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Reddig named a captain for Penn State
With the fall on the horizon for the Penn State field hockey team, head coach Charlene Morett has announced that senior Whitney Reddig (2010 Warwick grad) is one of three captains for the 2013 Nittany Lions squad.
Reddig enters this season tied eighth in all-time assists with 36 for the Penn State program. A main component of the Penn State penalty corner on the insert, the senior generated 28 points with 16 assists and six goals last fall, tying her 2011 point total of 20 assists and four goals. Reddig racked up nine multiple-point games, including a three-assist day against Ohio State on Oct. 19 and two goals in the season finale matchup against Syracuse on Nov. 11.
"Whit is a player that just brings a ton of energy and a competitive spirit to the game," Morett remarked. "She never gives up, she’s 100 percent ‘Go, go, go,’ she’s very complimentary to her teammates and she’s a type of player that makes those around her better. It’s going to be great to see Whit bring more self-confidence to the field this year and hand that out to her teammates."
Penn State’s other two captains this fall are junior Laura Gebhart, a Donegal graduate, and senior Brittany Grzywacz (Methacton graduate). The Nittany Lions’ veterans will captain an experienced squad of eight seniors, seven juniors, three sophomores and five incoming freshman.
"I’m very excited about the senior class coming into the 2013 fall season," said Morett. "We have so many players that have a wealth of experience on the field and within the program. Brittany Grzywacz and Whitney Reddig have been elected two of the senior captains, but I always rely on our seniors to provide leadership in so many different areas on and off the field. We have Lauren Purvis, Ashtin Klingler, Abby Fuhrman, Kylie Licata, Jacqueline Kenney and Natalie Buttinger … Just a ton of seniors. This class has been very special and a very strong class. They’ve been a class that can take the lead and motivate others. I feel really good about the fact that so many have been up here this summer working out and brining younger kids up to speed with their training."
Grzywacz will take to the field for her senior year as the returning 2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, as well as after earning NFHCA All-American Third Team honors for the first time in her career. The versatile power house was named All-Big Ten First Team for the first time after leading the conference in defensive saves with six, and was named All-Mideast Region First Team for the second time, as well. Playing as a midfielder and at back, Grzywacz recorded 12 goals and two assists for 26 points during the 2012 season, recording her 55th career point along the way.
"Brit is just in a perfect position to be a leader being a center back for us in the sweeper position," Morett said. "She needs to control the back field and have those communication skills as a defender to really communicate to the players in front of her. With her play, Brit has the ability to step up and be a difference maker on the field, especially in that defensive roll. And then, the roll she plays on our offensive corners, she really can have an impact on the scoring side of things. So, I’m really looking forward to Brit having a big voice out there this fall."
Gebhart rounds out the trio of captains, mostly recently named to the U.S. National Field Hockey Squad. Following her sophomore campaign, she was named a NFHCA Second Team All-American for the first time in her collegiate career and was also named First Team All-Mideast Region. The 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, who previously earned Third Team All-America honors as a rookie, earned Big Ten recognition this season, as well, being named All-Big Ten First Team for the second consecutive year. She ended the 2012 season with six goals and 12 assists for 24 points.
"Laura Gebhart is a leader in her own right," said Morett."The way that she plays, her intensity and her distribution skills really bring a lot of the other players into the fold when she’s on the field. She has spent a lot of time with the U.S. program; she was just named to the U.S. National Squad. Her experience this summer in seeing different formations and seeing a different level of play, I think that experience is really going to help her become more of a tactical leader on the field this year."
Morett and the Lions will go to work defending both the Big Ten Regular Season Title and the Big Ten Tournament Title in August, preparing for the 2013 regular season with a tough exhibition against Maryland on August 23. Entering her 27th season at the helm of PSU, and 30th overall year of coaching, the Big Ten Coach of the Year has the utmost confidence in her returning squad, which can only be strengthened by her three chosen captains.
"They all have different roles and I think it’s a balanced group of captains that is going to have a positive impact on the field in so many different ways and so many different aspects. And I really see the other players on this team embracing their leadership."
More REDDIG, page B-2