No. 14 Women's Lacrosse Falls to No. 4 North Carolina, 11-7, in Final ALC/ACC Challenge Match-up
April 5, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 14 Penn State women's lacrosse team (5-6) remained within striking distance throughout its ALC/ACC Challenge match-up with No. 4 North Carolina (11-2) on Sunday afternoon but ultimately could not overtake the Tar Heels and fell, 11-7. The game was held at host Ohio State's Jesse Owens Memorial Field in Columbus, Ohio.
Senior Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) netted two goals, giving her five for the weekend and moving her into a tie for the team lead with Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) with 16. Fellow preseason All-ALC selection Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) and sophomore Jen Steadman, who saw action off the bench, each also scored two goals and shot 100 percent for the game. Junior Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) went the distance in goal for Penn State, recording 13 saves against 28 UNC shots.
With the game 1-0 in North Carolina's favor, freshman Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) earned Penn State's its lone tie of the game when she knotted it with her ninth goal of the season at the 21:10 mark. After the Tar Heels' retook the lead with two straight goals, Jen Steadman netted her first of the game to cut the deficit in half. North Carolina then began to distance itself by scoring two more unanswered goals to gain a 5-2 advantage with 4:25 remaining the in the first half.
Theresa Bucci helped keep the Lions in the game with a goal before half but Carolina added another to stake a 6-3 lead as the team's headed to the break.
Kerry Shea opened scoring in the second half, netting her first of the contest on a free position attempt at the 26:45 mark. However, the Tar Heels' goals kept coming in bunches, as they netted two in the next six minutes to go up 8-4. Penn State put together a mini-run of its own in response, getting back-to-back goals from Shea and Steadman to reduce UNC's advantage to just two again.
But the game slipped away when North Carolina found net three times over the next six minutes to gain a commanding 11-6 advantage with just 3:25 remaining in the game. Penn State added one more goal, a second from Theresa Bucci, but could no other comeback attempts.
The Nittany Lions will return home for the first time in over two weeks when they host in-state opponent Lehigh (8-3) on Wed., April 8 in a 3 p.m. match-up at Jeffrey Field. Penn State has dominated the all-time series, compiling a 17-0 record, but has not faced the Mountain Hawks since 2001, a 17-2 victory in University Park. The Lions are 3-0 this year against the Patriot League, boasting wins over Lafayette (20-7), Bucknell (18-5), and preseason conference favorite Colgate (16-6).