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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.) potted five goals for the second straight game to help lead No. 7 Penn State past No. 19 Towson, 13-11, in non-conference women's lacrosse action this afternoon at Holuba Hall.
After a relatively slow start in the opening ten minutes of play, Penn State (2-0) held the lead off a pair of goals from Lazo and sophomore Madison Carter (Davidsonville, Md.), but then erupted for five goals in a just under a four-minute span to take a 7-0 lead midway through the opening half.
Freshman Kristin Roberto (Miller Place, N.Y.) potted her first career tally at the 18:26 mark before sophomore Kelly Daggett (Bainbridge, Pa.) sandwiched a goal between a pair of Lazo scores just one minute apart. Junior Katie O'Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) then ended the run with her first of the game at 14:35.
Samantha Brookhart and Natalie Sulmonte got the Tigers (0-2) on the board as they scored the next two goals of the game at the 13:00 and 9:44 marks, respectively, before Lazo added her fourth goal of the first half on a free position shot for the 8-2 lead at the 6:06 mark. Carter added a late first half goal at the 1:15 mark for the 9-2 score.
Towson opened the second half quickly as Kaitlyn Montalbano fired one home just 57 seconds into the period for the 9-3 score. The Tigers kept the momentum and rattled off four more as Alyssa Ferro, Montalbano, Shelby Stack and Carly Tellekamp cut the deficit to 9-7 at the 17:16 mark.
Montalbano then cut the deficit to a single goal as she scored her third goal of the second half at the 9:12 mark for the 9-8 score and a six-goal run by the Tigers.
Carter finally stopped the bleeding as she found the back of the net to secure the hat trick at the 5:58 mark, which sparked a 4-0 Penn State run to grab the 13-8 lead. Lazo added her fifth tally of the game at the 5:19 mark, O'Donnell then found the back of the net just 46 seconds later and junior Maggie Gallagher (Bel Air, Md.) closed the spurt with her first of the season at the 3:41 mark.
Towson attempted a late comeback as Emily Gillingham found the back of the cage at the 2:48 mark and Michaela Duranti potted her first of the game just 32 seconds later and Sulmonte added a free-position shot with just over a minute remaining for the 13-11 score, but the Nittany Lions were able to hold on for the victory.
Carter scored three times while adding eight draw controls and four groundballs. Daggett and senior Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md.) also played solid defensively adding four groundballs apiece while Smucker led the team with three caused turnovers.
The Lions held the 29-18 edge in shots including a 22-15 clip on target while going 11-for-12 on clears and holding the 18-8 margin in draw controls and the slim 20-19 and 9-8 edge in groundballs and caused turnovers.
Senior Cat Rainone (Newtown Square, Pa.) improves to 2-0 on the season after collecting two saves before being replaced by freshman Madison Cunningham (Davie, Fla.) who made her collegiate debut playing the final 9:12 collecting one save.
Angie Benson absorbs the loss for the Tigers to fall to 0-1 after making four saves over the first 15:25 before being relieved by Kiley Keating who stopped five shots over the remainder of the game.
Penn State returns to Holuba on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. exhibition affair with Wales before hosting Lehigh next Saturday at 3 p.m.