Weekend Sports Wrap — Sept. 16, 2013
News and highlights from Penn State’s weekend sports action.
Field Day in the Garden State: A 1-3 start that included a couple of home losses was not at all what the field hockey team had in mind this season. Sunday at Princeton, they showed signs of figuring it out. On the road against the third-ranked and defending national champion Tigers, the Nittany Lions posted a 4-3 win that snuffed Princeton’s 17-game winning streak. Coach Char Morett ’79 told The Daily Collegian it was all about effort.
Road to redemption: The women’s soccer team tasted some early disappointment of its own this season, falling 5-1 at Virginia in its first road game of the season. And since? The Lions have run off five straight wins—by a combined 19-5—after a pair of weekend victories in Oklahoma. First came a come-from-behind, 4-2 win Friday night at Oklahoma State, followed Sunday by a dramatic 3-2 win over Tulsa, when senior All-American Maya Hayes scored a last-minute game winner. As fellow senior Tani Costa put it, “We went so crazy on the sidelines we had to stop ourselves from rushing the field.”
A well-earned draw: A late goal from Kyle MacDonald on Friday night gave the men’s soccer team a 1-1 draw with No. 5 Cal. It was a great result, and the Lions were every bit the equal of their highly ranked opponent. The Mack Brady tribute made for a particularly memorable night.
A night of not quite: For me, at least, Penn State’s 34-31 loss to Central Florida hurt a little less once I looked at the stats—both from that game, and from the one featuring UCF’s previous opponent. It really was pretty close, and it’s tempting to boil that outcome down to two terrific quarterbacks, one of whom has a lot more collegiate experience than the other. Understandably, lots of folks are wondering what the loss says about Penn State’s defense; my guess is we won’t know for sure for a few more games, at least. The one thing fans and media alike seem to agree on today: The Knights look pretty darn good.
Further afield: The No. 3 women’s volleyball team won a trio of weekend matches by identical 3-0 scores . . . both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams impressed Friday at the annual Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational.
Ryan Jones, senior editor