Field hockey faces big test against Penn State

<font face=”verdana, arial, helvetica” size=”2″ color=”#ffffff”Temple Field Hockey vs. Penn StateIf you go… • What: Temple Field Hockey against Penn State• When: Friday 3:30 p.m.• Where: Geasy field• Records: Temple (4-3), Penn State (2-3), No.

<font face=”verdana, arial, helvetica” size=”2″ color=”#ffffff”Temple Field Hockey vs. Penn State
If you go…
What: Temple Field Hockey against Penn State
When: Friday 3:30 p.m.
Where: Geasy field
Records: Temple (4-3), Penn State (2-3), No. 15 in the nation.
What to look for: Temple will try to get back into the coaches’ poll with a win over the Nittany Lions. Temple hasn’t beat Penn State since 1995. Penn State holds a 21-6-2 advantage over the Lady Owls. Penn State has gotten off to its worst start since 1995. They recovered from a 2-3 start that year to win the Big-12 championship.
Who to look for: Penn State’s Meredith Shulzitski leads the Nittany Lions with two goals and one assist. Neily Stoner also has two goals.
Temple’s Joann Engestrom leads her team with four goals and nine points. Andrea Duva and Julianna Leskiw have three goals apiece. Keeper April Herman has played all but six minutes this season and has a 2.81 goals against average and a .811 save percentage.

The slumping Temple Field Hockey team hosts Penn State (2-3) Friday afternoon at Geasey Field at 3:30 p.m.

The team started the season winning their first four games but have struggled ever since. The team has suffered three straight defeats including a 3-1 loss last Thursday at Hofstra.

There has been a negative change in the teams approach ever since losing heir first game aginst top-ranked North Carolina.

“We were very happy about how we performed in the North Carolina game,” said Temple coach Lauren Fuchs. “The last two games, we did not have the same effort for 70 minutes. We played well in spurts but not for the whole game.”

Things will not get any easier as Temple has not defeated Penn State, ranked 15th in the nation, in their last five meetings. Their last win against the Nittany Lions came in 1995. Penn State holds a 21-6-2 advantage over the Owls and have dominated the series recently. In their last five meetings the Nittany Lions have averaged over six goals a game against Temple.

Penn State has also struggled in the early going but will come to Temple well prepared.

“Temple is a great Field Hockey team but like us have had some trouble maintaining momentum throughout the game,” said Penn State coach Charlene Morett. “We cannot afford to come out flat like we did a few times this season.”

Any sporting event against Penn State creates excitement and this game should be no different. The team is expecting a good crowd Friday afternoon.

“I think this is a good sporting event for a lot of reasons,” said Temple senior Kacy Ziomek. “Mainly they have a great tradition in athletics. They are very successful with all their sports.”

The team wants to draw energy from the fans but not get caught up in the games’ hype.

“We cannot look at this game different than any other,” said leading scorer Joann Engestrom. “Each game is very important, no one game is any more or less important.”

Engestrom has scored four goals and has nine points.

One of the keys to the game is the team has to play with the emotion they had in the beginning of season.

“We have to be aggressive and play solid for 70 minutes,” Fuchs said. “We need to make the most of our opportunities because against a good team you don’t get very many.”

Temple’s recent defeats have dropped them from the NSFHCA coaches poll. They were ranked 17th after their quick start but received just 18 votes in this past weeks poll.

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