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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Monday, Oct. 4, 1999 ]

Lions back in groove; beat Michigan, Michigan State

Collegian Staff Writer

The Penn State field hockey team came into this weekend expecting its two games against two ranked teams to be a real battle.

The Lady Lions were only half right.

No. 5 Penn State defeated two ranked Big Ten teams this weekend at Bigler Athletic Complex, dominating one and edging the other.

The weekend started off with the Lions blowing out No. 13 Michigan State 5-0 on Friday. It ended yesterday with Penn State pulling out a 2-1 win against No. 10 Michigan.

Penn State (10-2, 3-1 Big Ten) moves into second place in the Big Ten, with No. 4 Iowa (10-0, 3-0) leading the conference.

The Lions began the weekend by attacking Michigan State early and often. They took 22 shots on goal in the first half, but thanks to Spartans goalkeeper Mireille Evans and her eight saves in the opening half, the game was still scoreless with eight and a half minutes remaining in the half.

PHOTO: Jim Rajotte
PHOTO: Jim Rajotte
Sophomore forward Kiley Kulina takes a shot against No. 13 Michigan State in No. 2 Penn State’s 5-0 win on Friday.

"She is very good," Penn State coach Char Morett said of Evans. "She kept them in the game. The game could have been over early."

Penn State finally broke onto the scoreboard when junior Lindsey Gehris put the ball into the net with 8:15 remaining in the half. Less than two minutes later, Lions senior Mandy Robinson scored to give the team a 2-0 lead.

The first half ended with the Lions' third goal of the game, as sophomore Kiley Kulina scored with 1:43 remaining.

"I think the first half was one on the best displays of hockey that I've ever seen," Morett said of her team's effort.

Michigan State (7-5, 0-3) came on in the second half, taking its first shot on goal of the game. But the Lions would not buckle. Penn State redshirt freshman goalkeeper Heidi Leuchte made two saves to keep the Spartans off the scoreboard.

The Lions would add two more goals in the second half. With 32:35 remaining in the game, senior Tracey Larson was awarded a penalty stroke and pushed the ball past Evans. Then with 6:26 remaining, Kulina scored her second goal of the game. Freshman Nora Graber made the assist.

Michigan would prove a more formidable opponent than the Spartans, however.

But the Lions started strong as sophomore Meredith Shulzitski scored the game's first goal just 10:48 into the contest.

After that, Michigan (8-4, 2-1) came right back. The team's effort would pay off about nine minutes later as Wolverines midfielder Courtney Reid scored on a penalty corner to tie the game. Forward Kelli Gannon made the assist.

Little happened after that, until the Lions went for a penalty corner with a little more than 15 minutes remaining in the game. Lions senior Traci Anselmo took a shot from Larson and flicked the ball past Wolverines goalkeeper Kati Oates to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

After that, Michigan made numerous attempts to tie the game. Its most significant opportunity came on a breakaway with 10:48 remaining in the game. Leuchte went one-on-one with Reid and made the save that might have won the game.

"You could see in her eyes she wanted to score," Leuchte said. "I just did a punch clear."

The Wolverines would not get many more opportunities after that, and the Lions held on for the 2-1 win.

"You have to put this game behind us," Michigan field hockey coach Marcia Pankratz said. "We have Iowa this Friday and Northwestern this weekend. So it's just right to the next match."

The Lions face No. 9 James Madison Friday at a neutral site in Newark, Del.

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Updated 1999-10-4  21:48:18   -4
Requested 2000-8-17  5:53:47   -4