Oct. 23, 2015
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It was an up-and-down game that ended in heartbreaking fashion for the University of Iowa field hockey team on Friday afternoon at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex. After making a valiant two-goal comeback, Iowa surrendered a penalty corner goal with no time left on the clock to fall, 3-2, against Penn State.
“We unfortunately put ourselves in a hole early,” said UI head coach Lisa Cellucci. “We came out at halftime a different team and battled back to tie the game. We had opportunities to win, but we were unable to finish. We will go back to the drawing board and do everything we can to prepare for Maryland.”
Iowa found itself trailing 2-0 following a dominant first-half performance by Penn State. The Nittany Lions outshot the Hawkeyes, 13-3, and held a 2-0 advantage in penalty corners. Aurelia Meijer scored both Nittany Lion goals, with the first coming in the 11th minute and the second coming in the 33rd minute.
There was no quit in the Hawkeyes, though.
Iowa wasted little time to get on the board in the second half when junior Stephanie Norlander, the Big Ten’s leading goal scorer, scored her 15th goal of the year in the 37th minute to cut Penn State’s lead in half. Norlander scored on a perfect give-and-go from freshman Isabella Brown.
The momentum appeared to have shifted Iowa’s way as Norlander scored again in the 52nd minute. The North Vancouver, Canada, native scored the equalizer when she deflected in a Veronique Declercq shot off a penalty corner. Norlander’s 16 goals this season are a career high.
With 14 minutes to play, Norlander had a solid chance to put Iowa up, 3-2, after earning a penalty stroke. However, her shot sailed wide, keeping the score tied at 2-2.
Time was winding down and it appeared the game would be heading into overtime. That was until Penn State earned a penalty corner with under 30 seconds to play. With no time left on the clock, Penn State failed to score, but did earn another penalty corner. This time Meijer scored her third goal of the game to give the Nittany Lions the walk-off victory.
Junior goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora notched a season-high 14 saves in the loss.
The Hawkeyes close out the regular season on Oct. 31 when they host Maryland at Grant Field at 12 p.m. (CT).