The Penn State men’s hockey team handed Arizona State their first loss of the season after an 8-3 win Friday night.
The Sun Devils struck first at 12:20 of a back and fourth first period. The crowd erupted in boos when the Dan Styrna took a snap shot that just missed Skoff’s glove and into the net for 1-0 lead.
The Nittany Lions tied the game at 18:45 after a power play goal from frehman defensemen Luke Juha’s second goal of the season after a cross-ice pass from junior forward Michael McDonough.
The Lions didn’t miss a beat once the second period started. Penn State got goals from sophomore forward Tommy Olczyk, as well as freshman forwards Kenny Brooks and David Glen goals in less than four minutes.
The game calmed down and appeared to be headed into the second intermission at 4-2 until Penn State got its second power play with just 38 seconds left in the period. Glen scored the second of three goals on the night with just 15 seconds remaining.
The scoring did not stop in the 3rd period. The Lions added three more tallies with goals from senior forwards Michael Longo, Eric Steinour as well as Glen completing a hat trick.
Penn State was also 3-for-3 on the power play despite coming into the game 4-for-49 with the man advantage.
3rd Michael Longo (PSU), 2nd Dan Styrna (ASU), 1st David Glen (PSU).
We caught up with Penn State women's hockey goalie Nicole Paniccia in this week's edition of Thursday Conversation. Listen as Paniccia tells us about her superstitions and goals for the team this season.
While most Penn State students were off on break relaxing from the stresses of school, Lady Lions' senior guard Maggie Lucas kept grinding over Thanksgiving break, taking home two awards in the process.
After being named the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Tournament MVP, Lucas has also been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the week-ending Nov. 25. Lucas also won it on Feb. 21, 2012.
Lucas' performance during the Thanksgiving Tournament secured her the honor after averaging 25.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.5 steals in two games.
Lucas and the Lady Lions will now look to improve their efforts Thursday night against tough non conference foe Miami (Fla.), which is 5-1 on the season.
Penn State shook off an awful shooting performance in the first half to hand Bucknell its first loss of the season.
The Nittany Lions downed the Bison, 60-57, in their first game without All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier, who ruptured his left Achilles tendon last week. Penn State outscored Bucknell by nine and shot a red hot 65.3 percent (17-for-26) in the final 20 minutes before a Black Friday crowd of 7,713 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State (3-2) held the lead for the final nine minutes, but Bucknell was able to make things close at the end. The Lions — who were 9-for-20 from the line for the contest — missed some a few free throws late, but Bucknell's Cameron Ayers missed a corner 3-pointer with time winding down.
Bucknell (5-1) took a six-point lead to the locker room thanks to a dismal shooting performance from the Lions. Penn State was 5-for-31 (16.1 percent) in the first half and 4-for-10 from the foul line.
"Our kids played hard, they didn't let missing shots or turning the ball over affect their effort," coach Patrick Chambers said.
However, the Lions were able to keep it close mainly due to the performance of Brandon Taylor, who got the start in place of Frazier.
The freshman matched his career total with 16 points in the contest and he netted 14 of the Lions 22 points. The 6-foot-7 swingman also connected on four of his eight attempts from beyond arc.
"I don't know if Bucknell thought much of Brandon Taylor, because we're only five games in, he hasn't really done much," Chambers said. "But we know in practice what he's capable of, and he's got a lot of confidence."
Jermaine Marshall finished with a game-high 17 points and hit two clutch free throws with less than 20 seconds remaining to give the Lions a five-point lead.
The Bison entered the game averaging 70 points per contest, but were stymied by the Penn State defense. Bucknell turned the ball over 13 times and had just three offensive rebounds, while Penn State pulled down 14 boards on the offensive glass.
Penn State Athletic Director David Joyner joined Dave Revsine on the Big Ten Network to talk about Maryland's move to the Big Ten on Monday. Here's what he had to say.
On what the move means for Penn State
"It means the reinstitution of a great series and rivalry in many sports," Joyner said. "I played against Maryland when I played here and it was a terrific situation and I think it brings somebody right to our back door that extends the footprint of the Big Ten, but yet brings back many traditional, great memories for people in Pennsylvania as well as in Maryland so we're very excited about it."
On fitting better geographically with Big Ten schools
"I'm not sure that we never felt we fit. In geography, you've got Ohio State very close, reasonably close, to us and now you've got Maryland half that distance and I think that it's just a natural extension geographically and I think it brings home the Big Ten into the Eastern corridor, so I think it's very positive."
On the impact on Penn State's recruiting
"Well, personally, I think it helps. I've read some things where some folks said, 'Well, maybe it's going to be tougher now for us back here,' and you never know until time plays out. But we still recruit against Maryland. We recruited against them years ago before we were in the Big Ten and other schools in this Eastern-Atlantic corridor and I don't think, particularly, it's going to change that, other then perhaps enhance it and make it more positive because you have a Big Ten opponent from State College about three hours away. So I think it makes it very attractive."
On why the move is a good fit for Maryland
"Well, I think Maryland fits very well within the Big Ten parameters. They're an outstanding academic university. They are the 19th rated public university in the country, very excellent academics, top 58 overall and they're a member of the [Association of American Universities]. So I think that they're a natural fit. Their size is consistent and their big-time athletics as well as big-time academics is very consistent with the mission of the Big Ten."
On direction of conference realignment and meaning of Maryland move
"I think that you're seeing an expansion and growth of the five major conferences. I think it's not a reaction to it, it's just a natural process that I think is occurring and it makes a lot of sense, particularly for the Big Ten with the Eastern markets and as I said the natural geography which really then makes Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland and then out westward and so I think that it's just an expression of the times what's going on."
But unlike that night in October, there was going to be a winner on Jeffrey Field this time. Both teams had run out of minutes to play and the only solution would be a 1 v 1 opportunity with the goalkeepers in a round of penalty kicks.
Penn State would kick first, they sent out Raquel Rodriguez, a talented freshman who has carried the Lions through set pieces and has made one penalty kick for the team in the regular season. But in the sweet 16 Rodriguez’s strike would be saved by the Wolverines keeper, Haley Kopmeyer who had 10 saves on the night.
Meghan Toohey would be the first opponent to face McNulty followed by Nkem Ezurike who is one of the strongest forwards in the nation this season, both would send the ball flying past McNulty.
Sophomore defender Whitney Church was up next for the Lions, she shot hard, but it was again saved by Kopmeyer. Penn State was down 2-0 in a round of five penalty kicks and the season seemed to be shooting away for the Lions.
It has been said all season long that the upperclassmen carry this Lions squad and it would depend on them to guide the younger players if they believed the could make the national championship dream become a reality.
In order for the dream to stay alive, Maddy Evans, Tani Costa and Maya Hayes would have to be perfect on their penalty kicks and McNulty would have to save three shots in a row.
Evans was next to follow up Ezurike and the captain put the Lions on the board, just like she had done in the 41st minute to give the Lions the 1-1 tie.
The crowd was back in it after Evans attempt was good, but it was now up to McNulty to or the sure miracle of a miss to save the season.
