May 21, 2013 at 8:34 PM
While the date and opponent of the first women's hockey game of the 2013-2014 campaign is yet to be determined, the roster with which the team will play with in its inaugural season inside Pegula Ice Arena was announced on Sunday.
Fifteen of the unprecedented 17 freshmen who made Penn State's first ever Division I roster last season will return for a sophomore season. Defender Taylor McGee and forward Katie Zinn transferred.
The roster also reflects last November's four recruit signings with Williamsville, N.Y., defender Kelly Seward and three products of the infamous Minnesota high school hockey gauntlet: forwards Sarah Neilsen, Amy Petersen and Laura Bowman.
Petersen and Bowman are former linemates who propelled Minnetonka High School to three consecutive Minnesota state championships.
Naturally, with an NCAA season under their belt, the Nittany Lions will enter the program's second season a more experienced squad, especially on the blueline, where veteran defender Lindsay Reihl will return as a graduate student.
Except the incoming freshman, Seward, all eight Penn State defenders will have at least a year of collegiate experience.
The first season under the Pegula Ice Arena roof will also be the last for senior netminder Nicole Paniccia, whose strong play in between the pipes helped backstop a youthful and occasionally sloppy team in 2012-2013. Paniccia will likely be the team's go-to goaltender with sophomores Celine Whitlinger and Brooke Meyer battling for backup minutes.
May 16, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Michigan State was too much both at the plate and on the mound for Penn State on Thursday, taking the first game of the teams' three-game series, 16-1.
Four Spartans led the way with multi-hit games as the team hit safely 13 times.
Right fielder Jimmy Pickens picked up four RBI on a 2-for-4 hitting performance, while lead-off man Cam Gibson and cleanup hitter Blaise Salter each tallied three RBI.
The blowout started early, when the Spartans (32-16, 11-8 Big Ten) put two runs on the board in the first inning with a home run by Pickens. They added six more runs in the second, which was the last inning for Nittany Lions (13-35, 3-19 Big Ten) starting pitcher Nick Hedge.
Hedge's replacement, Geoff Boylston, did not fare much better. In three innings, he gave up five runs - three earned - and walked five Spartans.
Ian Parvin provided two solid innings of relief, allowing no hits in that span with only one walk.
Then, Zach Ell, who started the game in right field, tossed the final two innings of the game. Ell allowed three runs on two hits and three walks.
The Nittany Lions did not manage as well off of the Spartans' pitching, notching seven hits.
Third baseman Elliot Searer went 3-for-4, scoring the team's lone run. Ell, who was 2-for-4 at the plate, drove him in on a fourth-inning single.
Strong pitching from starter Andrew Waszak and the Spartans' bullpen kept the Lions at bay. In seven innings of work, he gave up six hits and two walks, striking out four.
The Spartans' relief pitchers, Anthony Misiewicz and Mike Mestdagh, combined for two innings of work, allowing just one hit and one walk.
May 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM
Penn State has struggled to find Big Ten wins this season, but nonconference games have been a bit kinder recently and the trend continued Tuesday.
The Nittany Lions (13-34, 3-18 Big Ten) allowed three runs in the first inning, but they chipped away and ultimately took down Villanova (11-40) at Medlar Field, 7-4, in their final nonconference game of the season.
The Wildcats jumped all over starting pitcher Patton Taylor (1-3) in the first frame with three runs and three hits. The Lions played sloppy defense as both Taylor and third baseman Tyler Kendall had throwing errors.
Despite the early miscues, Penn State locked down its defense with no errors for the rest of the game and held the Wildcats off the scoreboard until the final inning.
The Lions wasted no time and began to claw back in their first at-bat. Left fielder James Coates and second baseman Luis Montesinos put back-to-back doubles together for the Lions first and only run in the inning.
Penn State continued the comeback in fourth inning when Coates crossed the plate for the second time in the game, but this time off of designated hitter J.C. Coban's single.
Facing a 3-2 deficit, the Lions took the lead in the fifth as Kendall and catcher Alex Farkes scored off of shortstop Elliot Searer's double to left field.
The Lions held on to the lead for the rest of the game with another run in the seventh and two more in the eighth inning.
The Wildcats added one run in the ninth, but it was not enough.
Despite Taylor's early struggles in the first inning, the sophomore starter recovered and went six strong innings, allowing just five hits and no runs outside from the first frame.
Blake Estep picked up his first save of the year by pitching three innings and allowing just two hits to close the victory for the Lions.
Penn State has one three-game series left before the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. The Lions will take on Michigan State (31-16, 10-8 Big Ten) at home with the first game of the series slated Thursday at 6:05 p.m.
May 13, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Penn State took a lead on Illinois on Sunday for the first time in the teams' three-game series, but the margin proved too little to secure a win.
