No. 12 Penn State Drops 2 OT Thriller to No. 10 Rutgers in B1G Field Hockey Opener

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lion field hockey team (4-3, 0-1 B1G), ranked No. 12 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Coaches Poll, dropped a tough double-overtime thriller to No. 10 Rutgers (7-0, 1-0 B1G) in the Big Ten opener for both teams. The Scarlet Knights scored early in the second extra period to grab a 1-0 victory on the opening night of Big Ten play.

Penn State had possession to open the game, but the Rutgers defense turned a quick Lion attack away. Rutgers answered with a shot that the Lion defense blocked, all within the first 1:30 of the game. The Nittany Lions controlled possession for the first five minutes of the game but did not threaten the Rutgers cage. Rutgers worked the ball into the Penn State circle with 7:08 on the clock and forced the game's first penalty corner. The Knight shot off the set was side. Penn State immediately moved downfield with the ball and picked up its first corner at 6:43. Sophia Gladieux's hard shot was saved by Ru keeper Sophia Howard butt the Nittany Lions were awarded another corner. Howard made a save on an Anouk Knuvers shot and Penn State's rebound effort was blocked. The Lions maintained possession as the clock hit 5:33 and picked up a third penalty corner. Mackenzie Allessie's shot was knocked away by Howard and the game continued in scoreless tie with 5:00 on the clock. Rutgers had a shot blocked by the Lion defense at 3:15 and another went wide at 2:15. Rutgers forced a corner with 1:00 left in the opening period but its shot sailed wide, and the game moved to the second period tied 0-0.

The Nittany Lions were hit with a green card just :30 into the second period. Kelsey Love and the Penn State defense killed the first minute-plus of the penalty and Gery Schnarrs intercepted a pass with just seconds left in the player edge to wipe away the card. Knuvers made another steal on a deep push by the RU offense as the clock hit 11:15. Schnarrs made another defensive stop for Penn State and Allessie stole the ball with 10:20 left, working action back to the Rutgers circle and firing off a backhand that Howard saved. The teams traded possessions as the clock ticked below the 6:00 mark. Rutgers moved the ball into the Penn State circle, but the Nittany Lion defense kept keeper Brie Barraco from facing a shot by forcing the Knights into a turnover. Gladieux forced Howard into another save at 3:15 as Penn State regained control of the ball. Another Penn State shot went wide at 2:30. The Knights pushed the ball into the Penn State circle in the final minute and Barraco knocked away two RU shots and the game remained scoreless at halftime.

Each team took seven shots in the first half. Penn State had a 3-2 lead in penalty corners. Howard had five saves for Rutgers and Barraco had two for Penn State.

Gladieux took a quick shot from the top of the Rutgers circle that was blocked high to start the third period. Indy van Ek took a shot from in close for Rutgers, but Barraco kicked the shot aside to keep the game scoreless with 12:25 on the clock. Drew Taylor drove the ball down to the Rutgers side of the field, but the Knight defense pushed the effort back. After a Lion shot went wide at 10:35, Penn State forced a penalty corner at 9:54. Howard made a save on Ella Jennes' shot off the corner set and Rutgers moved play down to the Lion circle. But Penn State held firm on defense and pushed the ball downfield, picking up a corner at 6:30. Rutgers defended the Lion play and regained possession. The Lion defense held, Penn State moved the ball down to the Rutgers side and kept it down there until the 2:30 mark. Rutgers was able to keep Penn State from getting off a solid shot and the game remained tied at 0-0 after three periods.

Rutgers forced a corner just :43 into the final period. Barraco made a diving save on the shot off the set and a second Knight effort went wide. Penn State regained possession and worked the ball to the Rutgers side at 12:15. But the Knight defense made a steal and Rutgers went back on attack seconds later. The Penn State defense held. After traded possessions worked the clock down to 10:00, Rutgers pressed the Penn State circle for nearly 2:00. Penn State was able to grab the ball and move action to the RU circle. Jennes drove right of the cage and forced a corner with 7:33. Howard made a kick save on an Allessie shot off the set and action continued through the 7:00 mark. Rutgers worked the clock down to 5:00 but had a pass miss the mark. Gladieux then grabbed the ball deep in the Rutgers zone and dribbled the ball downfield, forcing a penalty corner with 4:28 left in regulation. Gladieux's shot off the set was just high, and action continued to the 4:00 mark scoreless. Knuvers made a great steal on a late RU drive with 2:45 on the clock and Penn State moved the ball downfield. The Penn State defense blocked a late Rutgers shot with under 1:00 to play and the game moved to overtime.

The Nittany Lions had possession to start extra time, Rutgers grabbed the ball and the Lion defense in the seven-on-seven set forced a turnover; all in the first minute of play. Penn State then had a corner overturned on review and Rutgers had a shot blocked in the Penn State circle but was given a corner on review with 8:05 to play. Barraco made a slick save on the shot, fed the ball outside and Gladieux moved the ball into the Rutgers circle, forcing a penalty corner at 7:42. The Rutgers defense held on the play and the game remained tied. Penn State was hit with a green card at 5:49, giving the Knights a player edge. Penn State worked the clock down to 3:49, ending the player edge. Barraco made another save at 2:55, Penn State worked the ball down for a Gladieux shot that went high, and the clock moved past 2:30. Neither team threatened for the rest of the period and the game moved to a second overtime knotted in a scoreless tie.

Rutgers had possession to start the next extra period, but Julienne van Bekkum made a nice steal on the RU drive and Penn State returned the ball to the Knight circle briefly. After a Penn State turnover, Rutgers moved the ball down to the Penn State circle, fired off two shots and connected on the third when Guilermina Causarano was able to find the back of the cage at 8:03 and give Rutgers a 1-0 double overtime win.

"We played very good field hockey for over 60 minutes, and I am very proud of this team," said head coach Lisa Bervinchak Love. "They (Rutgers) are a very good defensive team and we saw that tonight. But we continued to battle on offense. We played our hearts out and with such grit and intensity. This is a heartbreaker to lose but you have to remain positive. We'll keep competing and come out strong against Bucknell on Sunday."

Rutgers outshot Penn State 17-16 but Penn State had an 8-4 edge in penalty corners. Barraco and Howard both had seven saves in the game.

Penn State is now 4-3 overall, 0-01 B1G. Rutgers improves to 7-0, 1-0 B1G. Penn State continues its homestand when it hosts Bucknell on Sunday, Sept. 17, in a non-conference contest at 12 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to follow the Nittany Lion field hockey team online at www.GoPSUsports.com (click teams, click field hockey), on X/Twitter @pennstateFH and on facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatefieldhockey.


SCORING:                  1          2          3          4          OT1     OT 2    FINAL

PENN STATE              0          0          0          0          0          0          0

Rutgers                       0          0          0          0          0          1          1

STATS:                                   PSU     RU

Shots                                       16        17

Corners                                   8          4

SCORING SUMMARY (goal/assist) – TIME

OT2: RU -- Guilermina Causarano (unassisted); 8:03

GOALKEEPERS:                   MIN     GA       S

PSU:    Brie Barraco                71:57   1          7

RU:      Sophia Howard            71:57   0          7