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April 9, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's lacrosse team (6-6, 0-1 ALC) will seek its first win of the season versus a ranked opponent and its first victory versus Northwestern since 2003 when it travels to Evanston, Ill. to face the four-time defending national champion, undefeated, and No. 1-ranked Wildcats on Sunday afternoon. The key conference game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET start at Lakeside Field.
The Nittany Lions surpassed their win total of a season ago and upped their season record against Patriot League opponents to 4-0 by downing Lehigh, 14-10, on Wednesday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. Senior midfielder Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) was outstanding on both offense and defense, scoring a season-high four goals while adding an assist, four ground balls, four caused turnovers, and one draw control. Junior Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) posted her best offensive performance of the season, notching two goals and two assists. Sophomore Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.) led the defense with three draw controls, two caused turnovers, and two ground balls.
Northwestern (13-0, 1-0 ALC) has taken its juggernaut status to a new level this season. The Wildcats have been utterly dominant, defeating their opponents by an average of 13.67 goals per game. As a team, it leads the nation in points (322), scoring offense (233 goals), and draw controls (211) and is second in scoring defense (5.75 goals per game). Individually, senior midfielder Hannah Nielsen, the 2008 Tewaaraton Trophy winner, tops the NCAA in points (82 - 40 goals, 42 assists), points per game (6.83), assists (42), and assists per game (3.50). Goalkeeper Morgan Lathrop is first in the country in save percentage (.573) and second in goals against average (5.03).
Penn State owns a 4-8 all-time mark versus Northwestern but has dropped eight straight to the Wildcats, including ALC Championship games to end each of the last two seasons. Northwestern is the lone conference opponent against which the Nittany Lions have a losing record.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Northwestern clash on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates from Gametracker. Find a link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
The Nittany Lions will take on their second straight ALC opponent on Sun., April 19 when they welcome No. 15 Ohio State (9-4, 1-0 ALC) to Jeffrey Field for a 1 p.m. Senior Day contest. Nine seniors, Mariel Bryan (Folsom, Pa.), Lauren Burke (Severna Park, Md.), Aly Carter (Summit, N.J.), Chrissie Galindo (Ellicott City, Md.), Brittany Jensen (Bay Shore, N.Y.), Laura Lincicome (Berwyn, Pa.), Amanda Longobucco (Sea Cliff, N.Y.), Megan McGuire (Eldersburg, Md.), and Kerry Shea, will play their final home regular season game in a Penn State uniform when they take the field versus the Buckeyes. A special ceremony to honor their careers and contributions will precede the contest.
A year ago, Penn State split two meetings with Ohio State, falling to the Buckeyes, 17-12, during the regular season but bouncing back in the postseason, dominating in a 13-5 victory in the first round of the ALC Championship.