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GAME DAY CENTRAL
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
2017 Final Statistics
|66-180||Free Position Shots||58-120|
TOWSON, Md. – The fourth-ranked Penn State women’s lacrosse team begins its quest at a third-straight NCAA National Semifinal berth when they travel to No. 19 Towson for a 12 p.m. affair on Saturday afternoon.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUP
- Penn State and Towson will meet for just the ninth time overall and only the third time since 1983.
- The Nittany Lions hold the 8-0 all-time series lead including a 13-11 victory last season in Happy Valley.
- This marks the first time the teams will meet in back-to-back seasons since playing six straight years from 1978-1983.
- Penn State is outscoring Towson 118-34 all-time with last season’s game being the first time the Tigers registered double-digit goals in a game.
- The Tigers finished last season 12-7 overall and were bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by High Point. Towson dropped the Colonial Athletic Association Championship game in overtime to Elon, 10-9 after winning the league title in 2016.
- Seniors Kaitlyn Montalbano, Tianna Wallpher and Emily Gillingham were named captains for the 2018 season.
- Towson returns four of its top seven scorers from last season, but graduated leading scorer Samantha Brookhart who was the main distributer last season leading the team with 55 assists and 75 points.
- The Tigers do have leading goal scorers Carly Tellekamp, Natalie Sulmonte and Kaitlyn Montalbano back after registering 54, 45 and 45 goals, respectively, in 2017.
- Towson is also without starting goaltender Angie Benson who made 17 starts last season posting an 11-5 record with a 9.60 goals against average and a .484 save percentage. The Tigers will most likely lean heavily on sophomore Kiley Keating who started two games last season and appeared in 11 posting an 8.69 goals against average and a .478 save percentage.
- Though their record didn’t necessarily show it, the Tigers outscored their opponents 254-178 during 2017 shooting at a .479 clip averaging 13.37 goals per contest. Four of their seven losses came by two goals or less.
TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW
- In 2017, Penn State won its second-most games in a single-season and the most since 1989 when they finished the year 17-4 advancing to its second-consecutive NCAA National Semifinal and the 11th in program history.
- The Nittany Lions graduated six starters from that 2017 team, a class that was the winningest since the class of 1992 as they compiled 57 wins over the last four seasons in Happy Valley.
- Penn State has gone 47-16 over the past three seasons, the most wins during a three-year stretch since going 51-7 from 1987-89, a stretch that resulted in three-straight NCAA Championship appearances and a pair of National Championships.
- In 2017 Penn State set single-season program records for goals with 303 and they return 73 percent of that scoring for 2018.
- The Nittany Lions also set a new single-season record for total points in 2017 with 427.
LEADER OF THE PACK
- Entering her eighth season in Happy Valley, head coach Missy Doherty has led her team to the NCAA Tournament in six straight seasons compiling a 93-46 record with the Nittany Lions and a 25-12 record in conference play including an 11-5 Big Ten record with three-straight second place finishes. Penn State went on to win the inaugural Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2015.
- Doherty ranks third on the Penn State women’s lacrosse all-time wins list only trailing the legendary Gillian Rattray (143-19-2) and Julie Williams (116-55-0).
- Penn State has begun each of the last six seasons with a victory and they have won 11 of its last 13 season openers.
- The Nittany Lions are 38-14-1 all-time in season openers and 23-9-0 when they open the season away from Happy Valley.
- Penn State went a perfect 8-0 on the road last season after a 5-4 road record in 2016.
- The Nittany Lions went 9-2 at home and 0-2 in neutral site games in 2017.
- Penn State’s IWLCA pre-season ranking of No. 4 is its highest preseason ranking in at least 20 years.
- The Nittany Lions also have two pre-season Inside Lacrosse All-Americans in senior Katie O’Donnell and junior Madison Carter who were named to the first and second team, respectively.
- O’Donnell has improved her goal output in each of her first three seasons for the Blue and White and registered a career-best 65 in 2017 to rank third in the Big Ten. Her 142 career goals rank tied for ninth all-time in program history as she has a chance to become just the fourth Nittany Lion to reach the 200 goal mark this season.
- Carter set the single-season sophomore record for goals last season with 70, good for second in the Big Ten and tenth in the nation. Her 118 career goals are already on the edge of the Penn State record books and she will continue to work her way up all season.
- Both O’Donnell and Carter were named IWLCA Second-Team All-Americans at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
- Penn State has 33 players on its 2018 roster and 19 of those are either freshmen or sophomores with only six seniors and eight juniors.
- The Nittany Lions freshmen class features 11 players and with the addition of junior transfer Alex Rich, Penn State will have 12 new faces on the sideline this season.
- Penn State remains on the road next Saturday as they travel to Lehigh for a 1 p.m. affair.