No. 14 Women¡¯s Lacrosse Takes to the Road for Contests with No. 7 Virginia and William & Mary
The road trip marks the first time the Nittany Lions will venture away from Happy Valley and the familiar confines of Holuba Hall in 2007. The three-game span, which will conclude at Princeton on March 17, also represents Penn State¡¯s longest stretch away from home this season.
Penn State heads to Virginia fresh off an 11-4 victory over Colgate on March 4. Preseason First Team All-American Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) had her best offensive game of the season thus far, scoring three goals and notching two assists. For the second-straight game Karen Long (Ellicott City, Md.) contributed a two-goal, three-assist effort to the attack. Leading scorer Lindsay Dutch (Ellicott City, Md.) added two goals to her season total and freshman Mary LeNoir (Timonium, Md.) tallied her second game-winning goal of the year. Tewaaraton Trophy nominee Renee Cipro (Ellicott City, Md.) headlined a defense that didn¡¯t allow a Colgate shot until the 17-minute mark and a goal until 9:44 remained in the first half. Goalkeeper Cammie Jurkowsky (Annapolis, Md.) recorded a season-high seven saves in 30 minutes of work, notching her third win of the season.
Lindsay Dutch and Karen Long have paired to form Penn State¡¯s top threat on the attack through the early stages of the 2007 campaign. Dutch leads in the team in goals (10), points (14), shots (23), shots on goal (15), and draw controls (10) while Long tops the team in assists with six and is second in goals (7) and points (13). Sophomores Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh Pa.) and Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) have been key to the offense, combining for 15 points. On the defensive end, netminder Cammie Jurkowsky has been solid, allowing just two goals in her last 60 minutes of action.
Defending ACC champion Virginia has begun the season by reeling off four-straight wins, including two against ranked opponents, No. 13 Richmond (13-5) and No. 12 Syracuse (10-8). Senior Kate Breslin is the Cavaliers¡¯ top scorer with 15 goals and 18 points while sophomore Ashley McCulloch leads the team in assists with eight. Breslin and sophomore Blair Weymouth each notched four goals in Virginia¡¯s 18-8 win over Temple on Wednesday. Junior Kendall McBrearty has played all but five minutes in goal for UVA, compiling a 5.74 goals against average.
Penn State is 13-12-0 all-time versus Virginia, last gaining a win versus the Cavaliers in 2005. Led by three goals from then-sophomore Lindsay Dutch, the Lions knocked off No. 1-ranked Virginia, 10-7, in Charlottesville. In 2006, Penn State dropped a 12-8 home decision to the Cavaliers.
William & Mary has experienced a roller coaster season thus far, going from the losing end of a rout, to a dominating win, to a heartbreaking loss. After being crushed by Duke, 15-2, in it season opener, the Tribe responded with a 24-6 dismantling of Longwood on March 1. Earlier this week, it fell to No. 13 Richmond 10-9 in triple overtime. Junior mid Jaime Sellers has a team-high eight goals but eight players have recorded three or more goals. Goalkeeper Sara Beckstead owns a 9.82 goals against average and .426 save percentage.
In its all-time series with William & Mary, Penn State possesses a 19-7-1 record. A year ago, the Nittany Lions suffered a narrow 14-12 setback to the Tribe in Holuba Hall. Penn State last downed William & Mary in 2002, a 10-8 home victory.
The Nittany Lions remain on the road next weekend, visiting No. 9 Princeton (2-0) for a 2 p.m. contest on Sat., March 17. Last season, Penn State fell to the Tigers, 17-9, at home in Holuba Hall, its eighth setback in its last nine meetings with Princeton.