The Nittany Lions (12-34, 3-18 Big Ten) saw their shutout through five innings quickly unravel, and they were ultimately swept in their final away series of the regular season by the Fighting Illini (31-15, 12-9 Big Ten) with a 5-4 loss.
The defeat came after the Illini tied the contest with a three-run seventh inning and added their final run in the eighth. David Kerian, who scored the game-winning run, was brought home from third base on a single by Reid Roper.
Ian Parvin (2-2), the Lions' lone pitcher in the decisive eighth inning, took the loss.
Before the Illini battled back against the Lions' bullpen, starting pitcher Nick Hedge dominated on the mound. He tossed a one-hitter through five scoreless innings, striking out and walking two batters.
Hedge was backed up by four runs from his offense. The Lions tallied two runs in both the second and third innings.
Leading the way for the Lions' hitting was catcher Alex Farkes, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Third baseman Tyler Kendall also had a two-RBI game, finishing 1-for-4.
Despite the fast start, the Lions cooled off at the plate after the third inning. In the final six frames, they hit safely just three times.
The Lions will try to end a four-game losing streak with a matchup at home against Villanova on Tuesday followed by a three-game series against Michigan State to close out their regular season slate.
May 12, 2013 at 7:44 PM
Last season, Penn State made it as far as the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but on Sunday, No.7 Nittany
Lions beat No.15 UMass, 12-9, to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999.
Sophomore Maggie McCormick led the Lions with four goals, while Kelly Lechner scored three and assisted once. Lechner now has five goals in the two postseason games.
Freshman goaltender Emi Smith also played stronger in her second playoff game. Against Canisius, the Denver, Colo., native made four saves and allowed 13 goals, but on Sunday, Smith made seven saves and only allowed nine goals.
The first half was dominated by the Lions, who scored eight goals, four coming from McCormick. UMass only tied the game once on a 1-1 score in the first four minutes of play. At the end of the first 30 minutes, Penn State led 8-4.
At the start of the second half, Mackenzie Cyr scored in the first two minutes for the Lions, but the Minutewomen scored three goals in a row to cut Penn State’s lead to one.
Penn State’s captain Molly Fernandez scored the next two goals to put the game out of reach for UMass, which only scored twice in the final 19 minutes of the game.
This is coach Missy Doherty’s first time in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in her coaching career.
Penn State will play No. 2 Northwestern on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Evanston, Ill. The Lions last played the Wildcats in the ALC Quarterfinals, losing in overtime, 9-8.
May 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM
Big Ten troubles persist for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions (12-33, 3-17) lost a second-straight game to Illinois (30-15, 11-9 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon, 8-6, in Champaign, Ill.
One day removed from a 9-0 shutout loss, the Lions bats came back to life with a .333 average in the game, but it would not be enough as the Illini got to starting pitcher Greg Welsh early.
After a scoreless first for the Lions, Illinois jumped out with five hits in the bottom half of the inning resulting in four runs. Left fielder Jordan Parr, Brandon Hohl and Reid Roper all batted in runs for the Illini.
The Lions got on the board in the second inning with an RBI single by third baseman Tyler Kendall that drove in catcher Alex Farkes, who had reached base on a double.
Though Welsh kept Illinois scoreless in the bottom of the second, the Illinois extended its lead in the bottom of the third. An RBI by Davis Hendrickson and two more tacked on with a single to left field by Jason Goldstein put the Illini up 7-1.
Welsh was pulled in the fifth after allowing nine hits, five walks and six earned runs.
Facing another potential blowout, the Lions began to chip away at the lead in the top of the fifth when left fielder
James Coates drove in right fielder Zach Ell by grounding out to first with two men on base.
The Lions strung together a three-run seventh to tighten it up 7-5. A double by Aaron Novak kicked off a frame that features runs batted in by center fielder Steve Snyder, shortstop Luis Montesinos and Coates. The Lions had four hits in total for the inning.
Illinois created some breathing room with a run in the seventh and the Lions could not come back despite an RBI by Novak in the eighth.
Trailing by two in the ninth, Farkes struck out swinging with two men on to end the game.
Penn State looks to avoid the series sweep with the final game Sunday at 12 p.m.
May 11, 2013 at 6:16 PM
Riding a four goal lead at halftime, eighth-seeded Penn State looked as if it would cruise to the program's first ever NCAA Tournament victory, but Yale wasn’t finished yet.
The Bulldogs came out firing in the second half, scoring nine goals in the final two quarters to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament after defeating the Nittany Lions, 10-7 on May 11.
Penn State posted arguably the best season in program history, going undefeated in regular season conference play with 12 wins, a number that has never been reached by the program before. The Lions' impressive regular season earned the school’s third ever NCAA Tournament berth and the first since 2005. With the loss today, the Lions move to 0-3 in NCAA Tournament play.
