No. 14 Nittany Lions Welcome No. 4 Princeton to Holuba Hall for Key Women's Lacrosse Contest
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 17, 2006 - For the third consecutive game, the No. 14 Penn State women's lacrosse team will host a nationally ranked opponent, as No. 4 Princeton visits Holuba Hall on Sat., March 18 for a 3:00 p.m. game.
The Nittany Lions will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak against the Tigers. Hard-fought losses to the likes of fifth-ranked Virginia and 11th-ranked William & Mary have dropped Penn State to 3-2 on the season. With a 1-0 American Lacrosse Conference record, the Lions are tied with defending national champion Northwestern and trail only 2-0 Johns Hopkins in the league standings.
In its previous outing on March 12, Penn State attempted valiantly to rally from a five-goal deficit but ultimately fell, 14-12, to visiting William & Mary. Down 9-4 at halftime, sophomore Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) and freshman Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) spearheaded the furious comeback effort, scoring seven of the Nittany Lions' eight second half goals. Lieb and Shea finished the game with four goals each.
Through five games, senior co-captain Shari Maslin (New City, N.Y.) leads Penn State in goals (13) and points (15). Lori Havrilla (Devon, Pa.) (12 goals, 2 assists) and Jessi Lieb (11 goals, 3 assists) have each collected 14 points while Kim Kontson (Davidsonville, Md.) and Lindsay Dutch (Ellicott City, Md.) are also in double figures with 10 points a piece. Dutch leads the Lions in assists with four.
Fourth-ranked Princeton brings a 1-2 record into its Saturday afternoon contest with Penn State. The Tigers' two losses, to No. 3 Johns Hopkins (3/4) and to No. 2 Duke (3/12), have come by a combined three goals. Princeton defeated Loyola, 12-7, on March 8 for its lone early season victory.
Participants in nine consecutive NCAA postseasons, Princeton boasts one returning All-American in defender Lauren Vance, a 2005 second-teamer. Junior Kathleen Miller, their current points leader with eight, fronts the Tigers' attack. Katie Lewis-Lamonica and Kristin Schwab top the team in goals, with each tallying six. Katie Atkins is a key contributor to the attack, as she earned five assists through the team's first three games. Junior Colleen O'Boyle began the season as Princeton's starting goalkeeper but sophomore Meg Murray has been in the line-up for the last two games.
Despite its loss to Duke, Princeton moved up two spots, from No. 6 to No. 4, in the IWLCA/US Lacrosse poll. The opposite happened in the Inside Lacrosse poll, as the Tigers were dropped one slot from No. 6 to No. 7.
Penn State possesses a 11-16-0 all-time record versus Princeton in a series initiated in 1982. A year ago, the Nittany Lions upset the then-No. 1 ranked Tigers on their home field, 14-13 in triple overtime. Princeton has been victorious in six consecutive trips to University Park, a streak dating back to 1992.
Next week, Penn State will embark on a rugged three-game swing. The Nittany Lions travel to Philadelphia, Pa. on Tues., March 21 for a 4:00 p.m. game with Temple. On Fri., March 24, Penn State will clash with No. 7 Maryland at 7:00 p.m. in College Park. Two days later, the Lions will remain in College Park to take on No. 8 North Carolina in a game scheduled for 12:00 p.m.