And that is exactly what McNulty did she saved her way to the Elite Eight. Lulu Haidar took her shot at the Penn State keeper, but McNulty was able to control the ball having the momentum swing in the Lions favor.
Still down 2-1 Tani Costa is next in line to shoot for the Lions, looking composed sends one past Kopmeyer. The energy at Jeffrey Field was lifted again. But they were by no means in the clear yet.
McNulty readied herself in the goal again jumping and raising her arms above her head as Shelina Zadorsky sent a shot within reach of the diving Penn State keeper. It was a was, what had once been a 2-0 lead by the Wolverines was now a 2-2 tie after two game changing stops by McNulty.
Penn State had all the momentum with the crowd behind them as Hayes stepped into the box to shoot. The Lions could not have a better person up in that position with 15 goals on the season. Hayes composed herself and shot just past the Michigan keeper, giving the Lions a 3-2 advantage with just one more attempt for Michigan.
It was now just McNulty in goal and Holly Hein in the box with the rest of their teammates and coaches looking on from the sidelines. Hein shot a tough ball, but McNulty guessed the right direction making a diving stop and literally saving the game for the Lions.
Penn State won the penalty kicks by a 3-2 advantage and earned a birth to the Elite Eight after failing to make it past the Sweet 16 last season.
Saving Hayes for the final attempt was a very gutsy move by Penn State coach Erica Walsh, but it paid off in this situation. In a round of five kicks a team may never get the chance to use their final attempt if their opponent sweeps them 3-0 in the first three kicks.
After this dramatic victory, Penn State will host No. 3-seeded Duke on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Elite Eight at Jeffrey Field.
The Penn State women rode the momentum from their recent regional championship to a 14th place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships Saturday in Louisville, Ky.
Oregon ultimately won the women’s national championship with 114 points. Penn State earned 387 points to finish second among Big Ten schools at the meet, with only Michigan finishing ahead of them with a fifth-place result
Junior Victoria Perri, who was running in her first national championships, was the first Nittany Lion to complete the 6,000-meter course with her 47th-place overall.
Perri saved her best performance of the season for last, running the course in 20:21.4, which is personal record for her. The junior capped off her surprising season by becoming one of only five runners to finish in the top 50 overall for Penn State in the women’s national championship race since 1998.
Junior Rebekka Simko, another newcomer to the national championships, finished second on the team and 71st overall with a time of 20:35.5.
Simko was followed by seniors Brooklyne Ridder and Natalie Bower, who finished third and fourth for the Lions. Both Ridder and Bower have now become the sixth and seventh athletes in Penn State history to run in the national championships four times.
Sam Masters was the only runner on the men’s team to represent Penn State at the meet. He finished his cross country career with a time of 32:25.9 on the 10,000-meter course to earn 231st overall in the men’s race.
Prior to the meet, coach Beth Alford-Sullivan accepted her Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year award during the NCAA Cross Country Banquet.
The Penn State program now will look towards the indoor track and field season that starts Dec. 15 with the Blue-White Intrasquad Meet.
The Penn State men’s basketball ended its stay in San Juan on a sour note as standout Tim Frazier suffered a lower leg injury in an 85-60 loss to Akron on Sunday afternoon.
Frazier, who has averaged 21.6 points and five assists per game this year, exited the fifth place game in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament just six minutes in with what appeared to be a left ankle injury.
Penn State trainers reportedly told ESPN that Frazier injured his Achilles tendon, but the team wasn’t “pessimistic” about his health moving forward. According to the report, the Lions will wait to announce an official diagnosis upon returning to State College.
With Frazier out early, Southern Mississippi transfer D.J. Newbill was looked upon to carry the load and he responded well initially.
Newbill, who finished the game with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists, was getting to the rim early and using his 6-foot-4 frame to his advantage.
Facing adversity, Newbill did well to control the game throughout the first half, giving the Lions a 36-34 lead at the break.
Unfortunately for Penn State, the second half was a completely different story.
The Zips, led by freshman Jake Kretzer, took advantage of Frazier’s absence and applied pressure via the full-court press.
Lions’ guards Newbill and Jermaine Marshall appeared uncomfortable dealing with the press, allowing the Zips to force turnovers and get out in the fastbreak to build a 24-4 run through nine minutes of the second half.
With Frazier out, not only did Newbill get more scoring opportunities, but forward Ross Travis received more looks.
The versatile sophomore put up a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds), although he was just 1-10 from the field.
Friday’s game left the Nittany Lions (4-8-1, 0-6-1 CHA) as the only team in College Hockey America without a conference win when they lost, 5-1, to Lindenwood (1-10-0, 1-2-0 CHA).
The Nittany Lions fell behind early when Lady Lions’ left winger Samantha Redick found the back of goalie Nicole Paniccia’s net on a power play after forward Birdie Shaw was called for hooking.
Ten minutes later in the first period, forward Jill Holdcroft tied the game when she notched her third goal of the season, which was assisted by forward Shannon Yoxheimer and defender JordinPardoski. The assist was Pardoski’s first of the year.
Although the teams entered the first intermission knotted up at one, it was all Lindenwood from there on.
Lady Lions’ right winger Kendra Broad scored just one minute into the second period to give the Lady Lions the lead for good.
The Lady Lions scored three more goals before the final buzzer sounded. Lady Lion center AllyssonArcibal picked up two of those scores, one in the second period and one in the third period. Left winger Alison Wickenheiser finished off the Lindenwood offensive assault when she scored unassisted late in the third period.
The Nittany Lions’ six penalties were double the amount the Lady Lions earned. The Lady Lions also outshot the Nittany Lions 37-16.
Earlier in the week, Penn State coaches cited both of those statistical categories as keys to victory this weekend.
The Nittany Lions will finish their road trip in Missouri when they look for redemption against the Lady Lions on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Penn State women’s soccer team, with the top-ranked offensive attack added to an already impressive statistical season as it defeated Boston College, 5-2, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Nittany Lions were able to take advantage of the absence of the Golden Eagles’ second leading scorer Stephanie McCaffrey, who was suspended due to controversial tweets regarding the Jerry Sandusky case the previous day.
Junior Maya Hayes got things started for the Lions early, hitting her 14th goal of the season in a school record 48 seconds into game off of an assist from junior Taylor Schram. Hayes broke the record previously set by redshirt junior Tani Costa this season.
The Lions offense was firing on all cylinders in the first half. Hayes followed her goal with another off of an assist from senior Christine Nairn to put the Lions up 2-0. Penn State was able to maintain their lead despite pressure from Golden Eagles, they attempted 18 shots in the half compared to 10 by the Lions. Boston College has the 15th ranked offense in the country.
“Statistically it makes all the difference in the world, every stat screams that you need to score first,” coach Erica Walsh said. “It got the crowd into the game, it got our team into the game mentally. I feel like we can do that anytime we set our mind to it and the warm up is right, we can do that against any opponent.
The Lions were able to continue their quick scoring as redshirt sophomore Emily Hurd found freshman Mallory Weber for Weber’s 12th goal of the season less than a minute into the half.
