UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Old Dominion field hockey team (3-1) won its third-consecutive match after taking down No. 17 Penn State (0-4), 2-1 on the road behind goals from each of its senior captains.
“This was a really good win for our team from a mental standpoint,” head coach Andrew Griffiths said after the game. “We actually didn’t play our best game of hockey, but we are resilient, and I like that quality in our team.”
Monarch senior Erin Huffman scored the game’s first goal in the 18th minute of action. Riley Taylor inserted a penalty corner to Marlee McClendon, who then dumped it to Huffman for the opening salvo. The goal was Huffman’s second in as many games.
With just over two minutes remaining in the first half, the Nittany Lions answered with a goal of their own to tie the game, 1-1. Junior Alexis Horst was able to beat Monarch goalkeeper Cam MacGillivray for her second goal of the campaign.
Going into the halftime locker rooms, PSU held an 8-2 shot advantage over the Monarchs, while each team had two penalty corner opportunities.
The two teams played a quiet third quarter as only one shot was put on goal in the period, a shot that was ultimately turned away by MacGillivray.
The score remained deadlocked at 1-1 five minutes into the final frame when senior Rebecca Birch netted the ultimate game-winning shot passed the PSU goalie to give the Monarchs the lead once again.
The ODU defense didn’t allow a shot in the match’s final minutes as the Monarchs held on for the 2-1 victory.
“Penn State is fast, physical and skillful and we had to adjust to this in this game,” Griffiths explained. “We turned the ball over a lot, so we put ourselves under a lot of pressure too much. However, we look dangerous going forward and tonight we showed that we can find different ways to win.”
Overall, the Nittany Lions outshot Old Dominion, 14-6 and held a 6-4 penalty corner advantage as well. MacGillivray saved six shots to earn the win, the most she’s had in a game this season.
Birch ended the game with a goal on three shots, while Huffman’s only shot of the match was her successful one in the second quarter. Taylor and McClendon each ended the game with an assist on their stat sheet.
The Monarchs will put their winning streak on the line in their next game when they face VCU on Sunday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m.