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May 3, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Penn State women's lacrosse team's (5-12) 2008 season came to an end on Saturday afternoon with a 15-7 loss to No. 1 Northwestern (16-1) in a semifinal match-up of the ALC Championship at NU's Lakeside Field. The defeat marks the second consecutive year that the Nittany Lions have been ousted from the conference tournament by the Wildcats.
Sophomore Mary LeNoir (Timonium, Md.) was the Nittany Lions' top goal scorer, netting two. Margo Josephs (Reisterstown, Md.), a sophomore defender, tallied two assists, the first and second points of her career. Northwestern's Hannah Nielsen, the 2008 ALC Player of the Year, led all scorers with four goals and five assists.
After suffering its first loss of the season last weekend, Northwestern figured to come out aggressively and it did just that, quickly building a 3-0 lead. However, Penn State weathered the initial Wildcat storm and answered back, getting on the scoreboard at the 18:03 mark when sophomore Mary LeNoir (Timonium, Md.) converted on a free position attempt.
Defense reigned for the next 11 minutes with neither team able to find net. Northwestern broke that stalemate with a goal with 7:11 remaining in the half, extending its lead to 4-1. However, Penn State responded once again, using a Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) goal to cut into the NU advantage.
With time dwindling down in the first half, Northwestern looked to be taking a two goal into the break, but the Nittany Lions had other ideas. With under ten seconds left, off a Wildcat missed shot, Penn State freshman Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.) corralled a loose ball near midfield and found Margo Josephs with a pass. Josephs then let loose a long pinpoint pass to Mary LeNoir, who beat the NU goalkeeper with a hard shot, shrinking the Wildcat lead to just one goal at halftime.
Penn State maintained that momentum early on in the second half, getting a Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) goal at the 27:51 mark to knot the contest at 4-4. From there, the Northwestern attack would take control and propel it to the semifinal victory. The Wildcats outscored the Nittany Lions, 11-3, for the remainder of the second half with only goals by junior Laura Lincicome (Berwyn, Pa.), sophomore Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.), and freshman Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) to slow the Northwestern offensive tide.