With the Lions up 3-0, controlling all the momentum, Boston College responded. Junior Bri Hovington was called for a foul in the box to set up senior Kristen Mewis with a penalty kick, cutting the Lions margin to 3-1.
Just minutes later, Mewis found the back of the net for the second time making it 3-2 a swinging some momentum Boston College’s way.
Nairn, who has been called to step up in a number of critical moments for the Lions all season did so once again, scoring her 15th goal of the season in the 74th minute to put the Lions up 4-2.
"I would be lying if I said I didn’t think back to my freshman year against UVA, we were up 2-0 at halftime and we lost 6-2,” Nairn said. “That was in the back of me and Maddy’s mind. We just had a second on the field and we just said not again. That’s our mentality we know where we’ve been and we know where we want to go.”
In the 78th minute, Weber was credited for a goal put the game out of reach, catching Boston College goalie Alexa Gaul, out of position as the ball bounced off of the defender near her and dribbled into the goal. The Lions were able to fend the Golden Eagles off as they cruised the rest of the way to victory.
“It’s just exciting knowing I can work hard and keep producing and help this team move forward each game,” Weber said.
Penn State will go on to face Michigan in the Sweet 16 on Sunday for a rematch at Jeffrey Field. The Lions previously tied Michigan 1-1 in the regular season to clinch the Big Ten Conference. Walsh spoke on the excitement of being able to see Michigan for a second time.
“I’ll speak for the team, I was just crossing my fingers and hoping that we’d see Michigan again,” Walsh said. “We missed out on an opportunity at home, that bitter taste in our mouth for the Big Ten Championship. I’ve been waiting for this moment since that day.”
The first athlete to be publicly suspended for derogatory tweets related to the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case was Boston College women’s soccer player, Stephanie McCaffrey.
McCaffrey took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon in a thread of controversial tweets taking jabs at the former Penn State assistant football coach, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in June.
As of 5:15 p.m. Thursday her Twitter account showed an error message.
A statement released by Boston College associate athletic director Chris Cameron, forwarded from Penn State women’s soccer sports information director, Greg Kincaid read:
"The student-athlete used very poor judgement and exhibited insensitivity towards Penn State, for which she apologizes.
This type of behavior is not tolerated among our student-athletes.
Miss McCaffrey has been suspended from the team and will not participate in Friday’s game."
McCaffrey is the second leading goal scorer for the No. 15 offense of the Eagles who average 2.33 goals per game, but they will now be missing a vital scoring threat Friday night.
Boston College will take on Penn State in the second round of the NCAA tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at Jeffrey Field.
In this edition of our Thursday Conversation segment, we talked to Penn State women's hockey freshman forward Micayla Catanzariti. Listen as Catanzariti talks about her hometown of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., and her bucket list among other topics.
Lady Lions (1-0) @ Texas A&M (0-1)
8 p.m. on FSN-Southwest/Fox College Sports - Atlantic
The No. 9 Lady Lions will be tested early in their non-conference schedule tonight when the No. 16 Lady Aggies look to rebound after their loss to then-No. 9 Louisville, 47-45. The Lions on the other hand are coming off a bitter victory against Howard, 72-61.
“Here they come again to jack my style,” sings Nate Ruess in the song, Some Nights by fun.
It fits well as the Aggies and Lions will both look to steal the game's tempo. The Lions prefer a up-tempo, high-scoring, offensive game while the Aggies play a defensive grind of a style. Only one style can dominate? Who’s will it be?
Texas A&M collected 42 rebounds in its season opener versus Louisville. Penn State is notoriously known for underperforming on the boards and will be tested by Aggies 6-foot-4 center Kelsey Bone, who collected 12 rebounds on 14 points against Louisville.
Are we in East Halls?
Texas A&M has seven true freshmen on its 15-woman roster. Guard Courtney Walker played the most minutes, out of the seven, in their season opener with 35 minutes.
What to Watch For
Look to see if junior guard Ariel Edwards bounces back after a lackluster season opener against Howard. Edwards played 23 minutes with five points, five rebounds, and made two out of eight shots.
“It’s a different mindset when you are a permanent starter,” head coach Coquese Washington said about Edwards. Washington went on to say that Edwards still needs to find her groove playing with the four other starters, who have played together much of their collegiate careers.
She said it
“I definitely wanted to get my teammates more involved in the Howard game, but I’m definitely going to focus on it [against Texas A&M],” senior guard Alex Bentley said.
This is a home and home series against Texas A&M. So, Penn State will have a big non-conference opponent at home next year with the Lady Aggies.
Washington noted the Aggies have a loyal, passionate fan base that will certainly bring the noise for Penn State.
Write It Down
While Penn State will get outrebounded on the boards, senior center Nikki Greene will step up in front of her family and friends in her homecoming back to Texas. Lions win 67-62.
What are your predictions for tonight’s game?
In the latest Associated Press rankings, the Lady Lions dropped to No. 9 from a No. 8 preseason ranking after beating Howard, 72-62, in their season-opener on Sunday. Louisville jumped them in the rankings after defeating then-No. 15 Texas A&M, 47-45 with a game-winning layup.
The drop in the rankings can be attributed to the team's struggles against Howard on Sunday, in addition to Louisville's victory.
Penn State's next opponent, Texas A&M, dropped to No. 16 from No. 15.
No. 20 St. John's and No. 17 Delaware saw the biggest drop in the rankings, each dropping six spots.
Howard kept the Lady Lions within reach throughout the game, including having a six-point lead with a little less than five minutes remaining in the first half. The Lions also had a slow start on this day last year against Washington State when they were down 38-35 at half, but managed to come back.
What Coach Said: head coach Coquese Washington credited the rust out the opening gates to just the start of the season and the Lions still finding their rhythm. While the team is returning most of its players, adding redshirt junior guard Dara Taylor and freshman center Candice Agee to the mix still needs time to be fine-tuned.
The turning point of the game came at the end of the first half when senior guard Maggie Lucas drained a three to close Howard’s lead to one. After five straight turnovers, the Lions went on a 14-0 run to end the first half and take a 39-31 lead.
“We want to provide that spark throughout the entire game,” senior guard Alex Bentley said.
In the Paint
The Lions came away with 26 points inside the paint; however, Nikki Greene did not attempt one shot from the field, scoring only three points from the free throw line.
What Coach Said: Washington alluded to Howard’s great defensive play of sandwiching Howard's post and forcing outside shots, but that won’t be a common occurrence reassured Washington,
“ Our post play will definitely improve as the season goes on.”
Did they win?
You would not know that the Lady Lions won from their post game body language. The Lions showed they were disappointed in their efforts, allowing Howard to score 61 points.
Food for Thought
With their leading scorer Tamoria Holmes, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, the Bison's Saadia Doyle scored 36 to pace Howard.
Howard often did not try to rebound their missed free throw opportunities as they sent all four of the players not on the line in the backcourt to prevent a fast break happening, Howard head coach Nikki Reid Geckeler said after the game. They were 19-29 from the line.
