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.