No. 13 Women's Lacrosse Downed by No. 9 Virginia, 13-8
March 7, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 13 Penn State women's lacrosse team (3-2) dug itself a first half hole it could not get out of, surrendering the first eight goals in its Sunday afternoon match-up with No. 9 Virginia (3-2) en route to a 13-8 setback. The loss was the Nittany Lions fourth straight to the Cavaliers and their second of the season versus an ACC opponent, after falling to No. 2 Maryland on Feb. 21.
Four different Nittany Lions, reigning two-time ALC Freshman of the Week Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.), junior Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.), junior Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.), and sophomore Elaine Welch (Bernardsville, N.J.), each scored two goals while seniors Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) and Maria Valderas (Catonsville, Md.) notched assists.
Senior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) struggled early but, after being replaced by sophomore Dana Cahill (Towson, Md.) late in the first, returned to have a strong second half, making nine saves. Ellis finished the game with 10 total stops and a team-high four ground balls.
Virginia used ball possession, solid goalkeeper play, and a fine-tuned attack to build an 8-0 lead through the game's opening 23-plus minutes. While the Cavaliers were winning the majority of the draw controls and goalkeeper Lauren Benner was making key saves, six different players scored the eight Virginia goals.
Penn State finally broke through at the 6:37 mark with Fernandez's ninth goal of the season, starting a 3-0 Nittany Lion run. Subsequent goals by Welch and Lesnick cut the Virginia lead to 8-3 as time in the first half dwindled. One final goal with just 20 seconds remaining gave UVa what would prove to be an insurmountable 9-3 advantage at the break.
The Nittany Lions bounced back with a strong second half, outscoring Virginia, 5-4, despite being outdrawn, 7-3. After nine scoreless minutes of play, Laura Lesnick netted her second and final goal of the game to get the Penn State scoring started. The teams would trade goals over the remaining 20 minutes with the Nittany Lions never getting closer than five goals.
Penn State will begin a three-game road swing next weekend when it travels to Newark, Del. to face Delaware (1-2) in a 12 p.m. match-up on Sat., March 13 at Rullo Stadium. The Nittany Lions have 22 wins in their all-time series with the Blue Hens, tied with William & Mary for the most in program history. Penn State will, however, be looking to avenge a memorable 13-4 loss suffered in its last visit to Delaware in 2008.