|Follow PSU Women's Lacrosse:||Follow @PennStateWLAX|
March 6, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 19 Penn State women's lacrosse team (1-1) will continue its four-game home stretch this weekend when it welcomes No. 2 Virginia (3-1) and William & Mary (2-3) to Happy Valley for a pair of non-conference contests. The Nittany Lions will take on ACC favorite Virginia on Fri., March 7 at 5 p.m. and unranked William & Mary on Sun., March 9 at 1 p.m. Both games will be played indoors at Holuba Hall.
Penn State opened its 2008 home schedule in impressive fashion last weekend, routing Colgate, 18-3, in Holuba Hall. Sophomore Mary LeNoir (Timonium, Md.) led the team with a career-high four goals, one of five Nittany Lions to tally multiple scores. Senior goalkeeper Jess Boccio (Northport, N.Y.) anchored a stifling defense, recording eight saves while allowing just three goals in 42-plus minutes in net. After two games, she owns a stellar 6.42 goals against average.
Virginia will enter Friday's match-up with the Nittany Lions looking to rebound from its first setback of the season, an 8-5 loss to ACC rival Maryland. The Cavaliers were rolling up until their Tuesday contest with the Terrapins, winning their first three games of the season over Virginia Tech, Richmond, and Syracuse with ease. Senior Megan O'Malley, sophomore Brittany Kalkstein, and junior Ashley McCulloch headline the Virginia attack. O'Malley and Kalkstein lead the Cavs with nine goals while McCulloch tops the team in assists with 11 and points with 17. Starting goalkeeper Kendall McBrearty owns a 6.99 goals against average and has totaled 22 saves through four games.
The Nittany Lions possess a 4-14 record in their all-time series with ACC power Virginia. Penn State has won just once in its last 11 meetings with the Cavaliers, a 10-7 victory in 2005 in Charlottesville. A year ago, despite three goals from Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.), PSU fell at home by a score of 13-6.
After beginning the season with decisive wins over Binghamton (21-9) and Longwood (22-16), William & Mary enters Sunday's game mired in a three-game losing skid. The Tribe netted 43 total goals in the season's first two games, but has since been outscored 48-25 in losses to Duke, Virginia Tech, and Richmond. Senior midfielder Jaime Sellers is William & Mary's top offensive threat, leading the team with 23 goals. Maggie Anderson (14) and Grace Golden (10) have also reached double digits in goals scored. The Tribe defense has struggled early on, allowing an average of 14.6 goals per game, including a season-high 19 in the loss to Richmond on March 2.
Penn State has historically had success against William & Mary, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, as it boasts a 20-7-1 all-time record versus the Tribe. In 2007, behind a career-high five goals from midfielder Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.), the Nittany Lions defeated William & Mary, 12-4, in Williamsburg.
The Nittany Lions remain at home next weekend, hosting No. 7 Princeton on Sat., March 15 in a 3 p.m. match-up. Location of the non-conference clash is yet to be determined. Last season, Penn State upped its all-time record versus Princeton to 12-17 when it upset the No. 8-ranked Tigers, 8-7, in Princeton, N.J. The Lions have taken two of their last three from Princeton in a series that dates back to 1982.