Field Hockey Opens Season At Penn State
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 27, 2004
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Old Dominion field hockey team's 2004 campaign begins on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Penn State for a noon match-up on Saturday against the Lady Lions. The Lady Monarchs begin the year with six straight road games, which will also take them to perennial powerhouses Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, and Duke. The Lady Monarchs closed out last season with a 14-10 overall mark, a No. 8 national ranking, won their eighth straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship and advanced to their 23rd straight NCAA Tournament. Old Dominion loses three starters from last season's team in starting goalkeeper Tina Walker, CAA Defender of the Year and two-time All-American Melissa Leonetti, and CAA Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-American Angie Loy. Sophomores Anna Rogers (New Bloomfield, Pa.) and Darcy Pinchbeck (Suffolk, Va.) along with junior Janelle Engle (Mt. Joy, Pa.) comprise the top returning firepower for the Lady Monarchs. Rogers, a CAA Player of the Week as a rookie last year, tallied nine goals and four assists as ODU's top returning scorer. Pinchbeck came on strong last year in the post-season in Lady Monarch victories in the CAA Championship game and first round of the NCAA Tournament. Second Team All-CAA member Engle helped the Lady Monarch defense to five shutouts to along with her five goals and nine assists. The Lady Lions, also playing in their 2004 opener, finished last year 18-7 and advanced to the NCAA Second Round. Penn State, who ranked seventh in last year's final poll, lost six of their starters from a year ago, among them the Lady Lion's top two leading scorers and starting goalkeeper. Penn State graduated Timaire Legel, who posted 17 goals and 11 assists, Heather Conroy, who fired off 12 goals and five assists, and Annie Zinkavich, who in net held a .769 save percentage and 1.65 goals against average. Guiding the way for the Lady Lions this season will be returning leading scorer senior forward Karin Grap. Grap started in 14 of PSU's 25 games collecting 13 goals and two assists. Senior midfielder Amanda Eckert also returns to the turf after registering eight goals and two assists. A familiar face graces the sideline for the Lady Lions. Penn State head coach and recent National Field Hockey Coaches' Association (NFHCA) Hall of Fame inductee, Char Morrett, spent four years as an assistant with the Lady Monarchs in aiding Old Dominion to three straight national title games. Penn State and Old Dominion have met in 18 contests with the Lady Monarchs holding a 10-8 advantage in the all-time series. They have met three times in NCAA Tournament competition, most recently in 2002 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Final Four. Last season, the Lady Lions handed Old Dominion a 6-2 loss in the Lady Monarchs' second game of the 2003 season. Former standout and current undergraduate assistant Angie Loy scored both ODU goals, while Penn State's Legel, Eckert, Grap, and Mary Schaefer each found the back of the Lady Monarch net. After Saturday's showdown with Penn State, the Lady Monarchs will return to action on September 4th, when they travel to College Park, Maryland to face one of their biggest rivals in the University of Maryland.