THIS WEEK’S PREVIEW
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions (0-1, 0-1 B1G) will head south for a second straight weekend for a pair of Big Ten contests. The Lions will head to the Virginia Beach Field Hockey Complex in Virginia Beach, Va., once again as the Big Ten stages opening season contests there to open the new season.
Penn State will take Northwestern on Friday, March 5, at 12:45 p.m. and then battle Iowa on Sunday, March 7, at 12:45 p.m. The Nittany Lions’ original opener was to be against Michigan on Friday, Feb. 26, but that game has been postponed due to COVID issues within the Wolverine program.
Penn State is coming off a tough 1-0 loss to Iowa last Sunday in the season opener for the Nittany Lions. The team’s battled evenly in every statistical category but Iowa made a second-half goal stand up and also turned away a Penn State penalty stroke with less than two minutes to play.
Northwestern is coming off a 2-0 week that included wins over Michigan State and Maryland. Iowa went 2-0 last weekend, downing Penn State on Sunday 1-0 and Indiana earlier in the weekend.
The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series with Northwestern 32-6-1 while Iowa leads the all-time series with Penn State 30-26-1.
Start times and television broadcast designations for Big Ten field hockey events will be announced shortly as they become available.
Fans are encouraged to follow the Nittany Lion field hockey team online at www.GoPSUsports.com (click teams, click field hockey), on twitter @pennstateFH and on facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatefieldhockey.
PENN STATE DROPS SEASON OPENER TO IOWA
The Penn State Nittany Lions battled Iowa evenly for the entirety of its season opener on Feb. 28, but dropped a close 1-0 game to the Hawkeyes. While the teams were basically dead-even statistically, Iowa used a fourth quarter goal from Ellie Holley and a penalty stroke save from keeper Grace McGuire with less than 2:00 left to secure the victory.
PENN STATE RETURNS FIVE SENIORS TO LEAD TEAM THROUGH 2020-21 SEASON
Five veteran players return to lead head coach Char Morett-Curtiss’ squad through a unique 2020-21 campaign. Bree Bednarski, Madison Hutson, Abby Myers, Emma Spisak and Hannah Zemaitis comprise Penn State’s senior class. Bednarski had seven points a year ago off three goals and an assist and has played in 50 games, including a year at Michigan. Hutson anchors the Lion midfield and defense and started all 20 games for the Lions a year ago. Myers had seven points last year and has 26 for her career. She has played in 60 games as a Lion, starting 30. Spisak had six points off two goals and two assists a year ago and has played in 44 games at Penn State. Zemaitis has played in 64 games during her career, including two seasons at Hofstra.
TRIO OF LIONS NAMED TO BIG TEN’S PRESEASON PLAYERS TO WATCH TEAM
Three Nittany Lion seniors have been named to this year’s Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch team. Captains Abby Myers, Madison Hutson and Emma Spisak have been named to the team.
FIRST NFHCA COACHES POLL TO RELEASE IN MARCH
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) has announced that the first coaches poll of the 2020-21 season will be released in March.