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Feb. 22, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the score tied at the 17:26 mark of the first half, the Penn State women's lacrosse team embarked on a 13-2 run to finish out the game and gain a convincing 16-5 win over Duquesne (1-1) on Wednesday night at Holuba Hall.
Junior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) spearheaded the Penn State attack, scoring a career-high five goals. Two freshmen also starred on offense, as Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) totaled five points, tallying two goals and three assists, and Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) recorded four (2 goals, 2 assists).
Senior goalkeeper Dana Cahill (Towson, Md.) anchored a stout Penn State defense that allowed just one second half goal and two goals in the game's final 42-plus minutes. After registering a career-best 16 saves against Maryland on Sunday, Cahill collected 13 against 26 Dukes shots.
The teams traded goals through the game's first 12-plus minutes, resulting in a 3-3 tie. Following nearly six minutes of scoreless action, Penn State began to assert its will and take control of the game. Sophomore Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) triggered a 7-1 run with her fifth goal of the season. Ensuing goals by McCormick, freshman Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.), senior Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.), and Fernandez gave the Lions an 8-3 lead. Fernandez's second score was the goal of the game, coming off a low skipping shot taken between two defenders while falling to the ground.
Duquesne ended PSU's scoring streak at the 1:26 mark but the Nittany Lions were not done yet. Senior Aly Adams (Springfield, Pa.) converted on a free position attempt with 11 seconds remaining in the half and Cyr, off a pinpoint pass from McCormick, scored with just one tick on the clock to provide Penn State with a commanding 10-4 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Penn State offense kept rolling while the defense put the clamps down on the Duquesne attack. Fernandez took the game over early on, scoring three of the Lions' first four goals of the half.
Duquesne finally got back on the scoreboard with 15:08 left in the game, its first goal in over 16 minutes, making the game 14-5. Goals by Lechner and redshirt freshman Avery Curley (Berwyn, Pa.), the first of her career, would close out the scoring for Penn State and for the game.
Penn State outdrew Duquesne, 14-8, and had an 18-15 advantage in ground balls.
This weekend, Penn State will return to the road, traveling to Easton, Pa. to face Lafayette in a 1 p.m. non-conference game on Saturday, Feb. 25. A year ago, Penn State knocked off the Leopards, 17-9, in University Park.