No. 11 Women's Lacrosse Visits No. 8 Vanderbilt on Sunday
March 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 11 Penn State women's lacrosse team will open American Lacrosse Conference play on Sunday when it travels to Nashville, Tenn. to square off with No. 8 Vanderbilt (5-1). The Nittany Lions will look to maintain its perfect 4-0 road record versus the Commodores when the teams collide at 2 p.m. ET at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.
Freshman Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) had the best game of her young career on Wednesday, scoring five goals to lead Penn State (6-2) to an 11-9 road win over Hofstra. Fellow freshman Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) also had a banner day, notching her first career hat trick. Sophomore Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.), the Nittany Lions' leading scorer with 27 points, chipped in one goal and two assists.
As Penn State nears the midpoint of the 2012 season, second-year head coach Missy Doherty continues to get outstanding production from her stellar freshman class. The trio of Coffey, Lechner, and Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) has combined to score 43 goals and tally 18 assists. Their collective 61 points represents 44 percent of Penn State's offense. McCormick tops the Lions in assists with 13 while Coffey is tied for the team lead in goals with 17 and ranks first with 28 draw controls. Lechner is second among Nittany Lions in ground balls (14) and draw controls (11).
Vanderbilt enters Sunday's game riding a four game winning streak. The Commodores have shown a knack for coming out on top in close games, as they have won three straight by two goals or less. Vanderbilt has three victories over ranked opponents (Duke, Stanford, Boston College) with its lone loss, an 18-9 setback, coming to No. 2 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on February 26. Senior Ally Carey leads a threesome of double digit scorers, tallying 17 points on a team-best 13 goals and four assists. Sophomore Katie Mastropieri (12 goals, 4 assists) and junior Carly Linthicum (5 goals, 5 assists) have also been productive on offense. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Wills has started all six games in net, amassing an 11.09 goals against average and a .365 save percentage.
Penn State owns a 7-7 series record against Vanderbilt. A year ago, Penn State built a sizeable first half lead and then staved off a furious second half comeback attempt to claim an 11-8 upset win over then-No. 12 Vanderbilt at Bigler Field. The Nittany Lion victory snapped a four-game skid to the Commodores.
Fans can track all of the action of the Penn State-Vanderbilt match-up with live stats from GameTracker or receive game updates by following the official Twitter account of the Penn State women's lacrosse team, @GoPSUWLax. Find links on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
After completing the longest road swing of the season, the Nittany Lions will return home to continue their non-conference schedule on Sunday, March 25 (1 p.m.) when it hosts William & Mary (2-5) at Penn State Lacrosse Field. Last year, Penn State got goals from nine different Lions to knock off the then-No. 16 Tribe, 17-8 in Williamsburg, Va.