No. 17 Women's Lacrosse Drops Defensive Battle to No. 3 Penn, 9-6
March 18, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 17 Penn State women's lacrosse team (4-3) came up short in a showdown of two of the nation's top defensive squads, falling to No. 3 Penn (6-0), 9-6, on Wednesday night at Bigler Field. The loss was the Nittany Lions' first at home this season.
Sophomore Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) led Penn State with two goals while senior Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored her team-high 12th goal of the season and added two assists. Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was once again superb between the pipes, recording nine saves in the face of 21 Penn shots.
Penn State came out firing, scoring three unanswered goals, one more than Penn has allowed total in three games this season. Junior Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.) gave Penn State the 1-0 lead when she received a well-placed pass from Marisa Lozano and found net at the 24:13 mark. Sophomore Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) would extend the PSU advantage less than four minutes later when she scored her sixth goal of the season with Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.) earning an assist on the play. Laura Lesnick would cap the first half run with her first goal of the game with 15:32 remaining.
However, Penn would respond quickly, notching three goals in the span of 1:58, including two by Becca Edwards, to knot the game at 3-3. Freshman Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) would put the Nittany Lions back on top just before the break when she converted on a free position attempt with 41 seconds showing on the clock.
In the second half, the Penn State attack was rendered predominantly punchless by the Penn defense, which entered the contest ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Quakers struck first, tying the game at 4-4 at the 26:29 mark. Marisa Lozano would give the Lions their last lead of the game less than a minute later when she winged a wicked left-handed laser shot from 10 meters out that blew past Penn goalkeeper Emily Szelest. From there, the Quakers would take control, outscoring the Nittany Lions, 5-1, for the remainder of the game.
On Sunday, the Nittany Lions will kick off American Lacrosse Conference play when they welcome No. 11 Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-1 ALC) to Happy Valley for a noon game at Bigler Field. Penn State has won six of 11 all-time meetings but has lost the last two match-ups by a total of five goals.