premium on possession and it paid off with two goals in the third period. Our defense, which really played well in the fourth period, and Brie Barraco were outstanding for the entire game.”
The Nittany Lions improve to 7-11 while Michigan falls to 13-6. Penn State will take on top seeded Maryland in the Big Ten semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m. in a game that airs live on the Big Ten Network. The tournament continues with the semifinals on Friday (4 p.m., 6:30 p.m.) and the championship game on Sunday (2 p.m.). Friday and Sunday’s games air on the BTN (with the 6:30 semifinal airing on tape delay later that evening and airing live on the Fox Sports App).
Fans are encouraged to follow the Nittany Lion field hockey team online at www.GoPSUsports.com (click teams, click field hockey), on twitter @pennstateFH and on facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatefieldhockey.
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
PENN STATE 0 0 2 0 2
Michigan 0 0 1 0 1
STATS: PSU MICH
Shots 4 9
Corners 4 4
SCORING SUMMARY (goal/assist) – TIME
3rd: PSU – Paityn Wirth (unassisted), 12:57
3rd: PSU – Meghan Reese (Anna Simon), 10:32
3rd: MICH – Halle O’Neill (unassisted), 5:23
GOALKEEPERS: MIN GA S
PSU: Brie Barraco 60:00 1 8
MICH: Anna Spieker 56:25 2 1
Team 3:35 0 0