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No. 3 Penn State Field Hockey Shuts Out No. 12 Princeton

by on September 10, 2017 2:54 PM

No. 3 Penn State field hockey (5-0) defeated No. 12 Princeton, 2-0, on Sunday at the Tigers' Bedford Field. Juniors Moira Putsch and Aurelia Meijer scored goals for the Nittany Lions, while junior goalie Jenny Rizzo recorded her third consecutive shutout.

How It Happened

After her team’s victory last Sunday against Wake Forest, junior standout Moira Putsch said that the young Princeton team would give the Lions their toughest challenge yet.

“Princeton has a really good freshman class,” she said earlier in the week at the team’s media availability. “Practice is going to be really important this week; it’s going to be our toughest game yet.”

The Media, Pa. native made her presence felt early on, scoring in the 15th minute to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead. Putsch’s fifth goal of the season was a deflection from a shot off of a penalty corner, a part of the game that head coach Char Morett-Curtiss’ squad has improved on throughout this season.

Outside of Putsch’s goal, the first half was a tight affair, ending 1-0 in favor of Penn State. The half was more of the same for Penn State, which has not trailed at any point in a game since opening day against Old Dominion. The Nittany Lions dominated possession for most of the first half, but only had the one goal to show for it.

In the second half, the course of the game changed. The Tigers sustained some attack zone possession for good chunks of time. However, Penn State’s staunch defense, anchored by junior goalie Jenny Rizzo and senior back Cori Conley, did not break.

Despite their lack of possession, Penn State converted on another penalty corner to double the lead. This time, junior Aurelia Meijer blasted a shot past Princeton’s defense to give the Lions breathing room going into the home stretch.

Penn State’s defense was tested shortly after the second goal. Princeton won a penalty corner with a chance to halve the Lions’ lead, but could not convert. Rizzo and the Lions’ defense held firm, just as they did all game.

Princeton won another penalty corner with 9:35 left, but Rizzo stood tall and made an excellent save to maintain her shutout.

After Penn State missed a penalty corner with a chance to ice the game, Princeton got one of their own late for a chance at a comeback, but it was ultimately denied. The missed penalty corner summed up the Tigers’ offense on the day, as the game ended with another Penn State victory.

Player Of The Game

Jenny Rizzo | Junior | Goalie

The starter for the United States’ under-21 field hockey team recorded her third consecutive shutout for Penn State. The entire defensive unit was strong, especially in the second half when Princeton attacked the Lions’ goal in search of a comeback.

Rizzo made an excellent save off of a penalty corner late in the second half to preserve the shutout and stop the Tigers from generating any momentum for a possible comeback.

What’s Next

Penn State is back in action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when it travels to Bucknell.

Mikey Mandarino is a staff writer for Onward State.
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