Top seed Penn State field hockey faces Iowa in Big Ten semifinal

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State will face Iowa in the first semifinal match of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday at 10 a.m. The matchup will air live on the Big Ten Network. The Lions will attempt to win their Big Ten leading seventh Big Ten Tournament crown in program history.

Penn State will face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday, after Iowa defeated Michigan 1-0 in the first round of the tourney. The Nittany Lions played and defeated the Hawkeyes 2-1 earlier this season in Big Ten play in Iowa City. The Blue and White used second half goals from Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, Pa.) and Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.) to power the come-from-behind victory.

Iowa leads the all-time series with a mark of 26-20-1 against the Nittany Lions. However, PSU has claimed victories in the past five meetings, including a win in the semifinals of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament by a final of 3-2 in Iowa.

The Blue and White has an all-time record of 6-3 over the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Tournament but Iowa holds a 7-4-1 advantage over Penn State in matches played at a neutral site. The Nittany Lions have scored at least two goals in each of the last five contests, while allowing just one or fewer goals in three of the last five meetings.

Penn State has enjoyed plenty of success historically in the Big Ten Ten Tounrament, winning six titles. The Nittany Lions' six championships are the most of any program. Two of the six tournament crowns have come in the past two seasons, claiming back-to-back crowns in 2011 and 2012. The other four titles came in consecutive years as well, winning in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998.

The Lions have accumulated a record of 24-13 over the 19 times the team has played in the postseason tourney. Penn State has won at least one match in 12 of the 19 appearances over the 19 appearances.

Along with the team success, the Nittany Lions have received a number individual accolades over the years. Penn State has taken home the Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player four times, with former standout Kelsey Amy garnering the honor the past two tournaments in 2011 and 2012.

Penn State has had 36 players placed on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team for an average of over two per season since they began giving out the honor in the 1997 season. Grzywacz and Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) are the two active Nittany Lions who have received the accolade.

Grzywacz claimed another major award on Thursday morning, capturing er second consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honor, winning as a unanimous selection from the conference coaches. The defender becomes just the second Nittany Lion to earn the award in back-to-back seasons, joining Jen Long who accomplished the feat in 2007 and 2008.

Joining Grzywacz on the first team All-Big Ten list were Gebhart and Kylie Licata (Mountain Top, Pa.), while Taylor Herold (Fredericksburg, Va.) and Ashtin Klingler (Selinsgrove, Pa.) gained second team All-Big Ten recognition. Senior defender Abby Fuhrman (Bainbridge, Pa.) is Penn State's recipient of the Sportsmanship Award Honorees.

Penn State's six award winners were more than any other team in the conference, with Michigan State earning five recipients. With Grzywacz's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award, Penn State has now received the honor 10 times since joining the conference in 1992, five more than the next closest program.   

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Last Updated November 08, 2013