No. 15 Women¡¯s Lacrosse Defeated by No. 5 North Carolina in Final Game of ALC/ACC Challenge
COLLEGE PARK, Md.; March 26, 2006 ¨C Fifteenth-ranked Penn State¡¯s game with No. 5 North Carolina (7-2) Sunday afternoon in College Park, Md. was a tale of two halves with an unhappy ending, as the Nittany Lions¡¯ fell to the Tar Heels, 16-12. With the loss, Penn State finishes the ALC/ACC Challenge with an 0-2 record and drops its overall season mark to 4-5.
On the strength of a red hot offense, the upset-minded Lions came back from an early slow start and two-goal deficit to build a 10-7 halftime lead. But both Penn State¡¯s attack and defense faltered in the second period and a rally never materialized, as North Carolina outscored the Lions, 9-2.
Penn State¡¯s fortunes did not look promising early on, as North Carolina staked a 2-0 lead and held the Nittany Lions without a goal for nearly the first ten minutes of the contest. But at the 20:23 mark, freshman Megan McGuire (Eldersburg, Md.) ignited the Penn State offense, scoring what would be the first of five consecutive Lion goals. Subsequent scores by Kim Kontson (Davidsonville, Md.), Shari Maslin (New City, N.Y.), and two from Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) afforded Penn State a 5-2 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the opening period.
Erica LaGrow halted the Penn State run and pulled North Carolina to within two with a goal just under the 12-minute mark. But a goal by Maslin and two from reserve attacker Karen Long (Ellicott City, Md.) boosted the Lions advantage to 8-3.
Jess Allen helped awaken the North Carolina offense, scoring a goal in the sixth minute and launching a 4-0 Tar Heel run. However, Penn State withstood the UNC rush and responded with goals from Lieb and McGuire to solidify its three-goal halftime advantage. The second period started roughly and got worse for Penn State, as North Carolina stormed back with a furious offensive flurry. The Tar Heels would use the first twenty minutes of the period to score eight goals and hold the Lions scoreless to take a 15-10 lead. Goals by Mariel Bryan (Folsom, Pa.) and Lori Havrilla (Devon, Pa.) got Penn State closer but it would not be enough to overtake North Carolina.
Promising rookie Megan McGuire led Penn State with four points, scoring two goals and assisting on two others. Offensive stalwarts Shari Maslin (two goals, one assist) and Jessi Lieb (three goals) totaled three points.
Penn State led North Carolina in draw controls, 17-13, but was outshot 37-26 for the game, including a 19-9 deficit in the second period.
With the completion of its rugged three-game road swing, Penn State will return home to take on No. 20 Loyola on Sun., April 2 at 1:00 p.m. in a game tentatively scheduled to be played outdoors at Jeffrey Field.