No. 12 Virginia edged late in season opener at No. 11 Penn State, 3-2

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The No. 12 Virginia field hockey team lost its season opener against No. 11 Penn State on a last-minute goal, falling 3-2 on Friday in University Park, Pa.


After a scoreless first period, the Cavaliers (0-1) got on the scoreboard 6:14 into the second on a penalty corner. Jans Croon smashed in a shot from the top of the circle to give UVA the 1-0 lead. The Nittany Lions (1-0) tied it up on a penalty corner of their own with just over two minutes remaining in the half.

Virginia retook the lead on a goal from Laura Janssen with 11:04 remaining in the fourth quarter. Janssen took a hard shot from near the top of the circle that deflected off the Penn State goalie’s stick into the net. Penn State tied the game two minutes later, scoring off another penalty corner.

Sophia Gladieux scored the game-winner with 33.3 seconds remaining, finding the net after taking off on a breakaway. Virginia pulled its goalie before the restart, but could not score an equalizer.


  • Sophomore back Jan Croon’s goal was the first of her collegiate career
  • Freshman Dani Mendez-Trendler and grad student transfer Lindsay Dickinson assisted on Croon’s goal, giving them both an assist in their Cavalier debuts
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy had eight saves
  • Penn State had a 14-7 advantage on corners, scoring on two of them
  • Penn State held a 21-11 shot advantage, outshooting UVA 12-4 in the second half 


“It was a significant effort in a significant game to open the season. Penn State is a talented team who plays very fast and high pressure, so it was very good for us. We had high points that we can build on. We lead twice in the game. Then there are parts of the game that we definitely need to address.

“Tyler [Kennedy] did an amazing job keeping us in the game. That’s what you want from a goalie to keep you in the game so you have a chance to win it and she did.

“It was a strong showing by our first years in their first college game. We just have to stick to the basics, stick to the simple, stick to the game plan. The most encouraging part for me was that we weren’t even playing our game and we had a chance to win against a tough opponent.”


Virginia closes out its opening weekend at No. 17 Delaware (1-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m.