No. 15 Women's Lacrosse Edged by No. 7 Princeton, 9-7
March 14, 2009
PRINCETON, N.J. - The No. 15 Penn State women's lacrosse team (4-2) again showed it could play with one of the nation's top teams but again came up just short, falling, 9-7, to No. 7 Princeton (3-1) on Saturday afternoon at Class of 1952 Stadium in Princeton, N.J.
Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) headlined a spotty Penn State attack, scoring three goals. Only senior Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) added a multiple point effort, tallying a goal and an assist. The Nittany Lion offense was hampered by a season-high 24 turnovers.
The Penn State defense kept it in the game, led by the play of junior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and junior defender Margo Josephs (Reisterstown, Md.). Ellis recorded her second straight double digit save total, stopping 11 of Princeton's 30 shots. Josephs topped PSU by registering four of its 10 caused turnovers.
The first half unfolded as an evenly matched, back-and-forth defensive struggle as the teams combined for just six goals but together amassed 26 turnovers. Penn State jumped on top at the 28:20 mark when the senior co-captain duo of Megan McGuire (Eldersburg, Md.) and Kerry Shea hooked up to stake the lead. McGuire scored her fourth goal of the season on the play while Shea earned her first assist of 2009. After Princeton responded with consecutive goals, the Nittany Lions knotted the game at 2-2 when junior Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.) found net with 18:59 remaining. Kerry Shea would regain the lead for PSU just 28 seconds later when she scored her team-high 10th goal of the year. After Princeton's Sarah Steele tied the game again, the teams finished out the half's final 12:38 with scoreless play.
Princeton built a 5-3 advantage early on in the second half with goals by Steele and Kristin Schwab. Nittany Lion answered back quickly when Marisa Lozano netted a goal, ending a 25 minute-plus scoreless stretch for Penn State. The Tigers again pushed the lead back to two four minutes later with a score by Holly McGarvie, but Lozano sliced it to one with her second goal of the half with 14 minutes remaining. She then tied the game with her third straight goal just over two minutes later. Freshman Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) gave PSU its first lead since the 18:31 mark of the first half at 7-6 when she netted her fifth goal of the season off a free position shot. But that would be the last heard from the Penn State offense. Princeton would go on to score three unanswered goals in the game's final 10:55 to claim the victory.
While draw controls were even for each team at 9-9, Princeton had a large advantage in ground balls, hustling to collect 36 as compared to Penn State's 26, including a 15-8 disparity in the second half. The Nittany Lions committed just 12 fouls and held the Tigers without a free position attempt for the game.
Next week, the Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley for a two-game home stand starting on Wed., March 18 when they host No. 5 Penn (5-0, 1-0 Ivy League) in a 7 p.m. game. Penn State is 9-5 all-time versus the Quakers but has dropped three straight in the series, including last season's 14-7 setback in Philadelphia. On Sun., March 22, the Lions will kick off American Lacrosse Conference play when it welcomes No. 10 Vanderbilt (2-3, 0-1 ALC) to University Park for a noon game. Penn State has won six of 11 all-time meetings but has lost the last two match-ups by a total of five goals. Fans should check back to www.GoPSUsports.com for an announcement regarding the location of next week's games.