Women hockey courtesy art syracuse

Penn State women's hockey goes over its game plan during an early-season series at Pegula Ice Arena in late November 2020.

With a long road still ahead, Penn State is looking for its first win of the season in an upcoming series against Holy Cross University.

Looking back on the past two series, the Nittany Lions lost and drew to St. Lawrence, along with two losses to Boston College.

Between the two different series, Penn State went into two separate overtimes against both opponents.

Along with these outcomes, Penn State has managed to score four goals this season so far.

These goals come from freshman defender Karley Garcia, fifth-year senior forward Natalie Heising and junior defender Mallory Uihlein.

Looking ahead into Penn State’s upcoming series against Holy Cross, the Crusaders haven't been lucky with goal-scoring opportunities, as they have yet to score in a game.

Holy Cross’s first matchup of the season was against Boston University, where it fell 1-0.

In its last series with Northeastern, it managed to give up a combined 11 goals against the Huskies.

Heading into this upcoming series, Penn State coach Jeff Kampersal said Holy Cross’s last series against Northeastern was tough.

“Northeastern may be the best team, and they didn’t even have their best player, and they’re still severely loaded — they gave Holy Cross a lot,” Kampersal said.

On top of looking into the Crusaders’ previous series, Kampersal mentioned that he’s ready for his squad to compete against them.

MORE HOCKEY COVERAGE

“We’ll get a solid effort from them, but it’s important for us to score early,” Kampersal said. “And if that’s the case, then I think we’ll have more success than if we’re trying to do things toward the end of the game.”

While looking forward and trying to find the back of the net more, Kampersal said he wants his squad to continue getting out of the defensive zone in this upcoming series.

“We don’t give up many shots, but we gave up more quality shots than we normally do,” Kampersal said. “At practice, we were trying to shore up that part of our game a little bit.”

A big part of Penn State’s defense is sophomore goaltender Josie Bothun, who was just named CHA Goaltender of the Week and has 38 saves so far this season.

While mentioning that Holy Cross has yet to score this season, Bothun said she wants to give the team the best chance to win.

Although Penn State is still searching for its first win of the season, sophomore forward Kiara Zanon has been a key component for the Nittany Lions, as she has 5 shots and one assist through the first four contests.

Zanon said practice has been competitive, and her teammates are ready to come out and put their first tally in the win column.

“Everyone’s hungry, I think that we have a really good forecheck, so there’s no one really posting around in the offensive zone,” Zanon said. “I think just getting more comfortable with each other and playing with different people is difficult, but it’s also beneficial to us.”

Along with getting comfortable, entering the series confident in the team’s ability will be crucial in helping the squad earn better outcomes in this upcoming series.

The puck will drop this Friday and Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena against Holy Cross starting at 3 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“I think that [games are] different from everyone you go against, so it’s a lot mentally,” Zanon said. “If you go in with confidence, you’re going to win it.”

MORE HOCKEY COVERAGE

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.