Women's Lacrosse Drops Overtime Heartbreaker to No. 2 Virginia, 12-11
March 8, 2009
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Penn State women's lacrosse (4-1) went toe-to-toe for 66 minutes with one of the nation's top teams and gave it all it could handle before surrendering a gut-wrenching 12-11 overtime loss to No. 2 Virginia (5-1) on Sunday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va. at the Cavaliers' Klöckner Stadium.
The Nittany Lions held an 11-5 lead with 17:06 remaining in the game but could not hold off a frenzied and furious second half charge by the Cavaliers. Virginia scored the game's final seven goals, including the overtime game winner by Julie Gardner with just 52 seconds remaining.
Junior Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.) led the Penn State attack with three goals, all in the first half. Senior Aly Carter (Summit, N.J.) added two and Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) totaled two points, off a goal and an assist. As has been the case all season for PSU, balance was the offense's calling card, as eight different Nittany Lions netted goals while 13 tallied points.
The defense was headlined by the brilliant play of goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.). The junior had the best game as a Nittany Lion, registering a career-high 14 saves while going the distance in net.
Penn State gained control from the game's onset with Mihm winning the opening draw control and then scoring her fifth goal of the season with just over one minute expired. Virginia answered back quickly with a goal from Blair Weymouth and then again less than one minute later to give the Cavaliers the 2-1 lead.
At the 21:01 mark, the Nittany Lions knotted the game at 2-2 when Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.) fed a pass to Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.), which she then put in for her eighth goal of the year. After Virginia took a one-goal advantage on a free position attempt, Penn State and Aly Carter responded with a free position goal of their own with 19:20 remaining.
From there, Penn State finished the half on a 4-1 run to claim a commanding 8-4 halftime advantage. Goals from Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.), Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.), Mihm, and Katy Wick (Winter Springs, Fla.) comprised the streak.
The second half was much like the first with Penn State owning pace and possession early on. After the Cavaliers mustered a quick score, the Lions scored three consecutive goals to go up 11-5. Sophomore Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) capped off the run with her seventh goal of the season at the 17:06 mark, but that would be the last time Penn State would find net. For the rest of the game, momentum shifted markedly and the Nittany Lions could not get or maintain control of the ball. Virginia took advantage and embarked on its come-from-behind rally.
For the game, fouls were decidedly in favor of the home team as Penn State was saddled with an eye-popping 37, including 23 in the second half, as compared to Virginia's 21. Ten of those fouls led to Cavalier free position attempts, six of which were converted into goals.
Penn State will return to the road for its next game, traveling east to New Jersey for a border battle with No. 8 Princeton (2-0) on Sat., March 14 at 3 p.m. The Nittany Lions have alternated wins and losses versus the Tigers over the past five years, with Princeton taking last year's match-up in University Park by a 7-6 count. Penn State owns a 12-18 record in its all-time series with Princeton.