No. 12 Women's Lacrosse Opens ALC Play at No. 14 Vanderbilt
March 19, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 12 Penn State women's lacrosse team (4-2) will open American Lacrosse Conference play on Sun., March 21 when it meets No. 14 Vanderbilt (4-3) at the VU Soccer/Lacrosse Complex in Nashville, Tenn. at 2 p.m. ET. The league match-up is the second of a three-game road swing for the Nittany Lions.
Last weekend, led by a career day from senior midfielder Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio), Penn State won its second consecutive road game, outlasting Delaware, 12-8, in Newark. Bucci scored a career-high five goals and added an assist while freshman attacker Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) totaled four points, scoring one goal and tallying three assists, en route to earning her third ALC Rookie of the Week award of the season. Points also came from junior Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.), who notched her first career hat trick, and junior Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.), who posted a three-point game (2 goals, 1 assist).
The Penn State offense has been balanced this season, featuring four players with double-digit points and three with 10 or more goals. Bucci tops the team in goals (13) while Fernandez leads in assists (6) and points (17). Defensively, senior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) owns a 9.91 goals against average, ranking her second in the ALC and 28th nationally.
After a 1-3 start that featured losses to Duke, North Carolina, and Stanford, Vanderbilt has won three straight in decisive fashion, including a commanding 10-5 home victory over then-No. 9 Boston University on March 13. Senior midfielder Sarah Downing is the Commodores' top offensive threat, totaling 15 goals and 19 points, while sophomore Ally Carey is a dynamic weapon who leads VU in assists (7), draw controls (15), ground balls (21), and caused turnovers (14). Goalkeeper Natalie Wills, who possesses a 11.64 goals against average, is the reigning ALC Defensive Player of the Week.
Penn State owns a 6-6 all-time record versus Vanderbilt, losing three consecutive games, including a 12-7 setback a year ago at Bigler Field in University Park. The Nittany Lions' last victory in the series came on the road, a 9-8 triumph in 2006.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Vanderbilt contest with live stats and instant scoring updates. Find a link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
The Nittany Lions will wrap up a three-game road stretch this week when it travels to Easton, Pa. to face in-state foe Lafayette (0-7) in a 4 p.m. non-conference contest on Wed., March 24. Penn State is 17-2 all-time versus the Leopards, winning 11 consecutive match-ups, including last season's 20-7 rout in University Park. The Lions return home next weekend to meet No. 18 William & Mary (3-3) on Sun., March 28 at 1 p.m. The location of the game is yet to be determined but will likely be held at Bigler Field, PSU's outdoor turf facility.