No. 17 Women's Lacrosse Falls to Johns Hopkins in ALC Finale
April 25, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 17 Penn State women's lacrosse team (8-6, 1-4 ALC) suffered a 12-7 setback to visiting Johns Hopkins (9-6, 2-2 ALC) on Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. With the defeat, the Nittany Lions are eliminated from contention for the No. 3 seed for the upcoming ALC Championship, set for May 6-8 in Columbus, Ohio, and will have to wait until next weekend to learn their seeding fate for the postseason tournament.
Sophomore midfielder Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) and senior midfielder Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) headlined a Penn State offense that was hampered by a low shooting percentage and stymied by a solid Johns Hopkins defensive effort. Zichelli notched her first hat trick of the season, giving her 19 goals for the year, while Bucci scored two and assisted on another. Bucci leads the team in goals with 28 and in points with 34.
Penn State had a decisive 16-6 advantage in draw controls, including outdrawing JHU by a 9-1 margin in the first half, but could not capitalize on its chances and had troubles cracking the last defense of Blue Jays goalkeeper Cosette Larash, who recorded 11 saves.
The game started well for the Nittany Lions, as a goal by Zichelli put PSU on top, 1-0, 53 seconds into the game. After Johns Hopkins tied it up at the 23:20 mark, Zichelli's second goal gave Penn State what would prove final lead of the day. The Blue Jays got hot scoring the next four goals, including two by Paige Ibello, to build a 5-2 lead. The Lions got back into it, though, in the final four-plus minutes of the half, getting back-to-back free position conversions from junior midfielder Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) and Bucci.
At the half, Johns Hopkins led, 5-4, but Penn State had the momentum heading into the break and looked poised to mount a second half comeback. However, the Blue Jays had other ideas, scoring the half's first three goals to go up, 8-4. Zichelli then ripped a shot from 10 meters out that found net at the 21:46 mark to pull Penn State to within three, but that's as close the Lions would get. Johns Hopkins' leading scorer, Candace Rossi took the game over at that point, notching three straight goals to provide the Blue Jays with their largest lead of the game at 11-5.
Penn State appeared as though it would make a run to sneak its way back into the game on the strength of goals by Bucci and sophomore attacker Aly Adams (Springiield, Pa.) but it would not be enough. A failed free position attempt by Lesnick and a JHU goal by Brooke Foussadier would put a definitive end to any thoughts of a late, last-ditch Penn State comeback.
The Nittany Lions will be back in action next weekend when they welcome non-conference foe Temple (7-8) to Jeffrey Field for a 3 p.m. Senior Day contest on Sat., May 1. Seniors Theresa Bucci, Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.), Margo Josephs (Reisterstown, Md.), Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.), and Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.) will take the field for their final home regular season game in a Penn State uniform. A special ceremony to honor their careers and contributions will precede the contest.
Penn State holds a winning 15-13 all-time record versus Temple but fell to the Owls, 8-7, in the teams' last meeting in 2008 in Philadelphia.