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March 7, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 12-ranked Nittany Lion women's lacrosse team suffered a tough 12-10 overtime setback to No. 17 Loyola (2-2) on Wednesday afternoon at Penn State Lacrosse Field.
Penn State (4-2) held a two-goal lead at halftime but was outscored 7-3 by the Greyhounds over the remainder of the game, including 2-0 in the overtime period. Sophomore Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) led the Nittany Lions with five points, scoring three goals and tallying two assists. Senior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) added three points, on two goals and one assist, while freshman Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) netted two goals.
Senior goalkeeper Dana Cahill (Towson, Md.) recorded 13 saves, including eight in the second half, against a barrage of 34 Loyola shots.
The game got off to a slow start with the teams combining for just four goals through the first 19-plus minutes of the opening half. Senior Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) started the scoring, netting her fifth of the season after receiving a pass from Fernandez. Cyr then put Penn State up 2-1 with her first goal of the game, converting on a free position attempt at the 13:52 mark.
After Loyola knotted the game with 10:32 on the clock, PSU head coach Missy Doherty called a timeout to regroup her troops. The strategy worked, as the Nittany Lions reeled off four straight goals in just over a two-minute span. Goals by Fernandez, McCormick, and freshmen Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) and Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) provided Penn State with a 6-2 lead.
A Loyola goal with 5:43 remaining began to turn the tide for not only the half but also the game. Cyr and Fernandez combined for a goal less than one minute later to make the game 7-3 but Penn State would not score again for the next 14-plus minutes.
Meanwhile, the Greyhounds scored the final two goals of the first half and started the second half with a flurry, netting three unanswered, to take an 8-7 lead. McCormick and Cyr then scored back-to-back goals to put Penn State back ahead at 9-8 with 20 minutes remaining in the game.
Following an equalizing Loyola goal, Cyr regained the advantage for the Lions when she scored her third and final of the game with 10:10 on the clock. But the Greyhounds' Cass Cursaro knotted the game at 10-10 and that score would hold through the remainder of regulation.
In the overtime, Penn State had a 3-1 advantage in draw controls and 4-3 advantage in shots but was hurt by four turnovers. Loyola scored twice within the first three minutes of the extra period and kept the Nittany Lions out of net for the entire six minutes to secure the win.
Penn State was slowed by 21 turnovers, including 17 that were forced by Loyola, and collected 20 ground balls as compared to 31 for the Greyhounds. The Nittany Lions had a 15-11 advantage in draw controls with Coffey and Kelly Lechner recording a team-high four each.
Penn State will kick off a three-game road swing on Saturday, March 10 when it visits Delaware (2-3) for a 12 p.m. non-conference contest at Tubby Raymond Field in Newark. A year ago, the Nittany Lions used a balance offensive performance, with seven different players netting a goal, and a strong defensive effort to down the Blue Hens, 11-3, in Happy Valley.
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