Stout Defense and Timely Offense Propels No. 14 Women's Lacrosse to 11-8 Win Over No. 17 William & Mary
March 28, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 14 Penn State women's lacrosse team (6-3) used a fast start to claim a lead it would never relinquish in its Sunday afternoon match-up with No. 17 William & Mary (5-4) at Jeffrey Field, going on to secure an impressive 11-8 victory. The game was the Nittany Lions' first outdoor home game of the 2010 season, and they were greeted with chilly temps, a biting wind, and a second-half driving rain.
Penn State netted three unanswered goals to start the game and held William & Mary scoreless for the first 16-plus minutes to set the tone. The eight goals allowed by PSU was the second lowest offensive output by the Tribe this year and was four goals shy of its season average. Leading the way for Penn State was junior defender Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.), who totaled two goals, one assist, six ground balls, four draw controls, and two caused turnovers. Senior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was spectacular in net, registering eight saves, six ground balls, and one caused turnover.
Junior midfielder Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) recorded a team-high three goals while junior attacker Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) contributed two goals and one assist. Seven different Nittany Lions scored goals while nine tallied at least one point. Penn State's margin of victory could have been greater but it had four shots either hit off the post or the crossbar.
Steadman, Dunbar, and junior Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.) helped Penn State build its early 3-0 advantage. After William & Mary finally cracked the scoreboard at the 13:56 mark, the Lions got goals from Lesnick, Dunbar, and freshman Hayley Sofarnos (Williamstown, Australia) to account for another 3-0 run, putting PSU in control, 6-1. Back-to-back goals by the Tribe's Molly Wannen in the half's final 3:24 made the game 6-3 at the break.
Penn State began the second half as it did the first, scoring three straight to build its largest lead of the game at 9-3. Goals came from Lesnick, sophomore Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.), and Steadman. William & Mary outscored the Lions, 5-2, over the remainder of the game but never to pulled to within fewer than three goals.
The Penn State-William & Mary contest will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network on Tues., March 30 at 5 p.m., as part of its Student U line-up. Big Ten Student U programming consists of student-produced events that originally aired live on BigTenNetwork.com, allowing students interested in a career in sports television to get real-world working experience using state-of-the-art equipment.
The Nittany Lions will return to the road this week, traveling to Gainesville, Fla. to take on, for the first time in program history, ALC newcomer Florida (6-3) in a noon game on Sat., April 3 at its state-of-the-art home, Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The Gators will be seeking their first ALC win in their first home conference game after falling to Johns Hopkins (16-8) and Ohio State (14-9) on the road earlier this season.