Excellent field vision and finishing ability helped the Penn State field hockey team earn its sixth win of the season Wednesday night, as the team shut out Lock Haven, 5-0, at the Field Hockey Complex.
Throughout the week, head coach Charlene Morett had stressed better team play within the offensive zone, which is exactly what the Nittany Lions were able to accomplish.
And heading into the game, Morett felt that Lock Haven’s style of play presented a good opportunity for the Lions to break out of their offensive shell.
“We wanted to keep the flow of the game going,” Morett said. “We knew they were going to give us good transfer opportunities, and we had to take advantage of it.”
The Lions’ first goal, which came from the field, was executed brilliantly as senior forward Kelsey Amy received the ball deep in the Lock Haven defensive zone, only to send a cross back into the middle for midfielder Laura Gebhart to blast into back of the cage.
“I told [the team] that first goal was a top five goal in my coaching career,” Morett said. “Just because of the way we passed it down the field and scored. It was great execution.”
From there, the Lions cruised.
Amy scored another goal off a penalty corner before the half ended, putting the Lions up 2-0. Junior forward Ashtin Klinger followed up early into the next half with a rebound goal to put the Lions up 3-0 and in total command of the game.
The goal was Klinger’s third of the season.
“We needed to take advantage of our speed of play and eliminate defenders and go behind them,” Morett said. “Our passing play was a nice push pass, lead pass flow. And we just had good speed.”
The Lions seemed to overwhelm the Lock Haven defense at times as they entered the offensive zone, sending balls scorching towards the side as they stretched the defense.
“It was awesome,” midfielder Laura Gebhart said. “There was so much fluidity, we really opened up and were there for each other with so many support passes.”
Two more goals came midway through the second half, which wrapped up the game for the Lions. Sophomore forward Taylor Herold scored her first goal of the season, followed by midfielder Hannah Allison knocking home a goal from a penalty corner.
The team takes on two more non-conference opponents, Lehigh and Monmouth, this weekend before starting Big Ten-conference play.
“Those teams are going to be excited to have us come in and play,” Morett said. “So we have to rest up and be ready to go.”
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