Yale jumped on the board first when Harry Kucharczyk scored an unassisted goal with 11:40 left to play in the first quarter to take a 1-0 lead. Kucharczyk’s goal would turn out to be the Bulldogs only tally of the half.
After nearly eight scoreless minutes, Jack Forster put Penn State on the board going unassisted toward the goal and extending his point streak to 29 games. Less than 30 seconds later, Shane Sturgis gave Penn State the 2-1 lead on an extra man opportunity after a faceoff violation by Yale’s Dylan Levings, who was 0-for-4 on faceoffs in the first quarter.
Penn State would carry the momentum through the remainder of the first quarter riding five saves from goalkeeper Austin Kaut.
The Lions entered halftime on a 5-0 run with goals from Gavin Ahern, Nick Dolik and TJ Sanders that all came with more than nine minutes left in the second quarter. Even with the four-goal advantage and the momentum in its favor, Penn State would be held scoreless until midway through the third quarter.
After being shutout for 27 minutes, Yale answered in the second half as JW McGovern gave the Bulldogs life by scoring in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Penn State would come back with a goal from Drew Roper off an assist from Kyle VanThor to extend the Lions lead to 6-3.
The Lions have traditionally struggled in the second half, and the troubles were prevalent today as Yale broke down the Penn State defense in the second half going on a 6-0 scoring run.
In a last chance attempt, Penn State pulled Kaut leaving an open net which would result in another Yale goal despite JP Burnside’s diving attempt to deflect Colin Flaherty’s shot that put the Bulldogs up 10-6 with 1:46 left to play.
After winning the faceoff, TJ Sanders attempted to revive Penn State cutting Yale’s lead to three with 1:13 left to play. Yale would win the final faceoff and held the ball thus ending and the hope of a Penn State comeback.
The Bulldogs will face the winner of top-seeded Syracuse and Bryant in College Park, Md. on May 18. Yale earned its first NCAA Tournament win since 1992.
May 11, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Penn State baseball was shut out in the first game of its final away series of the regular season by Illinois on Friday, 9-0.
The Nittany Lions (12-32, 3-16 Big Ten) were held to two hits by Fighting Illini starting pitcher Kevin Duchene, and were hitless through the first six innings at Illinois Field. Left fielder James Coates and second baseman Luis Montesinos both hit safely for the Lions in the seventh inning.
Duchene (7-1) pitched a dominant complete game for the Illini (29-15, 10-9 Big Ten). The freshman struck out 11 Lions and walked only right fielder Zach Ell once.
Ryan Harper (1-3), starting for the Lions, did not start off bad himself. But after he gave up a two-run home run in the third inning, the Illini ended Harper's day with a seven-run fourth inning.
The rally came after Harper retired the inning's first two batters. But the Illini then scored their final seven runs on him with the help of seven hits before Nick Hedge entered the game in relief and ended the inning.
For the rest of the game, Hedge and Tim Dunn kept the Illini off the scoreboard, combining for three hits allowed and three strikeouts. But with the damage already done, Duchene's effective pitching prevented any threat of a comeback.
May 9, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Penn State advanced to the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over sixth-seeded Illinois on Thursday night.
As has been the trend this season, the 11th-seeded Nittany Lions (16-33) once again rode the bat of senior Cassidy Bell and the arm of freshman Macy Jones en route to victory that sets up a Friday matchup with third-seeded Minnesota.
The Lions got off to a quick start in the game with the Illini (22-27) by scoring two runs in the top of the first. However, Illinois would respond with a two-run shot by Jess Perkins to tie the game heading into the second inning.
Bell and senior Lauren Yao were both on base when senior Kailyn Johnson would put the team up for good with a two-out triple into right field, giving the Lions a 4-2 lead.
Bell, who finished the game a triple short of hitting for the cycle, would hit her team-leading 20th home run in the top of the seventh inning to extend the Lions advantage to 5-2. Jones would get the complete game win after retiring the Illini in the bottom of the frame, finishing the contest with six strikeouts (including her 100th on the year) and two runs on six hits.
The Lions and the Golden Gophers (33-16) square off for the first time this season at Bowling Stadium at 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
May 9, 2013 at 9:31 PM
After one day of play, Penn State sits in 20th out of 24 teams with a first round score of 310 at the NCAA Division I East Regional in Auburn, Alabama.
Three Nittany Lions finished tied for the top spot on the team as Grace Chung, Ellen Ceresko and Elyse Archambault all shot a 77 on the day to tie for 70th overall.
Following the trio, Emily Ransone finished tied for 95th with a 79 and Kaitlyn Elliot finished tied for 109th with a first round 81.
The Lions begin round two tomorrow morning and look to move up the leader board to catch first place Alabama.