Sept. 16, 2010

Courtesy of Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind a pair of goals from sophomore Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.) and strong second half from redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Ayla Halus  (Hershey, Pa.), the 15th-ranked Nittany Lion field hockey team (3-2) posted a dominant 3-0 shutout against Lafayette (2-3) on Wednesday night at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.

Amy's first-half goal sent the teams into halftime with the score sitting at 1-0. However, Penn State came out of the halftime break aggressive on the offensive end of the field. The Lions took full advantage of a pair of scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second half to put away Lafayette.

"Kelsey had a great game tonight," said head coach Charlene Morett, who now has 399 career victories. "Jess (Longstreth had a great goal. I thought Hannah Allison had a great second half. I thought Lauren Alloway played amazing (tonight)."

With the Lions leading 1-0 early in the second half, junior Jessica Longstreth (Richboro, Pa.) drilled home a goal in the 42nd minute on a rebound following a penalty corner shot from senior co-captain Daneen Zug (Manheim, Pa.). Zug's shot bounced off the Lafayette keeper right into the path of Longstreth, who buried a shot from the left side of the cage to put the Lions up 2-0.

Longstreth and Amy were not quite done on the offensive end. The duo combined on a well-executed breakaway opportunity in the 50th minute of action. Longstreth handled the ball deep into Leopard territory before dropping the ball off to a streaking Amy along the right side. Amy added the insurance goal with a shot to the left corner of the cage to make it 3-0. Amy and Longstreth are now tied with a team-high four goals on the season.
 
From there, the spotlight turned to the defensive end of the field. Halus, who tallied six saves in the victory, made three critical saves on successive shots during a penalty corner sequence late in the second half to preserve her second shutout of the 2010 season. Zug and fellow co-captain Lauren Alloway (Hummelstown, Pa.) turned in solid defensive performances to keep Lafayette off the scoreboard.

The story of the first half was Penn State's effort on the defensive end of the field. The Nittany Lions held the Leopards to just one shot over the first 35 minutes. The lone goal of the half came from Amy. Freshman midfielder Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) found Amy in front of cage with a crisp pass on the right side. Amy deposited the ball past the keeper in the left side of the net to hand Penn State a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of action. Amy's goal was her third of the season, while Grzywacz's assist was her second in as many games.