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Field Hockey Heads Into Crucial Weekend

October 25, 2002
By ODU Athletics

Oct. 25, 2002

NORFOLK, VA -- The #1 ranked Old Dominion field hockey team takes to the road one final time during the regular season as they travel to Penn State to face #2 and defending national champion Michigan and the #6 Lady Lions.

The Lady Monarchs moved up to number one in this week's STX/NFHCA Division I Coaches' Poll stopping Maryland's six week run at the top spot. Old Dominion enters the weekend winners of their last nine straight with a 14-2 overall mark.

The 2001 NCAA Champions, Michigan enters the weekend on a 13 game winning streak with a 14-1 overall mark, having clinched a share of its third BIG TEN Conference regular-season title. The Wolverines will take on Penn State before matching up with the Lady Monarchs on Saturday. Last season, sophomore Adrienne Hortillosa's second half goal lifted the Michigan to a 1-0 win over Old Dominion in the second game of the 2001 season. After a scoreless first half, Hortillosa, playing in her first collegiate season, scored her goal unassisted three minutes into the second stanza.

Michigan and the Lady Monarchs have met just three times with Old Dominion owning a 2-1 lifetime record against the Wolverines. Old Dominion has previously defeated Michigan 1-0 in 1982 and 7-0 in 1996.

The Wolverines are led by junior forward April Fronzoni with 30 points on 13 goals and four assists. Sophomore defender Kristi Gannon, a former teammate of Lady Monarchs Tiffany Snow and Rosalinda Banuelos at San Pasqual High School in Escondido, CA was last week's Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Gannon earned the honor for the second time in her career after helping the Wolverines blank a pair of Big Ten opponents. She helped hold Indiana to just four shots in a 5-0 triumph Friday before limiting Northwestern to just five shots in a 1-0 victory Sunday. In addition, Gannon posted a career-high four goals against the Hoosiers.

The Lady Lions of Penn State enter the weekend with a 12-2 overall record and will face Michigan on Friday. Penn State is currently 3-2 vs. ranked opponents this season, having defeated North Carolina 2-1 at home in early September. Penn State is led on the offensive end by junior midfielder Heather Conroy, who has already posted a career-best 15 goals on the season, good for sixth-best nationally and tops in the Big Ten. Junior goalkeeper Anna Zinkavich has led a tough Penn State defensive unit that has posted six shutouts on the season. The Nittany Lions, who posted a total of five shutouts in 2001, currently rank in a tie for 11th nationally in scoring defense and have allowed multiple goals to an opponent in only three games this season.

Last year against Penn State, current CAA Player of the Week Angie Loy (Loysville, PA) posted the game-winner and her first goal of the 2001 season 34 seconds into overtime lifting Old Dominion to a 1-0 victory. The Lady Monarchs gained control of the ball and pushed upfield right away in the overtime session. Just seconds past regulation, junior midfielder Tiffany Snow (Escondido, CA) made a shot that was saved by the Lady Lion keeper and rebounded right to Loy.

Penn State and Old Dominion have met 15 times with the Lady Monarchs owning a 10-5 all-time record against the Lady Lions. Penn State head coach Charlene Morett was an assistant at Old Dominion under head coach Beth Anders for four seasons, helping guide the Lady Monarchs to three straight national title games, including national championship in 1982 and 1983.