No. 13 Women's Lacrosse to Clash with No. 9 Virginia in Showdown of Nationally Ranked Teams

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March 5, 2010


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 13 Penn State women's lacrosse team (3-1, 0-0 ALC) will look to gain a signature win against a powerhouse program and defend the pride of the ALC this weekend at the same time when it takes on ACC titan, No. 9-ranked Virginia (2-2, 0-1 ACC) at 1 p.m. on Sun., March 7 in Holuba Hall. The Nittany Lions were defeated in their other match-up with a top 10 team, falling to Maryland on Feb. 21, contributing to the ALC's winless record versus the ACC this season (0-4).

Penn State gained its third non-conference win of the season last weekend, routing Patriot League favorite Colgate, 17-7, in Holuba Hall. Seven Nittany Lions scored three or points in the victory, led by senior Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.), who tied a career-high by scoring four goals, and junior Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) and sophomore Elaine Welch (Bernardsville, N.J.), who each netted hat tricks. Junior Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.) set a career high by tallying four of Penn State's nine total assists. Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) totaled two goals, one assists, four draw controls, and two ground balls to earn ALC Freshman of the Week honors for the second straight time.

Virginia heads to Happy Valley coming off an 11-5 loss to ACC archrival No. 2 Maryland on Friday evening in College Park. The Cavaliers were stunned by Loyola, 15-11, in their season opener but bounced back with wins over Richmond (17-8) and Syracuse (14-13) before falling to the Terrapins. Virginia employs a balanced attack with six players posting five or more goals, three with four or more assists, and eight with at least one point. Kaitlin Duff leads the `Hoos with nine goals while Josie Owen tops the team with seven assists. Senior All-American Brittany Kalkstein, Virginia's all-time draw controls leader, was recently named ACC,, and Nike/Inside Lacrosse National Player of the Week.

Penn State holds a 4-16 all-time record versus Virginia, losing four straight in the series. A year ago in Charlottesville, the Nittany Lions held an 11-5 lead with 17:06 remaining in the game but could not hold off a furious second half charge by the Cavaliers and suffered a heartbreaking 12-11 overtime loss. Erica Mihm led the Penn State attack with three goals while goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) anchored the defense with a career-high 14 saves. The Lions last defeated Virginia in University Park in 1996, claiming a 10-9 victory.

Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Virginia match-up with live stats and instant scoring updates from GameTracker. Find links on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics,

The Nittany Lions will begin a three-game road swing next weekend when they travel to Newark, Del. to face Delaware (1-1) in a 12 p.m. match-up on Sat., March 13 at Rullo Stadium. Penn State has 22 wins in its all-time series with the Blue Hens, tied with William & Mary for the most in program history. The Lions will, however, be looking to avenge a memorable 13-4 loss suffered in their last visit to Delaware in 2008.




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