Ahead of the Curve
The Lions will take on No. 15 Texas A&M at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in College Station, Texas. The Lady Aggies are coming off a season opening defeat to No. 9 Louisville, 47-45.
“Thanks for all the support today! Big game coming up this week”
The Penn State women's cross country team took home its first NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday, narrowly edging out reigning national champion Georgetown to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships this weekend.
The Nittany Lions and had three runners finish in the top 10, including junior Victoria Perri -- who finished fourth overall.
Here's some footage of the start of Friday's race:
The Penn State men's hockey team (6-3-0) made Saturday's match-up against Air Force Academy (3-4-3) an entirely different game compared to Friday's.
Penn State freshman Matthew Skoff made 34 saves for a win over Air Force, 5-1, after the team lost to them Friday night at Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
Penn State's Casey Bailey scored through the five-hole at 15:29 of the first period. The goal was Bailey's fourth of the season and was assisted by Max Gardiner and Peter Sweetland.
In the second period, Luke Juha scored his first goal of the season, with an assist by Bailey. It was a slap shot from the left to make the score 2-0 at 6:39 of the second.
Air Force disbanded any hope for a Penn State shutout with a goal early in the third period. Air Force's Casey Kleisinger scored at 2:41 in the third to make the score 2-1.
David Glen then shut down any hope for Air Force to tie the game. He scored his sixth goal of the season at 10:38 in the third period. Air Force coach Frank Serratore pulled his goalie near the end of the game, which allowed Penn State's Michael McDonagh and Connor Varley to both score on an empty net. McDonagh's goal was made at 17:20 in the third.
Varley scored the final goal at 19:53 in the third period. Varley's goal was also his first of the season.
Penn State went 1-1 against Air Force in its series this weekend.
As time ran out at the Penn State field hockey complex Saturday, a collective sigh of relief permeated the stands.
The No. 3 Penn State field hockey team narrowly escaped the first round of the NCAA Finals, winning 2-1 against the University of Albany in a tightly wound, emotional contest.
"We just did not play well," coach Charlene Morett said. "We were just very disconnected... there was a lot of hecticness to our play. We didnt play good defense. I was just happy to get out of there with a win."
The Nittany Lions scored the first goal 14 minutes in, but were dominated at times by Albany. The normally potent Lions' offense found itself consistently frustrated by a scrappy Albany side that played hard the entire game.
The Great Danes tied things up right before half off a penalty corner, which summed up the Lions' extremely difficult first half.
Play opened up a little for the Lions in the second half, but the contest still devolved as both sides lost composure.
In total, the officials handed out three green cards and six yellow cards, a staggering amount of penalties for one game.
At one point, the head official had both captains meet at midfield in an effort to calm the game down.
"We just had to deal with it," sophomore midfielder Laura Gebhart said. "I think there was just a tension. We really wanted to score and I think that was getting the better of us. We just needed to settle down, get back into our own game, and retake control."
Thankfully for the Lions, Kelsey Amy managed to run the ball down the sidelines with her patented speed and send it towards the middle, where Taylor Herold was waiting to put the ball away and give the Lions the lead with only 10 minutes remaining.
Penn State's victory allows them to play the winner of the Syracuse-UMass game on Sunday at 11:30 AM for the second round of the tournament.
Penn State (4-6-1, 0-4-1 CHA) and Robert Morris (4-2-1, 1-0-0 CHA) were evenly matched for the first 10 minutes of the first period until they suffered a Colonial offensive onslaught that ultimately downed the Nittany Lions, 7-1.
Halfway into the first period, goalie Nicole Paniccia could not corral the puck in a scrum in front of the net and Colonial center Rebecca Vint pushed it through Paniccia’s legs for the first score of the game.
Less than five minutes later, the Lions found themselves down 4-0 and Vint had already picked up a hat trick for the game.
Head coach Josh Brandwene described the contest as a tale of two chapters. The first chapter was the first ten minutes of the game where he felt the Lions played some of their best hockey of the year, but second chapter was not what he wanted to see.
“They came out of the locker room well prepared, fired up [and with] great execution with our game plan and we had a great rhythm through that first ten minutes,” Brandwene said. “Then, we got away from what we were doing and for the next 50 minutes, it was a monumental struggle for us.”
The Lions were able to hold off the Colonials in the second period until left winger TheaImbrogno shot a cross-ice pass into an exposed net.
Forward Shannon Yoxheimer provided a brief bright spot for the Lions when she extended her scoring streak to seven games. Yoxheimer shot the puck from the circle after forward Taylor Gross won a faceoff and it trickled past Colonial goalie Kristen DiCiocco.
However, Robert Morris answered less than two minutes later when Vint notched her fourth goal of the game during a 5-on-3 advantage for the Colonials Vint said it was important to answer quickly to keep Penn State out of the game before heading into the locker room for the second intermission.
“If they got back in the game, we could get down, they could keep scoring,” Vint said. “You never know. Any flukey goal could go in just like for us. A lot of it’s important to just make sure that you don’t let their momentum get up.”
Vint polished off her day by adding her fifth goal in the third period before the buzzer sounded. The score more than doubled Vint’s goal total of two coming into the game.
Vint said she did not do anything special to score the five goals because she happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Vint credited her teammates for doing most of the work.
Yoxheimer said the team can take away the lesson to not watch the scoreboard because it can mess with the player’s minds.
Yoxheimer also said the team stopped doing the little things right like cheering for puck clears after Robert Morris scored, but she said that the first couple of minutes in Friday’s game gives the Lions hope for their rematch on Sunday.
“We can take away that getting down on yourselves really doesn’t help anything,” Yoxheimer said. “We know that we can with them because the first seven minutes, we were playing with them.”
It wasn’t pretty, but the Penn State men’s basketball team managed to pull out a 65-58 win in its season opener against St. Francis University.
The Lions’ shooting ability has been in question since the preseason and proved to be an issue as they went on to shoot 3-of-24 from three-point land.
“We always prepare for nights like this,” coach Pat Chambers said. “I think our guys were a little nervous first game of the year, had a little butterflies. I hope it doesn’t happen often. We need to be able to not make shots and continue to play hard.”
Senior Tim Frazier led the way for the Lions with 23 points on 3-of-9 shooting, as well as six assists. Though the point guard struggled from the field, he was able to penetrate through the St. Francis defense time and time again and draw fouls. Frazier shot 17-18 from the free throw line.
Redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill had a solid performance in his first game as a Lion. The transfer student put up 16 points and seven rebounds. Newbill also had an off shooting night, hitting 3-of-10, but was productive from the line going 9-10 on free throws.
“When you’re not making shots you got to figure out what you’re doing well,” Chambers said. “At halftime I’m seeing that we’re shooting good free throws, so I just told them to drive the basketball.”
The first half was a defensive struggle, ending 26-20 Penn State. Both teams gave up 11 turnovers in the half. St. Francis was able to take advantage of a struggling Penn State offense early in the second half hitting three three-pointers in the first four minutes to take a 31-30 lead.
