Penn State Women’s Hockey vs. RIT Series Grades

Story posted February 21, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Joshua Bartosik

In the last series of the regular season, the Penn State Nittany Lions were able to scrape by with a tie and a win against the RIT Tigers.

Game 1 reminded everyone that old habits die hard as Penn State put up 45 shots but only came away with 2 goals in the tie.

The second game looked like more of the same until Rachel Weiss broke the scoring halfway through the second period and Kiara Zanon put a bow on the game late with an empty-net goal to secure a 2-0 victory.

Here are the grades from a surprising weekend result.

Offense: C+

The offense seemed to be getting back on track after outscoring the opposition 17-0 last week, but all good things must come to an end.

The Nittany Lions peppered the RIT freshman netminder Sarah Coe with a whopping 87 shots between the two contests but only came away with four goals total.

Natalie Heising was able to score her 20th goal of the season in Game One, breaking the PSU single-season scoring record and putting another highlight on her incredible career.

Although Coe was stellar for the Tigers, the majority of the scoring woes can be attributed to an issue that has plagued the blue and white all season long: no net-front presence. Coe was able to easily track weak shots from the point and swallow them up with little to no effort.

Penn State needs to refind the scoring touch from last weekend, especially if they want to compete for the CHA title.

Defense: B-

The Nittany Lion blue line once again was able to limit the number of shots the opposition had. However, the shots that did get through were almost all high danger opportunities.

Only giving up 15 shots in a game is respectable, yet the Penn State defense was beaten to nearly every loose puck in the defensive end and looked lifeless for the majority of the game, allowing RIT to cash in close to the crease.

Penn State held RIT to just 10 shots in Game Two, but the Tigers had several odd-man rushes, requiring Josie Bothun to stand on her head until Rachel Weiss broke the game scoring in the second period.

Goaltending: A-

Josie Bothun had one of her worst performances of the season against RIT. Her “worst performance” still saw her stop 23 of 25 shots through two games and add another shutout to her season total.

The reigning CHA Goalie of the Week winner now has nine shutouts on the season, two more than the previous single-season PSU record.

Goaltending continues to be the most consistent part of this Nittany Lions squad, and they’ll need Bothun to be at the top of her game when they take on Mercyhurst in the first round of the CHA Playoffs.

Coaching: D

Although Penn State did not necessarily lose this series, Jeff Kampersal’s squad should be extremely disappointed in their effort and consider the outcome a loss in itself.

The Nittany Lions came into this series as heavy favorites and were expected to win and took RIT lightly, a team that has played their best hockey down the stretch.

Kampersal never lit a fire under his team in Game One to win, and that play style carried over until the halfway point of Game Two.

An unmotivated squad is the last thing any coach wants as a potential berth into the NCAA tournament is on the line, and Kampersal should do everything in his power to prevent this series’ efforts from traveling with the team to Tennity Ice Pavilion in Syracuse next weekend.

Joshua Bartosik is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email