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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999 ]

Another tough battle in store for field hockey

Collegian Staff Writer

For the last three years, the Penn State field hockey team has entered each home game looking to extend its lengthy home-win streak.

But after a loss in their last home game, the Lady Lions now will look to start their streak at one.

Penn State saw its 25-game home-win streak come to an end Sept. 17, losing 1-0 to No. 1 Connecticut. Now the Lions, No. 5 in the newest STX/NFHCA Div. I National Coaches Poll, return home after almost two weeks on the road to host No. 19 Syracuse at 6:30 p.m. today at the Bigler Athletic Complex.

The Lions (7-2, 1-1 Big Ten) are in the second game of a tough stretch, playing six straight contests against ranked opponents. They lost the first game of that stretch last weekend, losing 2-0 to No. 4 Iowa Sunday.

For a team that started 5-0 with a No. 1 ranking, the young Lions have come back down to Earth lately with the two defeats.

"It's been up and down lately," Lions senior Traci Anselmo said. "There's always an effort. We have the heart. We just need the poise."

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Heidi Leuchte preferred to attribute the team's struggles to the strong competition the Lions have faced.

"I think there are a lot of strong teams out there," Leuchte said.

With Syracuse (6-3, 1-1 Big East), the Lions face another strong team. After wins last weekend against Rutgers and No. 20 Kent State, Syracuse has moved in the top 20.

Three Syracuse field hockey players were awarded Big East Player of the Week honors, announced late Monday afternoon. Senior back Tracy Larkin received Defensive Player of the Week honors and freshman Kristin Aronowicz was named Rookie of the Week.

Senior Kelly Hambleton was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week, the second time this season she has received that honor. Her 10 goals and 25 points lead the Big East in scoring.

The Lions will look to slow down Hambleton with the help of Leuchte, who has a 0.75 goals-against average in 560 minutes. She has allowed six goals thus far.

"She's been awesome," Penn State junior Irene Kofroth said. "She's been such an inspiration. She's always in control."

After playing the Orangewomen, the Lions will return to conference play this weekend, hosting No. 13 Michigan State and No. 10 Michigan.

Field hockey

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Updated 1999-9-28  20:40:26   -4
Requested 2000-8-17  5:55:12   -4