Field hockey opens season with No. 3 Old Dominion, No. 8 Virginia

August 24, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State field hockey team kicks off the 2012 season this weekend, with the Nittany Lions taking on No. 3 Old Dominion and No. 8 Virginia at home in Happy Valley. Head coach Charlene Morett will lead the squad against the Monarchs at 5 p.m. Friday (Aug. 24) and battle the Cavaliers at noon on Sunday (Aug. 26).

Penn State is coming off of a successful preseason exhibition, defeating James Madison University 8-0 on the road last weekend. Seven different Lions tallied goals during the contest, including senior Kelsey Amy (Sweet Valley, Pa.), who recorded two goals and an assist. Junior Annie Abdo (Langhorne, Pa.), sophomore Katie Andrews (Lancaster, Pa.), senior Hannah Allison (Mifflinburg, Pa.), junior Brittany Grzywacz (Collegeville, Pa.), sophomore Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, Pa.) and sophomore Casey Haegele (Abington, Pa.) all scored during the second half to secure the win. Goalkeeper Ayla Halus remained perfect in net, making two saves during the 70-minute match.

The Monarchs return to action after a successful regular season and a trip to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. Old Dominion had a 22-3 overall record and went 8-0 in conference play to become outright CAA Conference Champions. The squad went on to win their 15th CAA Tournament Championship with a 5-1 win over Northeastern. Head coach Beth Anders returns for her final season with the Monarchs, as she will be retiring at the conclusion of the field hockey season. Charlene Morett served as Anders’ assistant coach for several years and the two were Olympic teammates in the 1980’s.

The Old Dominion squad is made up of four seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and seven freshmen. Leading the way for the Monarchs is Maartie van Rijswijk. The senior returns after tallying nine goals and 10 assists during the 2011 season. The Nittany Lions hold an 11-15 all-time record against the Monarchs, with the Old Dominion defeating Penn State by a score of 5-2 in the season opener last year.

The Cavaliers are coming off of their first losing season in six years, ending with an 8-12 overall record and a 1-5 mark in the ACC. Virginia concluded the 2011 season with a 2-3 loss against Duke in the first round of the ACC Championship. Head coach Michele Madison returns an experience squad, with five seniors, nine juniors, six sophomores and only three freshmen. Junior Elly Buckley will drive Virginia’s offense, as she recorded 17 goals and nine assists for 43 points. Buckley led the Cavaliers in points, along with returners Britt Knouse (19 points), Carissa Vittese (15 points), Jess Orrett (12 points) and Hadley Bell (11 points).

Two current Cavaliers, Michelle Vittese and Paige Selenski, recently played for the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team in the 2012 London Olympics. Selenski scored in the U.S.’s final Olympic match. Both return as fifth-year seniors.

Penn State sports a 14-5 all-time record against Virginia, defeating the Cavaliers 3-0 in last season’s opening weekend. Chrismer, Allison and junior Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) each recorded goals in the contest.

The Nittany Lions look to come away with two wins from the season-opening weekend. Following the matchups against Old Dominion and Virginia, Penn State will travel to No. 6 Connecticut on Aug. 31 for a 7:00 p.m. game. The Lions’ next home contests will come on Sunday, Sept. 2, against Lafayette and on Thursday, Sept. 6, against No. 4 Princeton.

For fans attending this weekend's contests: Spectators need to park at the EAST PARKING DECK. There is a fee associated Monday through Friday. Sunday is Move-In Day for all Penn State students, so prepare to arrive early due to campus traffic

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Last Updated August 24, 2012