No. 15 Women's Lacrosse Faces No. 2 Northwestern in Friday Night Clash
April 5, 2011
Last weekend, the Nittany Lions dropped their first ALC contest of the 2011 campaign and saw a five-game winning streak come to an end, falling to Florida, 13-7, at Bigler Field. Penn State (6-5, 1-1) was led by senior midfielder Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.), who netted two goals, giving her a team-high 20 for the year, and recorded a game-high five draw controls. Senior attacker Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) and junior midfielder Aly Adams (Springfield, Pa.) also contributed two goals each. Freshman attacker Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) notched two assists, upping her team season high total to 15.
Northwestern came from behind at home in the second half against Duke last weekend to gain a 12-10 victory and keep its undefeated season in tact. The Wildcats have maintained their perfect 2011 record against some of the nation's top teams, as eight of their 10 opponents have been ranked in the top 20. The high-powered Northwestern offense, which is ranked No. 3 in the NCAA, is fronted by Shannon Smith, the nation's leader in points with 65. Smith tops NU with 37 goals and her 28 assists represent 45 percent of the Wildcats' team total. Northwestern has other weapons in the arsenal as five additional players have double-digit goal and point numbers.
Wildcats' goalkeeper Brianne LoManto, the reigning National Defensive Player of the Week following her 11-save outing versus the Blue Devils, boasts an 8.24 goals against average and a .477 save percentage.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Northwestern battle on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates from GameTracker. An Internet audio broadcast is also available through WNUR, Northwestern's student-run radio. Finally, the game can viewed live online for a fee through BigTenNetwork.com. The Student U production of the contest will then be replayed on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, April 10 at 11 a.m. ET. Find links on the front page (click on Schedule/Results) of the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com and on the women's lacrosse schedule page.
Penn State is 4-12 in its all-time series with Northwestern, dropping 11 straight to the Wildcats, including the season finale in each of the last four years at the ALC Championship. Two of the Nittany Lions' wins have come in Evanston, Ill. but they came early on in the series (1998 and 2002).
The Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley next week for its final home stand of 2011. On Tuesday, April 12, in-state foe Lehigh (7-4) will visit University Park for a 4 p.m. game. Penn State has dominated the series with the Mountain Hawks, winning all 19 prior meetings, including last season's 14-13 victory in Bethlehem. Next weekend, on Sunday, April 17, the Lions will host ALC rival Ohio State (6-4) on Senior Day. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Jeffrey Field. The conference clash will be televised by the Big Ten Network on a tape delay basis with the broadcast scheduled for 4 p.m. later that day.
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