Nov. 4, 2011
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Ohio State field hockey team fell, 1-0, in a defensive battle against host-school Penn State Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions (15-5, 4-2 Big Ten) claimed the lone goal on a penalty stroke in the first half en route to the victory over the Buckeyes (12-8, 4-2 Big Ten). The game was televised live on BTN.
After the first 30 minutes of action went scoreless, the Nittany Lions got on the board on a penalty stroke following an Ohio State foul in front of the cage at 30:04. Brittany Grzywacz scored for Penn State on the stroke with a drive into the back right of the cage.
The Buckeyes had two solid opportunities to even the score on corners in the first half at 21:37 and 32:15, respectively. However, MSU goalkeeper Ayla Halus denied both shots on goal. The Scarlet and Gray held a 4-2 lead in shots and a 2-0 advantage in penalty corners in the first 35 minutes.
In the second half, Penn State kept the majority of the possession early on, but senior tri-captain Ally Tunitis denied back-to-back shots by the Nittany Lions to keep it a one-score game.
Following a media timeout, the Buckeyes had a chance to tie the game with 15 minutes remaining when sophomore Paula Pastor-Pitarque launched two-consecutive shots at the cage from the left side of the circle, but couldn't find the back of the board.
The Scarlet and Gray had one final chance to even the score with 20 seconds left on the clock on a blast by Pastor-Pitarque, but Halus made a kick save from the left side of the cage to deny a late Buckeye goal and help claim the victory for the host-school. Penn State will now face top-seeded Michigan in the championship game at 2 p.m. Sunday live on BTN.
Ohio State held an 8-6 lead in shots with a 3-1 advantage in penalty corners.
Tunitis falls to 12-8 overall, collecting three saves, while Halus improve to 15-5 with four saves.
The Buckeyes will now look to claim an at-large bid into the 2011 NCAA Championships with the selection show scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday with a live stream on NCAA.com.