With the game starting to slip for Penn State, Frazier took over, hitting a runner in the line, followed by a steal and an and-one finish on a fast break for a one man 5-0 run.
The teams continued to battle back and forth until Frazier found senior Nick Collela in the corner to knock down a three, making it 51-47. A little over a minute later, redshirt junior Jermaine Marshall hit a three of his own to create some separation putting the Lions up 56-47. Newbill iced things for the Lions hitting a baseline jumper with three minutes remaining to make it 60-49.
“This year we have a different mentality that we’re never out of games, keep a great attitude, keep grinding and keep making plays” Chambers said. ”They took the lead they went up and we came right back down we had a couple good possessions and got to the free throw line again.”
The Lions were able to create numerous second-chance opportunities with 13 offensive rebounds. Sophomore Ross Travis led the charge pulling in nine boards including five offensive.
“The second chance opportunities were huge, when you’re not shooting the ball well and you’re not making threes to get an extra opportunity to get us extra chances and extra shots, it was really big for our team,” Chambers said.
The Lions will resume action Thursday as travel to San Juan to take on NC State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament.
The Penn State men's hockey team dropped their second home game of the season after getting manhandled by the Air Force Falcons, 5-1.
The loss dropped the Nittany Lions' record to 5-3-0 on the season.
The Lions faced a one goal deficeit going into the first intermission after they were unable to capitalize on three first period power plays. Penn State also outshot Air Force 12-8 in the first period.
The second period did not look much better for the Lions after they let allowed a tic-tac-toe goal. Ben Carey hustled his way into the Penn State zone, then spun around and backhanded a pass to Kyle De Laurell who only had to tap it past a diving P.J. Musico to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
Sloppiness was the result of the third Falcons goal as Chad Demers capitalized on a turnover in front of Musico and buried it.
There appeared to be hope for the Nittany Lions when junior forward Justin Kirchhevel scored his first goal of the season on a breakaway to make it 3-1 with just over 10 minutes left in the third period.
However, the Falcons answered with a goal less then a minute later to make the score 4-1.
Penn State pulled their goalie with more than four minutes left to try to get back into it but Air Force was able to make it 5-1 on an easy tap in goal.
Air Force head coach Frank Serratore felt his team got lucky.
Penn State will get a chance to redeem themselves Saturday night in the weekend's rubber match. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
In what was a close race, the Penn State women were able to pull out the upset and become regional champions.
With beautiful weather conditions Friday at the Blue and White Golf Course, the women were able to score 61 points, just edging out second-place Georgetown’s 63 points for the Mid-Atlantic crown.
Both Penn State and Georgetown have now earned automatic qualifying team bids to the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
The Nittany Lions had an impressive finishing stretch with three of their runners finishing in the top ten overall.
Junior Victoria Perri led the women’s side with a fourth place finish and a time of 20:31 in the 6,000-meter course. Senior Brooklyne Ridder was able to finish sixth followed closely behind by junior Rebekka Simko, who finished 10th.
Sophomore Leigha Anderson and junior Emily Giannotti rounded out the scoring five runners for this championship squad.
The overall winner of the women’s race was Villanova’s Nicky Akande who finished the race in 20:14.
The Penn State men’s team also had a strong day finishing fifth in the region, scoring 147 points.
The Georgetown men won the Mid-Atlantic Region with 56 points, just one point better than second-place Villanova.
Graduate student Sam Masters ran well in his first Regionals, running the 10,000-meter course in 30:48 to earn a 12th place finish and a possible individual bid to Nationals.
Senior Tyler Jones, junior Nick Scarpello, senior Tyler Corkedale, and freshman Robby Creese made up the second through fifth scoring spots respectively for Penn State.
The overall winner for the men’s race was Temple’s Travis Mohaney who ran the course in 30:24.
The Penn State women will look to continue their success as the move on to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 17.
The Los Angeles Sports club has announced that Lady Lions senior guard Alex Bentley and junior guard Maggie Lucas have both been named to the John. R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30.
The award honors college basketball’s best male and female player. Regular season, conference tournaments, and postseason play, as well as character, are all factored in to selecting a winner. Notable winners have been Michael Jordan and Candance Parker, a two-time winner.
Three other Big Ten players made the list; Ohio State’s senior guard Tayler Hill, Nebraska’s junior forward Jordan Hooper and senior guard Lindsey Moore.
Though, in order to win, they will have to beat out Baylor’s center Brittney Griner, who won the award last year and is trying to become the first two-time winner.
After leading the Lions to a split of the regular season Big Ten title, the league office announced Thursday night that seven Penn State players were named to All-Conference teams, the most for the team since 2005.
Head coach Bob Warming won Coach of the Year for helping lead the team to their first conference title since 2005. The Lions had a strong turnaround in conference play, going 3-1-2 after after finishing 0-0-6 last year.
Midfielder Jacob Barron and defender John Gallagher were First Team All-Big Ten selections and helped contribute to the Lions' success with their steady play and reliability. Barron started all 16 games while Gallagher started 14 games. The defender helped the team create on offense as he took all set pieces and corners and tallied three assists, second most on the team. Barron used his role as a defensive midfielder to do the dirty work, winning possession in the midfield and helping start counter attacks. The two anchored a strong Lions' defense that finished tied for first in the conference in fewest goals conceded.
Midfielder Julian Cardona, forward Hasani Sinclair, midfielder Owen Griffith, and goalie Andrew Wolverton were named to the Second Team All-Big Ten list. The Lions' four players on the second team led the conference.
Griffith contributed along with Barron in the midfield, starting all 16 games. He was third on the team in minutes played and had a goal and two assists on the year.
Cardona led the Lions with six goals, good for third in the Big Ten. Sinclair stepped up in Big Ten play, scoring the winner against Northwestern and contributing four assists throughout the season. Sinclair's speed and shiftiness often provided the spark off the bench late in games for the Lions.
Wolverton followed up on his record breaking freshman campaign with a solid sophomore season, leading the Big Ten in goals against average (0.49) in nine starts.
Rounding out the Lions' awards were freshman Drew Klingenburg, whose wing play earned him all Freshman Team honors and senior Daniel Burnham, whose contributions all over the field earned him the Sportsmanship Award.
We caught up with freshman forward Jill Holdcroft for this week's Thursday Conversation. Listen as Holdcroft answers 10 questions about herself including why she wears the number 19 and what her favorite movie is.
After a season full of accolades and its 15th straight conference title, the Penn State women’s soccer team took home five of six possible individual Big Ten honors.
Junior Maya Hayes and coach Erica Walsh won conference awards for the second time in their careers.
Hayes was named Forward of the Year after scoring 12 goals with five assists in 12 regular season games for the Lions. She led the Big Ten in goals per game (1.00). Hayes won her award despite missing a handful games while competing with the U-20 United States National Team which won the World Cup in September.
Walsh received Coach of the Year, and also won the award after the 2009 season. In her sixth season as head coach Walsh led the Lions to an undefeated conference record (17-3-1, 9-0-1 Big Ten).
