Another weekend down, another climb in the rankings.
Penn State’s field hockey team (5-2) now sits at No. 6 in the country after two thorough victories against Temple and Cornell this past weekend, having outscored its opponents 7-1 during that time span.
But despite these victories, head coach Charlene Morett is not yet satisfied with her team’s playing standards.
Consistent improvement throughout the season is something every coach wants to see, but Morett has harped upon three particular areas — vision, scoring and mental toughness — as something her Nittany Lions need to improve for their next match-up against Lock Haven.
“I thought during the Cornell game we were a bit too individual inside the [offensive zone],” Morett said. “We need to have a little bit better vision for our teammates if we want to do well.”
Junior midfielder Lauren Purvis echoed Morett’s sentiments.
“I think we’re getting in the circle a lot, but we need to work on producing corners, which gives us a chance to score,” Purvis said. “Or just getting a quick shot off, and then a second and third shot after... I know [forward Kelsey Amy] gets a lot of good first shots off, but we need to be ready for them afterwards.”
The Lions have gotten consistent scoring out of main option, Amy, who leads the team with seven goals. Her other striking partners may need to step up quickly if the Lions want to achieve their goals for the season.
“We really need to get some scoring from the field,” Morett said. “We want to see some of the kids who do play in those striker roles to break out and get some goals of their own.”
Lock Haven (4-2) represents a good match-up for the Lions and has some momentum of its own, coming off victories against Robert Morris and Kent State.
“They’re a very aggressive team that plays great defense,” Morett said. “They’re very tough and physically strong. And they just have a great competitive mentality.”
“Everytime we play them, they give us a good game,” Purvis said. “They’re really aggressive going for bouncing balls and everything. They’re just always ready to play.”
But even with vision and scoring improvements, the Lions still would like to see themselves stay mentally sharp for the full 70 minutes, something they feel needs to happen more consistently throughout the season.
“We definitely want to keep the pressure going for a full 70 minutes,” senior Hannah Allison said. “We lacked that at times on Sunday [against Cornell]… We just want to be consistent for two halves.”
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