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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 29, 2007 ?C The No. 10 Penn State women??s lacrosse team (6-2, 0-1 ALC) returns to the road this weekend, traveling to Baltimore for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference contest with Loyola College (2-6, 0-2 BIG EAST) on Sat., March 31. For the Nittany Lions, their visit to the Charm City will be the first of three this season with a game at Johns Hopkins and the American Lacrosse Tournament, to be hosted by the Blue Jays, scheduled in the coming weeks.
Penn State will be aiming to bounce back from a disappointing showing last weekend in its ALC opener versus No. 12 Vanderbilt. A slow start by the attack dug the Lions a 5-2 halftime hole but a furious second half rally, spurred by two goals each from sophomore Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) and freshman Mary LeNoir (Timonium, Md.), brought Penn State back. However, two late Commodores goals sunk the Nittany Lions?? comeback hopes and they fell, 9-7. Junior Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.) led the team with three goals, including both first half scores.
Loyola is mired in a 2-6 start to the season, but the Greyhounds halted a five-game losing streak in their last outing with an 11-10 double overtime victory over Towson. Its 2007 schedule has been unkind thus far, as six of Loyola??s eight opponents have been nationally ranked, accounting for all six of its losses. The Greyhounds feature a balanced attack with four players having scored between 10 and 13 goals. Maura Kenny leads the team with 13 goals while Colleen O??Keefe is tops in assists (7) and points (17). Karen Nicolaus has been a mainstay in goal for Loyola, compiling an 11.54 goals against average in eight starts.
Penn State holds a 10-11-0 record in the all-times series with Loyola. The Lions have taken the last two match-ups from the Greyhounds, including last year??s 16-10 victory at Jeffrey Field. Prior to that, Loyola had won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the regional foes.
The Nittany Lions open a three-game home stand next week when they welcome No. 14 Pennsylvania to Holuba Hall for a 7 p.m. game on Tues., April 3. Penn State will be looking to avenge last season??s 8-6 road loss to the Quakers. The following weekend, national powerhouses No. 2 North Carolina and No. 3 Maryland will visit Jeffrey Field for the ALC/ACC Challenge. The Nittany Lions will square off with the Tar Heels on Fri., April 6 (7 p.m.) and with the Terrapins on Sun., April 8 (3 p.m.).