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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Thursday, Oct. 28, 1999 ]

Late surge leads Lions
to 8-0 win

Collegian Staff Writer

In the 26 games played at the Bigler Athletic Complex since the field opened in 1996, Penn State field hockey player Tracey Larson has scored her share of goals.

Last night, she added four more to her total at the place which might be known as "The House that Tracey Built."

Larson's four goals led the No. 4 Lady Lions to an 8-0 rout against Pennsylvania last night in the Lady Lions' final home game of the season.

Penn State could host three games in the NCAA Tournament if the Lions are one of the top-four seeds. Those postseason games, however, might be played at Lock Haven, as not to conflict with the Penn State football team's Nov. 13 game against Michigan.

Last night's contest against the Quakers began as a defensive struggle, with Penn State threatening, but unable to get a shot past goalkeeper Alison Friedman.

But Penn State made a dent in the scoreboard when Larson scored on an assist from redshirt junior Mandy Robinson with 15:04 remaining in the first half.

With 2:26 remaining in the first stanza, Lions sophomore Kiley Kulina scored on a rebound to give Penn State a two-goal lead at intermission.

"We weren't playing our game," Larson said.

But, in the second half, the Lions started to play their game. And once they started playing, the game became theirs.

The Lions (15-3, 6-2 Big Ten) needed a little less than nine minutes to take Pennsylvania apart, as Larson and Kulina each added to the Quakers' deficit. Thirty-seven seconds later, the Lions were awarded a penalty stroke, and Robinson whacked the ball past Friedman and into the top of the net.

"Strokes are something you always practice," Robinson said. "It's a matter of confidence."

The Quakers (3-11, 0-5 Ivy League) tried to block the floodgates by taking out Friedman and putting in Gerrianne Kauffman at goal. But it would not matter to the Lions.

Junior Maegan Galie scored with 16:14 remaining in the game when she evaded a defender with a spin move and then pushed the shot past the new goalkeeper.

Larson secured her second hat trick in two games less than three minutes later and scored one more time a minute after that score.

Larson's fourth and final goal of the night was especially tragic for the Quakers, as team captain Maureen Flynn went down with a painful injury on the play.

"She (Flynn) totally smashed one of her fingers," Pennsylvania field hockey coach Val Cloud said. "The bone was smashed. This season has been one of total injury."

While the Quakers' defense collapsed from its strong start, the Lions' defense was solid throughout. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Heidi Leuchte never faced a shot on goal, and 17 minutes after senior goalkeeper Julie Sposito appeared in her last bit of action at Bigler, Pennsylvania's only shot sailed wide left of the goal.

Larson's seven goals in two games have quickly propelled her to a conference- leading 51 points. Neither Penn State coach Char Morett nor Larson realized she had scored so many goals last night.

"She's just such a talent and out there and such an unselfish player," Morett said. "That's why I didn't know she had four goals."

Last night's victory ended the Lions' home schedule with a 9-2 mark.

"I didn't expect how successful they've been," Morett said.

The Lions will next prepare for the final two Big Ten games of the regular season, visiting Michigan Friday and Michigan State Sunday.

Field hockey

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Updated 1999-10-28  0:23:22   -4
Requested 2000-10-23  12:01:06   -4