Field hockey falls in heartbreaker

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Field hockey falls in heartbreaker

Iowa Back Defense Jessy Silfer drives the ball during the game against Penn State game at Grant Field, Iowa City, IA, on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Hawkeye defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-0. (Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Iowa Back Defense Jessy Silfer drives the ball during the game against Penn State game at Grant Field, Iowa City, IA, on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Hawkeye defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-0. (Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Iowa Back Defense Jessy Silfer drives the ball during the game against Penn State game at Grant Field, Iowa City, IA, on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Hawkeye defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-0. (Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Iowa Back Defense Jessy Silfer drives the ball during the game against Penn State game at Grant Field, Iowa City, IA, on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Hawkeye defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-0. (Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

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Iowa field hockey is now 2-5 in conference play.
By Mario Williams

[email protected]

When the Iowa field-hockey team lost by a last-second goal to Stanford on Sept. 18, the team felt that couldn’t — and shouldn’t — occur again.

On Oct. 23 in State College, however, Penn State freshman Aurelia Meijer sent a shot through the goal with no time remaining. It broke a 2-2 tie and gave Iowa (9-8, 2-5) another loss.

The Hawkeyes started the game out poorly and were down 2-0 for the entire first half. Penn State outshot the Iowa 13-3 during that first half and had an advantage in penalty corners, 2-0.

“We unfortunately put ourselves in a hole early,” Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said in a release. “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.”

Iowa did mount a serious comeback in the second half, as junior Stephanie Norlander scored in the 37th minute. She then scored in the 51st minute to tie the match at 2.

“I wasn’t comfortable after scoring 2 goals in the first half,” Penn State freshman Aurelia Meijer, who scored all 3 Penn State goals, said in a release. “We’ve been in this situation every game, and every game we’ve won the first half and lost the second half.

“When I scored, I knew we had to score more and continue to be aggressive.”

Iowa couldn’t stop Meijer. In addition to her goal with no time remaining, she scored during the 11th and 33rd minutes of the contest.

But as time wound down, the Hawkeyes were fatigued down the stretch.

Iowa gave Penn State two penalty corners, with the second happening with less than a minute to play. Hawkeye goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora saved the first shot attempt from the corner, but another penalty gave the Nittany Lions another chance.

Meijer sent a shot through the back of the net, and Penn State won.

“Iowa really had momentum back on their side when they scored those 2 goals, and then they were really pushing the pace and we weren’t,” Penn State head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss said in a release. “I told the girls we have to push the pace right now; we have to flip the momentum to our side and start to compete.

“I think that’s where we started to get those corners at the end of the game.”

The Hawkeyes are now 2-5 in conference play with its last game of the season approaching. Penn State improved to 3-4 in the Big Ten and, if the season ended now, would be the sixth seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

Iowa now falls into a tie for seventh with Michigan State. Both teams are 2-5 and would make the eight-team tournament.

“We will go back to the drawing board and do everything we can to prepare for Maryland,” Cellucci said in a release.

Follow @marioxwilliams for Iowa field-hockey news, updates, and analysis.

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