Early goals in both halves were enough for No. 13 Penn State, as the Nittany Lions topped the No. 3 Princeton field hockey team 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Bedford Field. The loss marked the first of the year for the Tigers (3-1), snapping Princeton’s 17-game winning streak.
Penn State jumped out early with a pair of goals over the first 15 minutes of play, while Princeton struggled to secure possession of the ball and was plagued by turnovers.
As the clock neared halftime, the Tigers began to find their rhythm and created steady chances inside the Nittany Lion circle. At 31:43, Allison Evans served up the ball to Julia Reinprecht on right side. With a defender on her back, Reinprecht sent in a reverse shot to cut PSU’s lead to one, 2-1.
Princeton looked to be reenergized, but was unable to corral control early in the second half.
Like the first period, PSU quickly created chances in the Tiger circle and capitalized twice in the 39th minute over 30-second span.
After conceding the goals, Princeton’s defense tightened up and prevented the Nittany Lions from creating further dangerous chances. On the other end of the field, the Tigers worked to press into the PSU circle and respond to their 4-1 deficit.
In the 52nd minute Teresa Benvenuti tapped the ball outside the cage and Maddie Copeland picked up the deflection to make it a 4-2 match.
The Tigers’ comeback effort continued in the 57th minute off a penalty corner. After not finding a clear opening on the initial shot, Evans picked up the deflection to bring Princeton within range of tying things up, 4-3.
With just over four minutes to play, Princeton’s greatest chance of knotting the score came off a Cat Caro shot. The freshman stole the ball on the left side, made a tap into the circle and had an open one-on-one shot with the PSU goalkeeper. Her shot ultimately would go just high and wide.
Princeton held a 19-10 shot and 8-4 penalty corner differential, but it was PSU to score twice off its four corner opportunities.
The Tigers will hit the road for the first time this season, facing Dartmouth on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 12 noon and Syracuse the next day at 3 p.m. The match against the Orange will be live on ESPN3.