Lechner Leads No. 11/12 Lions Past Rutgers, 19-7
March 12, 2014
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Junior midfielder Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) matched her career high with five goals, as the No. 11/12 Penn State women's lacrosse team secured a 19-7 victory against Rutgers at High Point Solutions Stadium Wednesday afternoon. Twelve Nittany Lions recorded at least one point as the team improved to 4-3 overall (0-0 ALC) with its second straight win.
A Silver Spring, Md., native, Lechner's five markers matched her previous highs that she set against Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt during the 2013 season. Both sophomores Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.) and Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) recorded three-goal games, while freshman Sarah Piazza's (Bel Air, Md.) goal and sophomore Heather Harman's (Alpharetta, Ga.) assist marked their first points in the Blue and White.
Junior midfielder Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) and reigning ALC Rookie of the Week Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md.) contributed two goals each, while senior Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md./1g, 1a) and junior Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md./2a) added two points each. Freshman goalkeeper Cat Rainone (Newtown Square, Pa.), who corralled a game-high four ground balls, made seven saves as she improved to 3-2.
The Nittany Lions out shot the Scarlet Knights, who fell to 3-4 overall, by a 27-22 margin and also held advantages in ground balls (17-13) and draw controls (16-12). Penn State finished 15-for-16 on clears and 3-for-4 on free-position shots, while Rutgers went 12-for-13 and 2-for-4, respectively.
Rutgers took an early 1-0 lead just 2:45 into the game, but Penn State answered with a 5-1 run en route to a three-goal advantage. Lechner, who netted three of the Nittany Lions' first five markers, opened the Penn State scoring with man-down tally, while Cyr and junior Jess Loizeaux (Mullica Hill, N.J.), who scored a free-position goal, also added markers.
The Scarlet Knight cut the deficit to 5-4 with two strikes in a 1:10 span before Penn State finished the frame on a 6-1 run. Both Lechner and Mosketti, who collected a game-high five draw controls, scored twice with the first tally coming from Mosketti with 13:14 on the clock.
Cyr and Smucker added goals of their own as Penn State finished the first 30 minutes with an 11-5 lead. Sophomore midfielder Ally Heavens (Garnet Valley, Pa.) collected an assist on Lechner's fifth and final tally of the game.
In the second half, Penn State continued the offensive pressure while holding the Scarlet Knights to two goals. After Rutgers cut the lead to five, the Nittany Lions answered with four straight markers for the 15-6 lead. Penn State then finished the game on another 4-0 run, which included tallies from senior Shannon Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) and Piazza, with an assist from Harman, in the game's final minute.
Penn State, which improved to 15-0 all-time against Rutgers, will return to action Saturday, March 15 when the Nittany Lions open their final season of ALC play at Vanderbilt. Opening draw is at 1 p.m. ET.