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Nittany Lions Ready for a Challenging Season Ahead Coming Off Exhibition Contest

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By Shannon Rostick, Student Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -The Penn State women's lacrosse team took to Holuba Hall Saturday afternoon to start off their season with an exhibition game against Towson. While it was a close game, the Nittany Lions looked strong against the Tigers.

Penn State started the game off strong, keeping the ball by Towson's goal and earning themselves an early lead. This lead was produced by some young players with three of the nine goals in the first half being made by freshman Madison Carter, who scored four goals in her debut with the team.

Head coach Missy Doherty talked about the strengths of her offensive end in the first half and how they adjusted well to Towson's unique defensive strategies.

"In the first half our offense was really finding each other well. Towson plays a different defense than you normally see. So to be able to adjust in the game, I think they did really well," said head coach Missy Doherty.

While the team started off strong in the first half, Towson came back in the second to give the Nittany Lions a run for their money.

Doherty talked about how the team wanted to push their offensive transitions in the second half to get shots off quicker, which was not as successful as they would have hoped. This contributed most to Towson catching up in the score.

"We wanted them to push the offensive transition and work on that. I think when we did that though we had some unfortunate turnovers. I like that they are pushing it, but I think we need to be better at executing when we do that," said Doherty.

This season is set to bring some major challenges, with Penn State being in a conference with some tough competitors. The team is definitely up to the task though and the coaches are making sure of that.

"We have a pretty hard schedule overall, almost every single game we play in the Big Ten is against a top ten or twenty overall. Even outside of the Big Ten our coaches schedule some tough teams just to keep us on our feet," said senior Erika Spilker.

Another senior player, Ally Heavens, also talked about how although this upcoming season looks to be tough, the team is looking forward to the challenge and is ready to keep up their A-game.

"What's so exciting about this season is that there is never going to be a lull. With a difficult schedule ahead, every game is going to require us bringing our all," said Heavens.

This exhibition game has been a great opportunity for the team to get some real playing experience before the regular season starts. With just a week before their first game of the season, the girls have a good idea of the areas they need to work on before playing in their first official game of the season next Saturday, February 13 at Lehigh University.

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