Women's Lacrosse Falls at No. 5 Virginia, 10-5
March 6, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Penn State women's lacrosse team dropped the opening contest of its two-game road trip, falling to No. 5 Virginia (3-2), 10-5, on Sunday afternoon in rainy Charlottesville.
Five different players accounted for the Nittany Lions' goals. Senior attacker Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.) led Penn State with two points, tallying one goal and one assist.
Down 2-0 early on, Penn State (1-3) cut the Virginia advantage in half when sophomore Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) netted her second goal of the season at the 27:10 mark. Newly anointed Tewaaraton Award nominee Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.) assisted on the play.
After the Cavaliers' leading scorer, Charlie Finnigan, re-extended UVa's lead to two with her 13th goal of the year, the Nittany Lions again responded with an unassisted score from junior Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) to pull within one.
Virginia controlled the next 13-plus minutes of the first half, stringing together four unanswered goals to take a commanding 7-2 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. But Penn State stemmed the tide from that point on, shutting down the Cavalier attack while getting goals from senior midfielder Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.) and senior attacker Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.). At the break, the Lions were in striking distance, down 7-4.
Six minutes-plus into the second half, Finnigan put Virginia back up by four at 8-4 with her second of three goals on the day. With the rain still falling, the game was forced to be moved from Klöckner Stadium at the 22:29 mark to the University Turf Field due to flooding.
After the delay, Penn State scored the first goal at the new venue, as senior attacker Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) found net off an assist from Dean. However, that would be the last goal the Lions could muster, as they were held scoreless for the game's final 21:30. Virginia recorded two more, one soon after Steadman's goal and one late in the game to seal the victory.
Penn State totaled 20 shots for the game, including 16 on goal, but Virginia goalkeeper Kim Kolarik was up to the challenge, making 11 saves. The Lions had a 10-6 advantage in draw controls but were hindered by 20 turnovers.
The Nittany Lions will travel north to Baltimore for the finale of their road swing, visiting No. 7 Loyola (Md.) (2-0) for a 7 p.m. game on Tues., March 8 at the Greyhounds' Ridley Athletic Complex. Loyola is off to its first 2-0 start to a season since 2006, after downing then-No. 7 Virginia (15-8) and No. 17 Towson (12-2). A year ago, Penn State opened the 2010 season with a 9-8 home upset of Loyola.
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