Senior Christine Nairn, who led the team in goals (13) and assists (8), was named Midfielder of the Year for the first time in her career. Nairn stepped into a new scoring role this season after a previous season-high of seven goals.
Sophomore Whit Church was named Defensive Player of the Year. She anchored a defense that allowed only 18 goals in 19 regular season games.
In a season with major contributions from freshmen in the starting lineup, Raquel Rodriguez was named Freshman of the Year. The midfielder scored three goals with nine assists and was the focal point of the Lions’ set pieces this season.
However, some of Rodriguez’s stiffest competition was from fellow teammate Mallory Weber, who put up 10 goals and two assists this season. Weber took home Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors three times.
The Lions were knocked out in the second round of the Big Ten tournament after losing 1-0 to Illinois, but their regular season performance earned them a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. They will take on LIU-Brooklyn in the first round at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Jeffrey Field.
Rec Hall has become the place to be to see some of the top wrestlers in the country since coach Cael Sanderson took over the Penn State program in April of 2009.
For the first time in school history, Penn State has sold out its entire season in advance of the first dual. The Nittany Lions are still over a week away from opening their dual schedule against in-state rival Lehigh on Nov. 17.
Crowds of more than 6,000 will pack Rec Hall to see the team compete this season in their seven home dual meets.
A ticket to see the two-time defending national champions has been hard to come by in past seasons. It will be no different this year as Sanderson and his team begin the quest to a third straight national championship.
There are a limited number of standing room only tickets available for select duals that will go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. Fans can visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office or call 1-800-NITTANY for information on what duals having standing room tickets remaining and to purchase tickets.
After a strong performance this past weekend in two Penn State wins, right-side hitter Ariel Scott claimed her first career Big Ten Player of the Week award.
Scott, a junior, compiled game-high totals in kills both Friday and Sunday, with 20 against No. 10 Minnesota and 14 against Wisconsin.
Following Sunday’s match, Scott brushed off compliments and instead patted teammate Micha Hancock on the back for her performance.
Coincidentally, Hancock, a sophomore, was also rewarded with an accolade for her weekend performance - co-Big Ten Setter of the Week. This is Hancock’s fifth such award this season.
Hancock averaged 3.71 digs, 1.29 aces and more than 12 assists per set in the pair of wins.
During the weekend, the Nittany Lions padded their first-place lead atop the Big Ten conference, as they now hold a 13-1 in-conference record. Second-place Minnesota is two games back with an 11-3 record in the Big Ten.
Later Monday, the NCAA will announce the latest results of the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, which currently has the Lions sitting at No. 3, below No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon.
The rankings are likely to bump the Lions back to No. 2, given top-ranked Stanford’s defeat of the Ducks on Sunday, 3-0.
Despite early shooting woes, the Penn State men’s basketball team created fastbreak opportunities from turnovers and defeated Philadelphia University, 79-54, in an exhibition game on Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions’ man-to-man defense frustrated the Rams' guards toward the end of the first half, allowing the team to get in a rhythm on offense.
“It really starts on the defensive end,” senior guard Tim Frazier said. “Our runs started off when we got great deflections, great steals, great fastbreaks, and that led to our shots starting to fall.”
However, the majority of the first half wasn’t easy at all for the Lions against a scrappy, Division II Rams squad.
In fact, the first 17 minutes out of the 20-minute period belonged to Philly U.
With a little more than three minutes remaining in the first half, Rams legendary coach Herb Magee, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men’s basketball history, had his team leading, 28-25.
“I’m sure they thought that they’d come out and it’s Philly U, it’s Division II,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers said. “Well, I tried to warn them. I tried to tell them we didn’t need a situation where we’re one of those teams to get upset.”
Despite this, Penn State began to make plays defensively, which led to scoring from Frazier and guard Jermaine Marshall among others and culminated in a 15-0 run to cap the first half.
At the end of the half, Penn State went into the locker room up 40-28 and never looked back.
Statistically, Frazier put together a Tim Frazier-like performance, tallying 17 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.
Transfer guard D.J. Newbill made his first in-game appearance for the Lions after redshirting last season due to NCAA rules.
The guard from Philadelphia put up 15 points, grabbed two steals, and nailed two three-pointers.
Big man Jon Graham also turned in a solid performance with 16 points and seven rebounds in just 19 minutes of work.
The Lions have the week to digest Saturday’s exhibition before officially starting their season on Friday night against St. Francis (Pa.) in the BJC.
The Penn State men’s hockey team (5-2-0) won its fourth straight game in a hard-hitting rematch with Buffalo State (2-2-1) on Saturday night.
The Lions won their first home game, 4-2, at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Three weeks ago the team lost to the Bengals, 3-0, before going on its winning streak.
The two teams hit each other with 116 total penalty minutes by both teams in the two games. Penn State recorded 23 penalties, while Buffalo State made 21.
The Lions looked frustrated when Buffalo State opened the score at 10:52 in the first period. Buffalo State’s Matt Bessing scored with assists by teammates Drew Klin and Brett Hope.
Penn State goalie Matthew Skoff played the entire game and earned his first win with 23 saves. Skoff previously played in two games with a save percentage of .891 before Saturday night’s win. The freshman has been rotating the starting position with sophomore P.J. Musico, who recorded Penn State’s first NCAA shutout against Army on Oct. 26.
After trailing the Bengals 1-0, Penn State tallied three straight goals and took a 3-1 lead into the third period. The three goals were score by freshman forward David Glen, senior forward Michael Longo and sophomore forward Tommy Olczyk. Glen scored in his fourth straight game Saturday, while Olczyk recorded his first NCAA goal.
Buffalo State tallied another goal at 3:15 in the third period before Glen scored his second goal of the night at 16:36 to close the score at 4-2. Glen’s goal was assisted by Kenny Brooks and was his fifth goal of the season.
The Lions remain at home for their next game on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. against defending Atlantic Hockey champion and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Air Force.
Four Penn State All-Americans took part in exhibition matches at the U.S. Marine Corp All-Star Classic held at American University on Saturday night. Nico Megaludis, Dylan Alton, David Taylor and Quentin Wright are all ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in their weight classes and ended up splitting the four matches.
No. 2-ranked Megaludis faced No. 3 Jesse Delgado of Illinois in the 125-pound bout. Delgado took a 2-0 lead early in the match before Megaludis picked up a point with an escape. The two traded escapes throughout the rest of the match before Megaludis registered a takedown of Delgado with six seconds left to win the bout, 4-3.
Next up, Alton -- ranked second at 157 pounds -- took on Northwestern's Jesse Welch. The first period went scoreless with Alton on the attack as he attempted to land shots on Welch. The sophomore controlled the pace of the match all throughout, landing enough shots on Welch to take a 3-1 lead. Alton won 3-2 after Welch picked up a late escape.
No. 2-ranked Taylor started out the defense of his title at 165 as he was matched up against No. 1 Kyle Dake of Cornell. An even battle led the match to go to sudden victory tied at one. In the sudden victory period, Dake took a 2-1 lead on an escape. Taylor could not register the takedown and lost, 2-1.
