In its first overtime match of the year, a Michelle Cesan golden goal in the 73rd minute lifted the No. 4 Princeton field hockey team past No. 8 Penn State, 3-2, Thursday evening in University Park, Pa. The win sends the Tigers home riding a perfect 3-0 record, while dropping the Nittany Lions to 3-2.
After peppering in shots over the early minutes of action, senior Katie Reinprecht gave the Tigers to a 1-0 advantage at 12:01. She received a pass from sophomore Allison Evans at the top of the box and sent in the early go-ahead goal on an angled shot from the left corner.
As the offense provided a lead, the Princeton defense worked to maintain a strong line and deflect repeated Nittany Lion advances. Goalie Christina Maida made all four of her saves in the match in the first half.
Despite the Tigers' efforts, Penn State's Amy Kelsey converted its fourth penalty corner to square things up, 1-1, just prior to halftime.
Following the break, senior Kathleen Sharkey put Princeton back on top, 2-1, in the 50th minute. The striker followed through on her own saved shot to score her eighth goal of the year. She has now scored in all three games this season.
The Tigers' rally to reestablish the lead did not last for long, as PSU was there again to tie things up off a Katie Andrews' goal at 56:15.
With the score tied 2-2, Princeton was unable to retake the lead for the third time within regulation and went into its first overtime minutes of the year.
Penn State opened overtime earning the possession, but Princeton was able to swiftly sway the ball away from the Lions and send it into PSU's half. At 72:17 a Reinprecht shot was stopped on a defensive save from Andrews. Sharkey managed to grab possession of the ball and dish it to junior Cesan, who sent in the game-winner to the right corner of the net.
Both sides were knotted 6-6 in penalty corners, while Princeton held a 16-12 advantage on shots. The Lions had an 11-5 save differential in the overtime contest.
Princeton now heads home to open up a three-game homestand beginning with Richmond on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 12 noon. The game marks the Tigers' first official match at the newly constructed Bedford Field. Admission is free to all field hockey regular season home games.