Despite what the scoreboard read, the emotion of victory was not shown as the Penn State field hockey team left the field on Sunday.
The No. 9 Nittany Lions beat Lafayette,3-2. The team started out aggressively as senior Kelsey Amy scored the first goal seconds into the game.
However, Lafayette took control of the ball not long after and tied up the game. It was a close game where the Lions never fully secured their win until the final whistle blew.
Junior Ashtin Klinger’s goal helped the team take back the lead and Brittany Grzywacz’s goal would secure the win.
“They’re always a good team, and we always have a really good game against them,” junior Lauren Purvis said. “We try to stick with our game plan, possessing the ball and really looking for an open pass rather than forcing the pass.”
Purvis added that the team made the best of the 15 penalty corners they had.
“We tried our best, we just need to capitalize on the opportunities that we do get, and just need to work on it at practice.”
Sophomore Laura Gebhart said the Lions walk away learning something new from every game.
“Every game is a learning experience, especially coming back from Uconn,” Gebhart said. “We had the opportunity to come back strong and come off that loss and really show what team we are out there.”
Gebhart added that there is still room for improvement and that they will point out what they need to work on for this week’s practice as they prepare for a meeting with Princeton on Thursday.
“Every team we treat the same,” Gebhart said. “And we want to come out focused and our biggest goal is to play strong for 70 minutes which we have yet to do, and stay focused and intense.”
Redshirt Senior Ayla Halus attributed the close game to mental focus.
“We got the endurance, we got the skills, we do pretty much muscle memory,” Halus said. “We do so much at practice [that] we pretty much know what to do. It’s just a matter of now taking it into our own hands and finally having 70 minutes of a full game.”
Playing a full 70 minutes focused and strong was a general concern many of the teammates shared. Halus attributed it to a ”team thing”.
“We pretty much have to just push each other through it,” Halus said. “Make a play and congratulating each other when they do so, and being right there to support the person. It’s a team effort and were working on it each and every practice and it’s going to come.”
Head coach Charlene Morett expressed her worries as the team takes on Princeton after not being able to accomplish vision and communication on Sunday.
“It was tough to get into a flow with the type of game it was,” Morett said. “But that’s no excuse for us, we just needed to be a little bit smarter with our decision making and our vision making.”
The team will take on Princeton on Thursday at home, who has four players who trained with the Olympic team for the past year.
“So you’re going to put four Olympians against that team on Thursday and if our kids cant have a focused practice and a readiness and have great energy and accept that challenge, it’s going to be a long night,” Morett said.