Field Hockey vs Villanova, Simon (17)

Defender Anna Simon (17) hits the ball during the field hockey game vs Villanova at the Penn State Field Hockey complex on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. Penn State defeated Villanova 8-2.

Freshman Paityn Worth and sophomore Anna Simon led the offense with 60 percent of the team’s total shots, but the effort didn’t equate to a victory.

After coming off two impressive wins, the Nittany Lions lost 3-0 on the road at No. 6 Louisville Sunday. Char Morett-Curtiss’ squad fell to 2-8 on the season.

The season-long struggles of failing to convert scoring opportunities came back to bite the Nittany Lions, albeit it was against a Louisville team whose only loss was to No. 1 North Carolina.

Penn State averaged 24 shots the previous two games, but its momentum was halted this time around.

“We need to be better from the 25 to the circle and from the circle to the cage,” Morett-Curtiss told GoPSUSports. “We had opportunities but could not turn them into good shots.”

Simon and Wirth, who have scored three goals and seven goals respectfully this season, could not convert on six of their combined shots against Louisville’s junior goalkeeper Hollyn Barr.

After a series of traded possessions for most of the first period, the Cardinals eventually took advantage. Junior Mercedes Pastor assisted sophomore Erica Cooper off of a tip on a penalty corner as freshman goalkeeper Brie Barraco could not come up with the save.

Barraco ended up with five saves compared to Barr’s six. The main difference in this game was Penn State’s dismal 2.5 shots per period, with only one in the second period.

Despite Mercedes’ goal of her own to make the score 2-0 at halftime, the Nittany Lions’ defense held strong against the menacing offense.

“We had some good moments off high-quality hockey against a very good Louisville team,” Morett-Curtiss said. “We fought back in the second half as well.”

The Cardinals dominated possession around the cage to start the second half, but Barraco was not going to let them have it. In the third period, Barraco offset five shots with three saves and no goals allowed

However, as strong as Barraco and the defense was, the offense failed to contribute. The squad was outmatched in penalty corners by 6-3, which was another strength for Louisville.

As Simon failed to convert early in the fourth period on a penalty corner, sophomore Elizabeth Allgeir did for the Cardinals later on.

Despite a tough season for Penn State, their 1-1 conference record means they still have a chance to compete, especially with two home conference games next weekend.

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