Leopards Fall to #9 Penn State
Sept. 2, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Lafayette field hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision to the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State in University Park on Sunday. Goals by senior Deanna DiCroce and junior Hanna Sotiropoulos and a strong performance by sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch gave the Nittany Lions all they could handle, but the team fell just short as they dropped to 2-1 in the early season.
The Leopards had to deal with 15 Penn State corners on the afternoon, giving up goals on just two of those opportunities. Outshot 23-6, the Lafayette defense stepped up on numerous occasions, led by Deutsch in net with nine saves, and the offense had to capitalize on its rare scoring opportunities notching two tallies in just five shots on goal.
Penn State did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard as Kelsey Amy scored off the opening whistle slipping one past Deutsch on the right wing. The Leopards responded as a DiCroce shot led to a rebound chance as junior Haley Keenan passed to Sotiropoulos, who slotted it in the back of the net to tie it up at one apiece with 25:24 remaining in the half.
A pair of saves from Deutsch kept the Nittany Lions off the board for the next 10 minutes, but Penn State's Ashton Klinger netted a rebound off a corner attempt by Hannah Allison in the 20th minute to put the Nittany Lions up 2-1.
A perfectly executed corner in the 28th minute led to the third goal of the half for Penn State as a fake shot by Laura Gebhart opened an ally for Brittany Grzywacz to slide the ball past Deutsch and end the first half with a score of 3-1.
Lafayette, having staved off a 1-0 halftime deficit just a day ago in a 2-1 win over James Madison, came out in the second half hungry. However, an early DiCroce green card set the Leopards back immediately. Coming back from her penalty time, DiCroce and Lafayette forced three straight corners in the 38th minute, but just couldn't capitalize.
After 12 minutes of defensive struggle, DiCroce came through for the Leopard attack as the reigning Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year recorded her first goal of the season to pull Lafayette within one with 20 minutes to play.
Penn State's offense proved too much in the final minutes as much of the action took place in the Lafayette defensive end, giving the Leopards no opportunities for an equalizer as the Nittany Lions held on for the 3-2 victory.
Lafayette returns to Rappolt Field on Friday to take on the Rider Broncs at 7 p.m.