NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion field hockey team, ranked 23rd in the nation, fell to No. 7 Penn State, 3-2, in the season opener on Friday evening at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.
Penn State (1-0) rallied late, scoring three goals in the final 25 minutes to erase the Monarchs' 2-0 halftime lead. Amie Olton and Alexa Ostoich scored first-half goals for Old Dominion (0-1).
"I thought we started well, which was one of our goals," said head coach Andrew Griffiths. "We created some opportunities early in the game and capitalized on them. After that, they came on strong and we had trouble staying consistent with our defensive presence."
Less than eight minutes later, Ostoich doubled the Monarch lead, capitalizing on a pass from Danielle Grega, in the 23rd minute.
ODU carried the 2-0 lead into halftime. Goalkeeper Kealsie Robles made four of her six saves in the opening half, as the Monarchs fended off four PSU penalty corners.
"I was really impressed with our backline," said Griffiths. "They were really resilient and Kealsie [Robles] had a great game in goal. But, we need to stop them a little higher up the field."
In the second half, the skies opened up, as rain poured down on to the field, forcing a 15-minute stoppage of play at the 25:31 mark of the second half. Following the stoppage, the Nittany Lions ramped up their attack.
PSU's Gini Bramley cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal in the 46th minute. Madison Morano then tied the game at 2-2 with a penalty stroke goal in the 65th minute, before Moira Putsch netted the game-winner in the 67th minute.
"Credit to them," said Griffiths about PSU's late rally. "They have a couple of really dangerous forwards that we contained okay, but they got loose one too many times."
The Monarchs return to action on Sunday at noon against 12 p.m. against No. 21 American at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.
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