No. 13 Nittany Lion Women¡¯s Lacrosse to Visit No. 8 Princeton
Last week, Penn State earned a split in its two-game road swing through the state of Virginia. The Lions fell to No. 7 Virginia, 13-6, on Fri., March 9 before capping the trip with a commanding 12-4 victory over William & Mary on Sun., March 11. Against the Cavaliers, Tewaaraton Trophy nominee junior Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) was a bright spot, tallying a season-high in goals (3) and ground balls (5). Sophomore Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) netted a career-best five goals to lead the Lions past the Tribe.
Balance has become the hallmark of the Penn State after the first five games of the 2007 season. Three players, Lindsay Dutch (11) (Ellicott City, Md.), Jessi Lieb (10), and Kerry Shea (10), have reached double digits in goals scored with Karen Long (9) (Ellicott City, Md.) just off that benchmark. The Lions¡¯ defense has been solid, allowing just one goal in the second half of games on three occasions this season. Senior defender Renee Cipro (Ellicott City, Md.), Penn State¡¯s other Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, leads the team in ground balls (11) and caused turnovers (7). Goalkeeper Cammie Jurkowsky (Annapolis, Md.) is ranked second in the ALC in goals against average (7.25) and save percentage (50.8).
Princeton will likely enter its home opener on Saturday afternoon still stinging from a narrow 16-14 road loss to No. 4 Duke suffered on March 11. The Tigers nearly came from behind to pull the upset, erasing a 7-2 deficit and pulling to within one at 12-11. The 2007 campaign for Princeton began with an 11-10 double overtime victory over Johns Hopkins and a dominating 19-10 win against Rutgers.
The Princeton attack is fronted by the high-scoring duo of Katie Lewis-Lamonica and Kathleen Miller who, through three games, have tallied more goals than the rest of team combined. The reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, Lewis-Lamonica has a team-high 12 goals while Miller has netted 11. While the Princeton offense is firing on all pistons, its defense has struggled at times against top-level competition, allowing an average of 13 goals per game.
Penn State holds an 11-17-0 all-time record in its series with Princeton. Last season, the Nittany Lions fell to the Tigers, 17-9, in University Park, suffering their eighth loss in the last nine meetings with the Ivy League foe. The Lions last beat the Tigers in their previous trip to Princeton Stadium, a 14-13 double overtime thriller in 2005.
After completing their longest road stretch of the 2007 season, the Nittany Lions return home for games against Temple (1-3) and Vanderbilt (3-2) next week. On Tuesday evening (March 20), the Owls will visit Holuba Hall for a 6:30 p.m. game. Penn State holds a 14-12-0 advantage in the all-time series with Temple, including last year¡¯s 9-6 victory in Philadelphia. Later in the week, on Sun., March 25, the Lions will kick off American Lacrosse Conference play when they take on Vanderbilt at 11 a.m. A year ago, Penn State edged the Commodores, 9-8, in Nashville in its season opener.