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March 30, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's lacrosse team (3-6, 0-1 ALC) snapped a four game losing streak on Sunday afternoon at a blustery Bigler Field, knocking off Loyola (3-7, 1-3 BIG EAST), 10-7, in non-conference action. With the win, the Nittany Lions up their record at home this season to 3-2, including a 1-1 mark at their newly resurfaced outdoor turf field.
In her first start of the season, junior Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) came alive to lead the PSU attack, netting three goals and tallying an assist. Freshman Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) came off the bench to score two goals and collect an assist. Team co-captains Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) and Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md. also added two goals each.
While the offense posted its highest goal total since an 18-12 win over William & Mary on March 9, it was an improved defensive effort that fueled today's victory. Senior Jess Boccio (Northport, N.Y.) went the distance in goal for the Nittany Lions, recording seven saves against 23 Loyola shots. The Greyhounds committed 19 turnovers, with Penn State causing a season-high 13. Lieb and sophomore Margo Josephs (Reisterstown, Md.) led PSU with three caused turnovers each.
Penn State and Loyola traded goals through the game's first 16 minutes, with two goals by Kerry Shea keeping the Lions even with the Greyhounds at 2-2. But at the 13:32 mark, Jen Steadman's first goal of the game sparked a 3-0 PSU scoring run. Back-to-back goals by Marisa Lozano powered Penn State to a 5-2 lead. A late Loyola goal would conclude scoring the first half and the Lions went to the break with a two score advantage.
Loyola controlled play early in the second half, tallying two goals in the first 10 minutes to pull even with Penn State at 5-5. But the Lions responded strongly, stringing together three straight goals off the sticks of Lieb, Lozano, and sophomore Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.) to go back on top, 8-5. Once again Loyola answered back, scoring the next two, to come within one goal of Penn State.
Jen Steadman gave the Nittany Lions a little breathing room with a goal with 4:27 remaining. The rising freshman star took a pass on the right wing, outraced a defender into the crease, and rocketed a shot past the Greyhound goalkeeper. Lieb and Lozano then teamed for an insurance goal with 57 seconds left in the game.
Next weekend, the Nittany Lions will journey south to Tobacco Road to take part in the annual ALC/ACC Challenge. Penn State will take on No. 3 Maryland on Fri., April 4 at 5 p.m. and then will face host No. 7 North Carolina on Sun., April 6 at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Fetzer Field on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Last season, as hosts of the challenge, the Nittany Lions went 1-1, upsetting the Tar Heels, 8-7 in double overtime, before narrowly falling to the Terrapins, 10-9.