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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman Maria Auth (Street, Md.) registered a career-high five points and four goals including the game-tying marker with 5:20 left in regulation to help lift fourth-seeded Penn State past No. 5 Princeton, 14-12, in NCAA Quarterfinal action this afternoon from the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
The Nittany Lions improve to 17-3 on the season and will make their second-straight NCAA National Semifinal appearance and 11th in program history when they battle No. 1 overall seed Maryland on Friday at 5 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Princeton sees its season end with a 15-4 overall record.
Junior Katie O'Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) and sophomore Madison Carter (Davidsonville, Md.) added three goals apiece to help pace the offensive attack along with Auth's performance. Carter also registered her second-consecutive game with a career-high 12 draw controls including nine in the second half.
Senior Cat Rainone (Newtown Square, Pa.) improves to 16-3 in cage after stopping 13 shots and grabbing four ground balls. Sophomore Kayla Brisolari (Crofton, Md.) registered the game-winning goal with 3:42 on the clock and also collected a game-high five ground balls on the afternoon.
The game was a back-and-forth affair that saw ten ties, six lead changes, and no team having more than a two-goal lead or a two-goal scoring run at any time until the Nittany Lions scored the final three goals of the game during the last 5:20 of game action.
Penn State opened the scoring with two quick goals just 36 seconds apart as Carter and Auth found the back of the net for the 2-0 lead just 2:43 into the contest, but the Tigers pounced back with a pair of their own to even the score.
Auth then scored back-to-back free-position goals to lift the hosts to a 4-2 lead at the 16:51 mark. That would be the last two goal lead until the final horn as Princeton continued to pressure and pulled back even with a Tess D'Orsi goal at the 11:43 mark for the 4-4 tie.
The teams traded goals leading into the intermission and junior Maggie Gallagher (Bel Air, Md.) gave the Lions the 6-5 halftime lead with her lone score of the day off a feed from senior Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md.) at the 1:12 mark.
Princeton came out of the break poised and scored the first two goals just 26 seconds apart to grab its first lead of the contest after Allie Rogers fired one home for the 7-6 edge at the 28:42 mark.
The teams then traded two goals at a time for the next 13 minutes before Smucker buried her only goal of the afternoon at the 14:52 mark for the 11-11 tie. The game remained that way for the next nine minutes as both Rainone and Tiger senior net-minder Ellie DeGarmo made some big stops for their teams.
It was then Anna Doherty for the visitors who ended the scoring drought to give Princeton the 12-11 lead before the Lions went on to score the final three goals and secure the victory.
Auth tied things at 12-12 at the 5:20 mark before Brisolari's free-position tally gave PSU the lead with 3:42 to play and O'Donnell sealed the contest with her third of the game at 1:41. Rainone made a pair of huge saves down the stretch to solidify the win.
- Penn State outshot the visitors 41-30 including a 30-25 clip on target.
- Penn State also held the 20-14 edge in ground balls and the 18-10 advantage on the draw to improve to a combined 24-0 when winning both battles.
- The Nittany Lions only committed 13 fouls while Princeton was whistled 40 times in the game.
- Penn State has now set a new single-season goals record of 293 passing the 280 they registered in both 1986 and 2015.
- Madison Carter's 69 goals are now the most in a single-season by a sophomore passing the 68 Marsha Florio scored in 1983. They are also the sixth most in a single-season and just 10 behind the Penn State single-season record of 79 also set by Marsha Florio in 1985.
- Katie O'Donnell has now cracked the top-10 list for goals in Penn State history as her 138 rank her 10th all-time passing Jen Johnson (136), Beth Thompson (136) and Mary Ann Foley (137).