Learning to Compete with the Best
April 5, 2012
By Cassie Speno, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Head coach Missy Doherty says the program has really turned a corner this season, but there is still more work to be done.
"I think we have really turned a corner in games like Vanderbilt and Virginia," said Doherty. "We are in the mix, but now our next step in the program is to really start competing with these top five teams. In order to do that, we need to dominate possession and get the draw."
The Nittany Lions struggled to gain possession of the ball against the Florida Gators only obtaining nine draw controls to Florida's 23. In the game of women's lacrosse the draw is often said to win games as it gives the team dominating the draw more opportunities to score.
Penn State did its best to make the most of the opportunities they were given and scored 11 goals on 22 shots. However, Florida's attack proved to dominate possession time and fired 43 shots on goal. Doherty says this is something they will need to improve on if they are going to succeed against top five teams in the future.
"Our main issue in games with these top teams is controlling the ball," said Doherty. "It is all about being able to control the ball and get the draw. Our draw controls against Florida were a lot to a little, and that played a factor. Possession time is key when you play against a team like Northwestern."
Powerhouse Northwestern is undefeated so far this season (10-0) with close overtime victories against Syracuse (11-9) and Ohio State (13-12). Doherty and her Nittany Lion squad will look to hand the Wildcat's their first loss of the season by beating them at their own game.
"Northwestern is the type of team that really takes its time on offense, but really rushes you in the defensive end," said Doherty. "If you are on defense the majority of the game against them you are not going to win. So we really need to keep control, be patient on offense so we tire out their defense and finish strong."