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PSU Field Hockey

Congrats to Char Morett and the PSU Field Hockey team as they knocked off #3 ranked Maryland to claim the Big Ten tournament championship. That win earned them the #4 seed in the NCAA tournament and means that they will be a host site this coming weekend. We’ll play Princeton in the opening round on Saturday with the winner of that game getting the Michigan/Virginia winner on Sunday with a berth in the Final Four on the line.

The good news is that we’ve already beaten all three of those teams (Michigan twice), so we stand a very good chance of advancing to the Final Four. I’ve said all season long that this team was good enough to have a shot at the national championship, now they will get a chance to prove me right. They are playing pretty good hockey right now and, while they won’t be the favorites, they are sitting pretty to make a run for the title, much like the women’s soccer team did last year.

Had some time on my hands, so I thought I’d dig around the rosters of the teams in the NCAA tournament.

Here’s some surprising facts.

  1. There are 322 athletes on the rosters of the 18 teams. Almost exactly ¼ of them (105) are from PA.
  2. There are over twice as many PA kids as there are from any other state. NJ is second with 51.
  3. Every team in the tournament has at least two PA kids. Not surprisingly PSU has the most 15.
  4. No other state has a kid on every team. New Jersey is closest with at least one kid on 16 teams.
  5. Only four programs have more kids from a state than they have kids from PA. In each case, the state is their home state. Maryland has 11 homegrown kids with just 3 from PA. Monmouth has 7 Jersey kids, 4 PA. Princeton has 6 NJ players, 5 PA. UNC has 7 Carolinians, 6 PA kids.
  6. Almost ¼ of the kids (99) are foreigners. PA is the only state more represented than foreign players.
  7. Penn State has fewer foreign players (2) than any other program.
  8. Duke has the most foreign players with 8. Three teams (Louisville, Monmouth, and UMass) have 7.
  9. There are more kids from the Netherlands (32) playing in the tournament than there are from any state other than NJ or PA.
  10. Netherlands has a player on 14 of the 18 teams in the tournament. Only American, Kent State, Stanford, and Princeton don’t have a Dutch player. Only PA and NJ have a higher representation of players.
  11. There are 110 players on the rosters of the four #1 seeds. 32 of them (almost 30%) are from PA.
  12. The second highest representation on the top seeds is the Netherlands with 18. New Jersey is third with 15.

It’s obvious why Char took the kids to the Netherlands for their foreign tour.

On a side note, the ACC is generally considered the best field hockey conference. They have six teams in the tournament (the Big Ten has three). Here’s the breakdown of the 11 players named to the ACC All-Tournament team – five kids from PA, four kids from Europe, one from NJ, one from VA. If Char could just somehow start landing those top PA kids we could start a run like Cael’s boys have (of course, Cael does have the advantage that the Big Ten is easily the best wrestling conference, just like the ACC is the best field hockey conference).

Unfortunately, not a good enough of a chance as they lost to Princeton

The good news is that we've already beaten all three of those teams (Michigan twice), so we stand a very good chance of advancing to the Final Four.

Unfortunately, not a good enough of a chance as they lost to Princeton

I’ve got to hand it to Princeton. They played exceptionally well. We just seemed flat the whole game with no sense of urgency until the last five minutes when it was too late.

We are a very young team, so I expect us to improve even more next year. We may not grab a #4 seed, but I certainly think we will be Final Four material next season.

They knocked off Bucknell 5-1 today in Lewisburg. They might have had their fourth straight shutout if Char Morrett hadn’t substituted liberally after PSU took a 4-0 lead midway through the second half. PSU had held their opponents scoreless for 276 straight minutes before Bucknell got on the board.

Like I said at the end of last season, I think this team is Final Four material, maybe even good enough to win it all.

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3-0 win over Iowa today. PSU started slowly as Iowa controlled the game for the first 20 minutes, but the Nits eventually wore the Hawkeyes down.

The fact that the US national team is HQed in Lancaster backs this up. I hadn’t thought about PSU FHY this way, but I agree with you. Get that PA talent to stay home and we should be challenging the final 4 on a regular basis.

Moira Putsch scores another game winner on the exact same play as she did against Iowa. This time it came with 90 seconds left in the game and gave #3 PSU a 4-3 win over #14 Northwestern.

The gals were shutout by Michigan 3-0. They played like they were up late last night celebrating the Iowa win like everyone else.

Good day for the gals. Knocked off Maryland 3-2 in the semifinals, overcoming a questionable penalty corner that was awarded to Maryland and which tied the game at 2-2… They will now face juggernaut Michigan in the title game on Sunday.

Michigan has been on an unbelievable run. The Wolverines have won 15 in a row, including 12 shutouts. They are 10-0 against B10 foes, having outscored them 32-4 in those ten games. It will be a tall order. Michigan beat PSU here in State College 3-0 back in September. Since that game, PSU has gone 8-1 with their sole loss a double OT game against Maryland in College Park (which they avenged today) Over that stretch, PSU has outscored the opposition 31-11.

Since early in the season, I’ve said that all three teams (Maryland, PSU, and Michigan) were good enough to make it to the Final Four. It will be interesting to see how the brackets play out when they are announced on (I believe) Monday.

On a somewhat related note, women’s soccer also advanced. They topped Ohio State 1-0 on a goal scored in the last minute of double OT. PSU dominated regular season champ and B10 #1 seed Ohio State (out shot them 24-4, outcornered them 7-0) but couldn’t push across a goal until the final minute of the second overtime, barely avoiding a shootout.

The brackets were announced this evening. The draw didn’t go well for Penn State. Their route to the Final Four just got very difficult. They are in #1 ranked, and undefeated, UConn’s bracket. If they beat Delaware, they get UConn in Storrs.

Michigan, by virtue of their win, got a 3-seed and gets to host 1st and 2nd round games. They’ll face Syracuse, then the winner of Louisville/NW. That’s the spot that PSU likely would have had had they won the game.

Maryland faces Wake Forest, then likely a match against 2-seed Duke in Durham.

All four Big Ten teams advance.

The quarterfinals are four B10 schools (PSU, Michigan, Maryland, Northwestern), two ACC schools (Duke, UNC), one Big East (UConn), one Ivy (Princeton).

The Big Ten is guaranteed to have one rep in the final four as #3 Michigan will face Northwestern. The other match ups are PSU vs #1 UConn, Maryland vs #2 Duke, and Princeton vs #4 UNC. All games are tomorrow with times still TBD.

I was proven right on 2 of the 3 as Maryland and Michigan both make the Final Four (we lost to UConn 4-3). I also think that we would have made it had we any draw other than #1 UConn (or maybe Michigan).

Mark my words - Michigan hands UConn their first defeat of the season in the National Championship game.

Big win for the PSU gals today.

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PSU loses in 2OT 3-2.

McSorley was at the game. The good news is that he wasn’t on crutches. The bad news is that he was favoring his right leg, which he either had wrapped or was in a small brace under his pants.

Lar, despite today’s loss do you think PSU still might get an invite to the field of 16 for the ncaa tourney?