Oct. 17, 2010

Courtesy of Penn State

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 11 ranked Penn State field hockey team held tough but succumbed to No. 6 Ohio State, 3-0, in a defensive struggle during a Big Ten showdown at the Buckeye Varsity Field on Sunday afternoon.

Despite boasting one of the top offensives in the conference, Penn State (9-4, 3-2 Big Ten) was limited to four shots and a pair of penalty corners as the team saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. On the other hand, Ohio State (11-3, 3-1) kept pressure on the Nittany Lion defense all day as the Buckeyes tallied 16 shots and seven corners during the contest.

Just two minutes into the game, Ohio State set the tone early. Aisling Coyle, who entered the contest ranked second in the league in points and goals, put her talents on display. After weaving through traffic, she found some space and flipped a shot into the right corner of the cage to stake the Buckeyes a quick 1-0 advantage.

With the lead, Ohio State continued to attack. The hosts uncorked eight straight shots and earned four penalty corners following the early tally. Although Penn State's Ayla Halus and her defensive unit thwarted each of those attempts, the Buckeyes broke through again in the 34th minute of action.

Nearing halftime, Ohio State earned another penalty corner. On the play, Berta Queralt and Aisling McKeon teamed up on the entry feeds before Coyle took the pass and fired another shot towards the cage that snuck past Halus to give the squad a 2-0 lead entering the break.

In the second half, the Nittany Lions came out aggressively. After being held without a shot in the first 35 minutes of action, Kelsey Amy fired one on goal less than two minutes into the second half. Unfortunately, Ally Tunitis was up to the challenge as she swatted away the attempt.

Twelve minutes later, Penn State earned its first penalty corner of the contest, but the team's potent corner combination was quieted by the Buckeye defense. Then, after the Nittany Lions withstood another surge by Ohio State, the Buckeyes added some insurance. This time, Coyle assisted her teammates as she found Paula Pastor-Pitarque on the right side of the zone for the team's third and final goal at the 53:04 mark.

Although Penn State tried to piece together a response, the team's late rally was all for naught. A pair of late shots by Amy were handled by the Buckeye defense as Ohio State finished off its third shutout of the year and extended its winning streak to five games.

Ally Tunitis recorded two saves in the cage for the Buckeyes, while Ayla Halus notched four for the Lions.