Field Hockey: No. 8 Maryand Tops Penn State 1-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa-- Penn State dropped a tough decision on Friday at the Field Hockey Complex. No. 8 Maryland came into Happy Valley winning their last eight games with its last loss coming to Albany on Sept. 11. The Nittany Lions played some great defense, but in the end the Terps came out on top 1-0.
All of the fans were pumped up coming into this one with it being the annual whiteout game for Penn State. The Nittany Lions knew they were going up against a very tough team in Maryland and also knew they were the eighth best team in the country.
“In the beginning, our freshmen were nervous; you could tell,” said Penn State head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss, “but they weathered the storm.”
They did indeed weather the storm, however Maryland (11-3, 5-0 Big Ten) opened up the scoring about 19 minutes into the first half. Maryland’s Alyssa Parker took a shot off a pass from Lein Holsboer and found the back of the cage. Parker’s goal gave Maryland a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
The pace of the game was back and forth throughout with both teams having opportunities to connect for goals. However, the defense and play by the midfield was the story for both the Nittany Lions and the Terps. Penn State (5-7, 1-3 Big Ten) only gave up two penalty corners and one goal to a team who has a high powered offense and generates opportunities at the same time.
“I think our defense did a lot of great things today. You could see our team, especially our middies fight and step it up,” said Curtiss.
Unfortunately, the Nittany Lions came up short and lost by one, but goalie Jenny Rizzo came up with some incredible saves throughout the game and finished with eight saves.
“It definitely has to do with my defense. They help me out a lot back there,” Rizzo said. “We definitely brought more intensity to the game. I thought we did well with just fighting.”
“It makes me feel more confident because I know that my team is there to support me now. They were before, but now all of us are bringing the intensity. It gets me kind of hype,” Rizzo added.
Overall, this was one of Penn State’s best performances of the season despite the loss. The Lions fall two games below .500, but this is a game that they can definitely build off of.
“The best they’ve competed all season. They just fought all game long. I’m just so proud of them,” Curtiss said on the overall performance of the game.
Penn State will make the short trip up to Lock Haven on Sunday afternoon to play the Eagles at 1 p.m.
“I think this should give us great confidence, but at the same time I don’t think we can take Lock Haven for granted. It’s a very hostile environment, in a good way, and they are very talented,” said Curtiss on Lock Haven.
Mike Wszolek is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.