Wright made his debut at 197 pounds in the final match of the night. The senior is a three time All-American and is ranked No. 2 in his new weight class. Wright was matched up against No. 3 Matt Wilps of Pittsburgh. Wright was caught looking for an early pin and Wilps registered a takedown to take a 2-0 lead. The first period ended with the each wrestler picking up back points. With Wilps leading 6-5 entering the second period, Wright escaped to tie the match at six. With Wilps leading 11-9 in the third, Wright looked to tie the match with a shoulder throw but Wilps pinned the senior to take the match.
Penn State opens the season on Nov. 16 against Lehigh.
In their first exhibition contest of the season, the No. 8 Lady Lions cruised past California (Pa.), 95-39, at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday.
Yet, just like any exhibition or in the hit television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” the points do not really matter. It’s all about execution and grinding through the early season woes.
At halftime, those woes became clear as post play and turnovers limited the Lions to only a 25-point lead over the Division II foe, with the Lions outrebounding the Vulcans by just five.
“We gave up way too many offensive rebounds, that’s still an area of concern for us,” coach Coquese Washington said.
Of the Vulcans’ total 39 rebounds, 23 came on the offensive end, allowing 12 second chance points in the process. Though, California shooting 18.1 percent from the floor, spared the Lions from it being worse.
The Lions improved significantly in the second half, outscoring the Vulcans 47 to 16. One key contributor was senior forward Nikki Greene.
Greene struggled early as she committed three fouls in the first half, which limited her to only nine minutes and three points in the initial 20 minutes.
However, the second half told a different story for Greene as she collected 15 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks with no fouls.
“I think going into halftime, I just kind of recomposed myself,” Greene said. “As soon as I walked out of the locker room, I talked to Coquese and asked for adjustments. After that I pretty much played with a clear mind and focused on what needed to be done.”
Greene said the adjustments included playing team defense and keeping her hands off the guards as she was playing the three.
Junior guard Maggie Lucas, who scored 19 points with four assists and four steals, added the team also needed to find Greene the ball.
Other notable standouts were senior guard Alex Bentley who scored 16 points with four assists and redshirt junior guard Dara Taylor, who scored seven points with four rebounds and five assists.
NOTES: Freshman center Candice Agree did not dress Saturday due to a dislocated finger that she suffered in practice. Washington reassured Agree will play next Sunday when the Lady Lions open their regular season schedule against Howard.
Taking on tournament host and No. 4-seeded Iowa in the semifinal round, the No. 1-seeded Penn State field hockey team defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-2, in a dramatic and close contest that saw plenty of lead changes and clutch goals.
Senior Kelsey Amy came through in a huge way for the Nittany Lions, scoring the go-ahead goal with only 17 minutes remaning in the contest. Midfielder Whitney Reddig provided the assist on the goal, giving the ball directly to Amy off of Penn State's last penalty corner of the game. Amy would handle the ball and send it rocketing past All-Big Ten Iowa goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw to give the Lions a lead they would not relinquish.
"Just a great game from both teams," coach Charlene Morett said. "I felt that our attack just persevered and persevered and we were able to knock some goals in."
The Lions had an early scare in the contest, as normally reliable penalty stroke specialist Brittany Grzywacz, who had converted on all her stroke opportunities during the season, sent her stroke wide of the goal, keeping the contest at 0-0 early on.
"Missing the stroke like that...thats tough mentally on a team," Morett said. "But I loved the way they came back and regrouped."
While Amy's goal served as the game winner, sophomore Taylor Herold had a stellar performance, keeping Penn State in the game with two goals of her own. The Hawkeyes did a good job of staying in the game at all times, as each Lion goal was met by a Hawkeye equalizer until Amy was finally able to put the game away.
The Lions will face off against No. 3-seeded Michigan on Sunday with the Big Ten title on the line. The matchup is a rematch of last year's contest, which the Lions came from behind and won, 3-2.
After losing both their undefeated conference record and the top ranking in the country, the Penn State women's volleyball team rebounded against No. 10 Minnesota Friday night in Rec Hall.
The No. 3 Nittany Lions (22-2, 12-1 Big Ten) took an early 2-0 lead, then eventually closed out the Golden Gophers (19-5, 10-3) in four sets.
Ariel Scott was dominant offensively, at one point having more kills than the entire Minnesota team, eventually piling up 20 kills in the match.
Sophomore Micha Hancock has frequently been plagued by service errors, and the problem continued Friday with her committing five more errors. But the high-risk, high-reward Hancock had a career high-matching seven service aces to redeem herself.
Penn State and Minnesota had nearly identical hitting percentages - .204 and .207 respectively - but the Lions' extra opportunities proved to be the difference
Penn State's win coupled with Nebraska's loss on Friday night gives the Lions a more comfortable two-match lead in the Big Ten with seven matches to play.
After several tough games, including a tie in overtime, Penn State earned its first win at home with ease on Friday night when it defeated Sacred Heart, 6-0.
The offensive onslaught began during a first period in which the Nittany Lions outshot the Pioneers 22-2. Hannah Hoenshell scored in the game's eighth minute after a scrum in front of the net.
Hoenshell would continue to find the net and earned the program's first ever hat trick early in the third period.
She scored on a breakaway three minutes into the second period, putting a move on the Pioneers' goalie, Alexius Schutt. About seven minutes into the final period of play and with the game out of hand, she scored again to put the Lions up, 6-0.
“[Hoenshell] was terrific. She also had a great week of practice,” head coach Josh Brandwene said.
“Hannah really had a nice balance of patience, discipline with zone entry, and using those moves at the right time and right place, and she got rewarded for it.”
On the opposite end of the ice, Nicole Paniccia essentially had a game off, compared to the 61 shots she faced in the team's previous game. Paniccia saved 11 shots through two periods before Brooke Meyer took over to start the third period.
Meyer, who was the back-up goalie for the Lions after Celine Whitlinger was scratched due to an illness, also played well during her first stint in net. Meyer's seven saves cemented the program's first ever shutout and win at home, which came in front of a home crowd of 231.
“It think [the win is] a big deal, because we've had our fans coming out and it's time that we got a win,” said forward Shannon Yoxheimer, who scored two goals in the game. “We've worked really hard all week, so we deserved it.”
The 66 shots taken by the Lions were the most they have recorded in a game this season by far. The victory was also their first since they defeated the Pioneers on Oct. 20, 6-1.
The two teams will finish their series on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Less than two minutes after PSU forward Shannon Yoxheimer scored, forward Jill Holdcroft added a goal of her own when she broke away from the Sacred Heart defense. The goal put the Nittany Lions up 4-0.
They already won the crown, but the Big Ten tournament continues to haunt them.
For the second year in a row Illinois (10-7-3) upset the No. 3 Penn State women’s soccer team (17-3-1) with a 1-0 victory on Friday in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament in Bloomington, Ind.
The Nittany Lions clinched their 15th consecutive Big Ten regular season title with a 1-1 draw against No. 24 Michigan on Oct. 21, but the Big Ten tournament has been a challenge for the team the past two seasons.
