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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Friday, Oct. 15, 1999 ]

Lions want success against Iowa, Northwestern

Collegian Staff Writer

Despite taking 23 shots and holding the opposition to one shot on goal, the Penn State field hockey team's 2-1 win against Ohio State last Sunday could be described as a letdown.

PHOTO: Jason Fagone
PHOTO: Jason Fagonebio
Tracey Larson tries to poke the ball away from a Michigan forward earlier this season.

The Lady Lions will look to avoid a repeat performance this weekend as they host Northwestern at 4 p.m. today and No. 5 Iowa at noon Sunday. Both contests take place at the Bigler Athletic Complex.

Penn State struggled in its win against the Buckeyes, squandering numerous scoring chances and deviating from its usual passing game.

"Our game is a passing game," Lions goalkeeper Heidi Leuchte said. "We have to play our sort of game, especially against Iowa."

The Lions (12-2, 4-1 Big Ten) also will look to avenge their late-September loss to Iowa. Hawkeyes goalkeeper Kelly Druley made nine saves to shut out the Lions in a 2-0 victory Sept. 26 in Iowa.

Sunday's winner could have the inside track to the Big Ten Tournament's No. 1 seed. Penn State and Iowa currently are locked in a three-way tie with Michigan for first place in the conference. The Wolverines face No. 15 Michigan State Sunday.

But before the Lions go into battle against Iowa, they will have to get past Northwestern first.

The Wildcats (4-8, 0-5) have played the role of the conference doormat this season as they have been outscored 15-5 in their five conference games.

On Sept. 24, Penn State visited Northwestern and came away with a 3-0 victory. Lions redshirt junior Traci Anselmo scored two goals and senior Tracey Larson added one goal and two assists.

The Wildcats will look to the play of forward Amy Haase, who leads the team with seven goals and 21 points.

One of the Wildcats' few bright spots this season has been the play of goalkeeper Jessica Yates. Yates is third in the conference with a .796 save percentage.

But if Hasse's conference-high 113 saves are an indicator of defensive liability, the Wildcats could have their hands full with a Lions' offense that boasts the conference's top three scorers.

Larson, Anselmo and junior Maegan Galie have combined for an astonishing 92 points this season. Larson has already doubled her career output of assists, registering 20 this season to increase her career total to 38.

Iowa (11-1, 4-1) comes into town after losing its first game of the season, being stunned in a 1-0 loss last Friday at Michigan. Iowa's strength lies in its defense and goalkeeping, allowing eight goals this season.

The Hawkeyes have one of the country's top defenders in senior back Sarah Thorn, and the conference's leading goalkeeper in Druley.

Druley's first season as the Hawkeyes' starting goalkeeping has been outstanding, registering a .879 save percentage and a goals-against average of 0.80. Her four shutouts are second in the Big Ten behind Leuchte.

Lions sophomore Meredith Shulzitski said the team has prepared itself to face Druley again.

"We looked at the video," Shulzitski said, "and we'll work at getting opportunities like corners and taking more shots."

"It'll be a really big game," Leuchte said about the Iowa match. "We'll have to play the best we can."

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Copyright © 2000 Collegian Inc.
Updated 1999-10-14  23:32:31   -4
Requested 2000-8-17  5:54:48   -4

URL: http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/1999/10/10-15-99tdc/10-15-99dsports-12.asp