Ten-Goal Second Half Propels Penn St. to Upset of Virginia
from staff reports
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - After trailing by an 8-5 halftime margin, the No. 10/11 Penn State women's lacrosse team netted 10 second-half markers as it edged No. 6/8 Virginia, 15-14, at Klöckner Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions, who defeated sixth-ranked Virginia (2-3) for the second straight season, improved to 3-1.
Penn State opened the second half with six straight markers before Virginia answered with a 4-0 run en route to a 12-11 lead. Head coach Missy Doherty then called a timeout with 10:18 left to play and the Nittany Lions responded with their own 4-0 rally as they took a 15-12 advantage. After the Cavaliers tallied twice to make it a one-goal game, Virginia committed a foul on the ensuing draw, allowing the Nittany Lions to run out the clock.
Sophomore midfielder Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) recorded a career-high four points (2g, 2a) for the second straight game, while junior Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.), who added an assist, notched her third three-goal game of the season.
Sophomore midfielder Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) added her fourth three-goal game of her career, while senior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.), sophomore Haley Ford (White Hall, Md.) and freshmanJenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) each netted two markers.
Virginia outshot the Nittany Lions by a 36-30 margin and won the ground ball and draw control battles by 17-15 and 16-15 margins, respectively. Penn State executed 11-of-14 clears, while the Cavaliers finished 9-for-12. Nittany Lion goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) made seven saves and Kim Kolarik turned aside eight shots for Virginia.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals on the first two possessions. Dana Boyle opened the scoring 1:21 into the game before she struck again at 4:36.
The Nittany Lions responded with three of the next four goals to make it a 3-3 game. Coffey, who scored after a great dodge from the right of the cage, brought the Nittany Lions to within a goal with 22:57 left in the half. The Cavaliers' Morgan Stephens extended the UVa lead to 3-1 with 20:25 left in the half before Cyr's shot from outside of the crease 37 seconds later made it 3-2.
With 18:02 left, Cyr and sophomore Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) connected once more when McCormick's diagonal pass from behind the cage found Cyr all alone in front of the net for the tying score.
Virginia retook the lead with Courtney Swan's free-position shot before the Nittany Lions scored two straight goals en route to their only lead of the half. McCormick found Cyr for the third time of the match with 13:51 left before Ford gave Penn State a 5-4 lead 54 seconds later. Lechner raced up the field down the right sidelines before feeding Ford for the man-up marker.
The Cavaliers then ended the half on a 4-0 run. Ashlee Warner tallied with 10:55 left to tie the game before Caroline McTiernan scored twice, including one man-down marker, as the Cavaliers ran to a 7-5 lead. Daniella Eppler closed the first-half scoring with a man-up marker with 36 seconds remaining.
Penn State opened the second period with six goals in the first 9:39 of the frame. Fernandez made it an 8-6 contest with 26:44 remaining after taking a pass from Ford and working around Kolarik's challenge for the goal.
After the ensuing draw, Ford corralled the ball and raced down the field as she drew a foul. The White Hall, Md., native made no mistake with the free-position shot as she tallied low.
McCormick then got into the act and tied the game at 5:14 when she came around the crease and beat the goalkeeper. With 23:08 left, Fernandez took Cyr's pass and dodged Virginia defenders before giving Penn State the 9-8 advantage.
Mosketti made it a 10-8 contest after beating a double team with 20:33 remaining and Lechner added a goal 12 seconds later after winning the ensuing draw and scoring.
The Cavaliers responded with the next four goals as they took a 12-11 lead. Anne Thomas and Warner tallied less than three minutes apart to make it a one-goal game before Casey Bocklet evened the score with 11:39 left in the second. Warner fired again with 10:18 left to give the Cavaliers their last lead of the game.
With 9:21 remaining, Coffey scored her second of the contest before Lechner snuck a free-position shot past Kolarik with 7:47 left. Coffey scored a man-up with 5:50 remaining after her shot, which she took while falling down, beat the goalkeeper. Mosketti extended the Nittany Lion lead to 15-12 after beating her defender.
Boyle and Bocklet scored for Virginia with 3:24 and 1:47 remaining, respectively, to make it a 15-14 game. After Bocklet's goal, the Cavaliers appeared to control the game's final draw, but a foul was called on one of the Cavaliers. The Nittany Lions were then able to run out the clock while controlling the ball in the Virginia end.
Penn State will return to action Wednesday, March 6, when they host James Madison at 4 p.m.
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