HARRISONBURG, Va. – No matter what sport it is, there's a reason teams are ranked in the top-10.
The VCU Field Hockey team found that out the hard way on a cool Sunday afternoon in a 6-1 loss to seventh-ranked Penn State. The Nittany Lions tallied four second-half goals to put away what was a close match at halftime.
"I really thought we played a great first half against one of the best teams in the country," Head Coach Kelly McQuade said. "We are going to look to take the positives out of a non-conference schedule and look to improve headed into CAA play this upcoming weekend."
VCU's resilience and scrappiness was evident from the start as they held a powerful Nittany Lions offense at bay for the first 20 minutes of the contest.
However, goals from Penn State's Brittany Grzywacz and Taylor Herold came within two minutes of each other to quickly give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 advantage heading into the halftime break.
It was much the same story after halftime with Penn State finding the back of the cage two times within the first 10 minutes of the second half to push the lead to 4-0.
Sophomore Emilie Soares would get the Black & Gold on the board in the 46th minute when she gathered a loose ball in the circle and notched her second goal of the season to cut the lead to 4-1.
Grzywacz and teammate Jenna Chrismer would find the back of the cage for the Nittany Lions in the final minutes to secure the 6-1 win for Penn State.
"We still have a lot of season left with a tough CAA schedule ahead of us," McQuade said. "We're going to look to play our strongest hockey as we head into the second half of the year."
The Rams open up that CAA schedule on Friday night when the Tigers of Towson University visit Cary Street Field for a 7 p.m. showdown.