With the temperatures falling throughout the game on a chilly and dreary morning, the Lions managed to stay hot on the field with a consistent offensive attack and stifling defense to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to Northwestern last week.
The No. 7 Penn State field hockey team (11-3, 3-1) came away with a 6-2 victory against unranked California on Sunday in front of 369 at the Field Hockey Complex.
The Lions struck quickly — five minutes in — with a goal off a corner shot by sophomore forward Jenna Chrismer, which set the tone for the rest of the contest. It was her first of two goals on the day.
Sophomore Taylor Herold, who scored her fourth goal of the season, said that she was proud with the way her team played.
“We played really well as a team and came out strong,” Herold said. “Our pressure was really hard on them in the beginning, so I think that’s what kept us going throughout the entire game.”
The offensive-minded team continued to utilize its speed and crisp passing attack to out-shoot the Bears by a staggering 35-13 margin, including an 18-3 difference in the first half. Penn State also managed to keep Cal from attempting a single penalty corner shot in the first half.
Coach Charlene Morett said that she was impressed with the way the team started the game.
“Our defense played a great first half,” Morett said. “They just did not give up much inside the circle and just played with a lot of confidence.”
Senior forward Kelsey Amy continued her scoring dominance as she tallied her 16th goal of the season to put the Lions up 3-0 and give them a commanding lead shortly before halftime. The Sweet Valley native stole the ball and had a clean breakaway to the net as she juked Cal goalie Joelle van Hoorn out of the net before putting it past her in the dramatic play.
Senior goalie Ayla Halus also had a note-worthy performance as she was on top of her game, allowing only two goals and making seven saves. Several of those saves were made in spectacular fashion, as she displayed her quickness and agility to stop the Bears from ever making it a close game in the second half.
The team will now prepare for Sunday’s showdown with 11th-ranked and red-hot Iowa (9-2, 3-0), which has come away victorious in its last seven games. Morett told the Lions that this win was exactly what they needed going forward.
“What’s really important right now is that we get refocused on Big Ten competition with Iowa on Sunday,” she said.
The game will be of monumental importance as the winner will then hold the upper hand in the race for the Big Ten title with only four games remaining in the regular season.