By Sean Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions fell short in their two game series with Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. this past weekend as they dropped a pair of one-goal games against the Dutchwomen.
Penn State (7-14-1) fell by scores of 1-0 and 2-1 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. While the Lions struggled to get on the scoreboard offensively, the defense proved to be a bright spot for the Blue and White against Union (7-11-3).
"We had our chances (offensively) and kept pressing forward, breaking out of our zone and getting the puck deep," said sophomore forward Jess Desorcie. "We had our chances, but bounces just weren't going our way over the weekend and their goalie played really well."
Desorcie tallied the lone goal of the weekend, her fifth of the season, which was set up by a great across the crease pass from junior forward and team captain Taylor Gross. While the Nittany Lion offense struggled this weekend, only tallying 40 total shots on goal throughout the weekend, one area the Lions thrived in was goaltending.
Freshman goaltender Celine Whitlinger made her best start of the season in Friday's affair allowing only one goal while tallying 48 saves. Whitlinger's play helped to keep the struggling Lions in the game, but ultimately Union prevailed.
Penn State reverted back to junior goaltender Nicole Paniccia for Saturday's contest. Paniccia, who missed Friday's game due to illness, put out another great start for the Lions saving 34 of 36 shots, but once again Union's defense proved to be too much for the Lions' offense to handle.
Moving forward the Nittany Lions will look to improve within the offensive zone, which was an area that had been coming around following the Chatham series a week ago. However, the Lions will face yet another tough opponent in Syracuse, which to date has held the Lions scoreless on offense this season.
Penn State will travel back to New York for its second consecutive road series, as they will face off with Syracuse University (10-10-1) in a two game series beginning Friday, Jan 25 at 7 p.m.
The Orange of Syracuse traveled to Happy Valley in early October and held the Lions to zero goals, while tallying 10 through two games against the Blue and White. Despite the past results, this is a much different Lions team than the Orange battled earlier this season.