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College Field Hockey: Herold plays big part in Penn State’s year
JAMES MONROE GRAD SPARKED LIONS’ NCAA TOURNAMENT VICTORY WITH TWO GOALS
BY JUSTIN RICE
Her field hockey season ended Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but Penn State sophomore and James Monroe graduate Taylor Herold didn’t take a day off.
Monday she was right back at it, running and lifting weights after class, looking ahead to 2013.
“I think the loss kind of put a chip on my shoulder,” said Herold, the 2010 Free Lance–Star player of the year. “I wish we could have a redo. It just puts a little more fire into me to get ready for next season.”
Herold scored both of the Nittany Lions’ goals in a 2–1 NCAA tournament first-round win against Albany on Saturday. She said Penn State played an even second-round game with Syracuse—“It was back and forth; we just couldn’t finish”—but the Orange prevailed 5–2 to end Penn State’s season.
Still, it was a successful campaign.
The Lions won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. It was the school’s first regular-season conference title since 2008.
And Herold, who played in all 22 games and tied for third on the team with 11 goals, was a big part of that.
“We knew we’d have a strong team,” she said. “That was our goal, both championships and trying to make the Final Four. We definitely had the confidence we could get it done.”
In high school, Herold succeeded because she was often the fastest player on the field, and usually the most determined to win a race for the ball.
At Penn State, she’s found the other players just as fast as she is—but her determination to get to the ball hasn’t changed. She had 10 goals and four assists in a wildly successful freshman campaign.
“At the beginning, I was really nervous,” she admitted. “My teammates are the best. They just made us all feel comfortable. Once I started scoring, it just boosted up my confidence. Now I’m just more comfortable on the field and at creating opportunities.”
Penn State graduates three seniors, including its leading scorer, 2011 All-American Kelsey Amy. Herold knows she will be counted on for even more scoring next fall, which is part of the reason she was already back working out Monday, getting prepared for a campaign that’s still nine months away.
“I’m going to have to step up into that [scoring] position,” Herold said. “We’ve really relied on [Amy] a lot. Next year, the rest of us forwards are going to have to step it up.”
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045