Sept. 8 was the last time the Lions found themselves with a loss on their record, 13 games ago in a 3-1 defeat against No. 4 BYU.
Penn State handled Illinois in a 4-0 victory on Sept. 23, but could not capitalize on its numerous attempts on Friday.
The Illini have been on a tear in the tournament in what Penn State coach Erica Walsh called one of the gutsiest performances she has seen in recent years. Illinois went down a player and two goals early in its 3-2 overtime victory against Minnesota.
Walsh said the team was focusing on limiting the Illini’s most powerful offensive threat, Vanessa DiBernardo, who was held to only three shots with none on goal on Friday.
Possession was largely in the Lions’ favor in the majority of the first half. But in the 41st minute the ball bounced around in Penn State’s box as Illinois’ Nicole Breece chipped a shot over the keeper into the back of the net giving the Illini the 1-0 advantage.
Despite outshooting the Illini 18-12 and getting eight shots on goal compared to Illinois’ two, the Lions could not get past the supreme goalkeeping of Steph Panozzo.
With this loss the Lions are eliminated from the Big Ten tournament, but will now have time to get back to training and rest before learning on Monday who they will play in the NCAA tournament beginning on Nov. 10.
-Sandy interrupted a lot of activity at Penn State in the beginning of the week, which included the men’s ice hockey game Tuesday at Fredonia State. The game was rescheduled to Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. and Gadowsky gave his team a day off.
"There are much more important things than that [game]. I think all of us were sitting at home and watching the TV on the destruction. It was terrible. We’re happy to be warm and safe and dry and I just feel for the people that aren’t."
Best in the Big Ten
-The Pegula Ice Arena is still under construction, but Gadowsky said he and his staff had the opportunity to stop by and check out its progress. He said the players get a tour Friday.
“[The Pegula Ice Arena] is not going to be big…. it’s going to be the smallest in the Big Ten. But our goal isn’t to be the biggest in the Big Ten - it’s to be the best in the Big Ten. And with our student body in that beautiful rink, I think we’re going to get that."
-Gadowsky noted what he thinks the best part of the rink is.
"The student section. I think it’s perfect. I think it’s absolutely perfect. It’s as steep as code will allow. The band is right in the middle. It is perfect. It’s right over the opposing goaltender. I think the student body is going to love it."
-Gadowsky said he’s fortunate for strength and conditioning coach Robert McClain - who has nine years of NHL experience.
“He’s been building the weight room and I think along with him, the facility he has and what we have in there, it’s going to be as good as any rink in terms of developing hockey players.”
-Gadowsky previously said how important building a foundation for Penn State hockey is. He said that after six games his foundation is coming along.
"I think the guys are doing a good job, not just on the ice, but off the ice. I think they’re very committed to the university. I think they’re very committed to One Team. I think they’re very committed to themselves as athletes in terms of nutrition and training.
“It’s not something we can say ‘we’re done,’ but so far so good.”
-Gadowsky spoke about his feelings on the NHL lockout and said he hopes hockey comes back quickly because people need their “hockey fix.”
"I think there are people out there that are looking for their hockey fix that will turn to the NCAA to get it and realize how high quality it is. That’s not a secret though, people know that.”
Although Nicole Paniccia and Shannon Yoxheimer's performances in October were not named the best in the conference, they did not go unnoticed.
Paniccia and Yoxheimer were both nominated to Conference Hockey America's list of monthly award winners for the first month of the season. Paniccia was nominated for Goaltender of the Month, while Yoxheimer was nominated for both the Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month honors.
Paniccia has been solid in the majority of her six starts so far. While her record does not seem noteworthy at 2-3-1, she has saved 228 of the 244 shots that have come her way. Her save percentage of .934 is tied for second-best in the CHA, and only Nicole Hensley of Lindenwood has more saves than Paniccia in the conference, with 235; Paniccia has more than twice as many saves as the next-closest goalie.
Yoxheimer has been just as impressive. She is the owner of the program's first ever goal and first goal inside Greenberg Ice Pavilion, too. Her six goals and 49 shots each lead the Nittany Lions by far, and she is tied for the team lead in points (8) with team captain Taylor Gross. Yoxheimer is also tied in the conference for third place in goals.
Kallie Billadeau won the CHA Goaltender of the Month honors for October. She has started in four games for Syracuse and racked up three shutouts, one of which was earned against Penn State. Billadeau gave up three goals in her only loss of the season so far, giving her the conference lead in save percentage (.964) and goals-against average (0.76).
CHA powerhouse Mercyhurst claimed the two other awards for October. Christine Bestland was named Player of the Month. She has accumulated 18 assists and 24 total points through ten games, which both lead the conference.
Teammate Emily Janiga won Rookie of the Month. Her nine goals lead the Lakers, and her nine assists come second to Bestland on the team.
The No. 4 Penn State field hockey team (15-3, 5-1) will look to take advantage of its No. 1 seed on Friday, as the squad will take on No. 11 and fifth-seeded Iowa in the semi-final round of the Big Ten tournament. Iowa defeated Michigan State, 2-1, in the first round thanks in part to a late game-winning goal from freshman Natalie Cafone.
The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes during the regular season, 5-1, walloping the Hawkeyes who came into the contest with the best defense in the Big Ten. It was the Lions' defense that would step up in the contest, however, as the squad constantly fed the ball upfield, allowing senior forward Kelsey Amy to earn a hattrick to pace the rout.
Iowa is one of the strongest squads in the Big Ten, though. While Penn State and Northwestern have led the conference for most of the season, Iowa has been right behind them. The Hawkeyes average the second most shots per game of any team in the conference with 18.33 (behind only Penn State, which averages 23 per game) while also packing a stout defense that allows just 1.5 goals per game (third in the conference). Iowa goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw also earned All-Big Ten honors.
Northwestern, arguably Penn State's biggest threat to a tournament championship, lost today. They were upset by seventh-seeded Indiana, 4-0. The loss opens the door for the Nittany Lions, whose only Big Ten loss during the regular season came from the strong Northwestern squad. While facing Iowa on their home field will be a tough challenge, having Northwestern eliminated from the tournament could open things up for the Lions.
Tournament coverage will continue throughout the weekend, with the finals for the tournament taking place on Sunday. Pick up the Collegian on Monday for details.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday for a Penn State men's hockey team game in Philadelphia. The game marks the first NCAA Division I hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Nittany Lions (4-2-0) play Hockey East's Vermont (0-1-2) in the inaugural Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff Saturday, Jan. 19, with start set at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at ComcastTix.
The Lions are on a three-game winning streak and play Buffalo State on Saturday at Greenberg Ice Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's game marks their second game at home. Sophomore goaltender PJ Musico is undefeated with a 3-0-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .974 save percentage. He recorded Penn State's first NCAA shutout against Army on Oct. 26 by stopping all 34 shots.
Freshmen Casey Bailey and David Glen both scored five points in their last three games, helping the Lions outscore their opponents by 14-5 overall.