The No. 6 Penn State field hockey team proved that it has what it takes to go on the road and still play its game.
The Nittany Lions (8-2) had a successful weekend with an 8-0 shutout against Lehigh on Friday night and then earned their fifth consecutive win against Monmouth, 7-1, on Saturday.
Coach Charlene Morett said that she was proud of her team, as going on the road is never easy, especially when they are two consecutive away games.
“We played great as a team with nice passing contributions, and variations of the corner were very successful,” Morett said.
Morett said that going on the road always allows the team to bond, which becomes evident in the way that it plays.
“We were able to get people to switch around,” Morett said. “Last weekend we had a bunch of girls who were sick so they were able to get rested up, and this weekend there was a great sense of team bonding which shows our strength in conditioning.”
Senior Kelsey Amy said that she could not be prouder of her team’s performance.
“I think we did an awesome job this weekend,” Amy said. “We did some really good things on Friday, and a lot of the younger girls got some good experience which was awesome and we just built upon that game and took it into Saturday and had a great win there too.”
Junior Natalie Buttinger agreed with her teammate that it was two great wins on the road.
“They were two great games, especially at the end of six games in 10 days and it was nice to see everyone on the team contribute and get some playing time,” Buttinger said. “They were both high scoring games with holds on the corner and during plays from a different number of people.” Lions Sweep Consecutive Away Games
Morett said she noticed that her team is really starting to get stronger and pointed to forward Lauren Alwine in particular. She said the graduate student and former Virginia soccer player is getting stronger over time and is becoming more comfortable in her role on the team.
The Lions will be back in the Field Hockey Complex on Friday where they will take on Indiana at 3 p.m. With Big Ten play starting, the Lions still have some things to work on.
Amy said that the team is going to continue working on the reoccurring theme of playing for the full 70 minutes and just working on possession and building plays up for the field is going to be a key for the team.
Morett said the major focus this week with Big Ten games in sight is going to be defense.
“Defense will be a main priority going into the Big Ten,” Buttinger said. “It is a really strong conference and if we focus on staying low and being prepared on defense we should be able to start off strong in the Big Ten play.”