Women's Lacrosse Falls to No. 1 Northwestern in ALC Championship Game
May 2, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fifteenth-ranked Penn State women's lacrosse team (9-8) could not crack the pressure defense of No. 1 Northwestern (19-0) and fell to the Wildcats, 13-3, in the title game of the 2009 ALC Championship, held at Jeffrey Field on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) and seniors Mariel Bryan (Folsom, Pa.) and Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) accounted for Penn State's goals. Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was again solid in goal, registering seven saves in the face of a barrage of 27 Northwestern shots.
The start of the game belied its outcome as the Nittany Lions lit the scoreboard first when Laura Lesnick netted her 22nd goal of the year on a converted free position attempt just 49 seconds in. But that score would be Penn State's only of the first half and its last for the next 49-minutes plus.
The Lions had no answer for Northwestern's Shannon Smith, as she scored all of the Wildcats' first half goals, helping them build a 4-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, after NU extended its advantage to 6-1 with two quick goals, Mariel Bryan scored her third goal of the year and second in as many days to temporarily slow down the Wildcats' attack.
Northwestern began to put the game out of reach when goals by Danielle Spencer and Katrina Dowd, pushed its lead to 8-2 with 15:25 remaining. Kerry Shea tried to ignite a rally when she scored at the 14:10 mark, but that would prove to be Penn State's last successful offensive foray of the day.
The Wildcats ended the game with a 5-0 run, including punctuating the win with a goal by Katrina Dowd with 13 seconds left on the clock.
The Nittany Lions will learn their postseason fate on Sunday evening when the Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship bracket is announced exclusively on CBS College Sports Network during the NCAA Lacrosse Selection Special. The field will be revealed between 10 and 11 p.m. ET.
NOTES: Marisa Lozano is Penn State's first 20-20 (20 goals, 24 assists) player since Colleen O'Hara totaled 34 goals and 23 assists in 2003...Penn State has eight players with 12 or more goals, including four with 20 or more...Theresa Zichelli's assist on Kerry Shea's second half goal was the first of her collegiate career...Penn State's offensive output versus Northwestern is its lowest since a 5-3 loss to Maryland in 1995.