FEATURE: Steadman, Seniors Lead Lions to Comeback Win
April 18, 2011
By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Sunday was the perfect day for the seniors as it was senior day, the final home game for eight Nittany Lions.
"It was a nice competitive game and our conference is one of the toughest in the country, if not the toughest and tonight was a good example of that," said head coach Missy Doherty.
"The girls dug deep and that's what we've been asking them to do all season," Doherty said, adding the wind (which reached 19 miles an hour Sunday according to wunderground.com) might have slowed the team down a little, but they battled through it.
This game was close all the way through with goals, shots, ground balls, saves and turnovers all within one of each other for the two teams on the stat sheet at the end of the game.
Doherty talked about execution being key in a close game like this, along with a few huge saves from Dana Cahill down the stretch.
Quick to give credit to the group in front of her, Cahill talked about how the whole defensive unit battled.
"We (the defense) just played extremely hard the last couple minutes, everyone was doing their job, we were just playing as a unit," Cahill said.
The seniors not only showed fight Sunday, they have battled hard all season long, with every loss the Lions have had this season being to a team in the top 11 in the country in the latest polls, along with now three ranked wins.
"They want to go out, they want to play hard, and finish with a great season," Doherty said.
"We are all going to miss the seniors, they're all extremely talented and they've done so much for this team," the junior Cahill added.
Jen Steadman led the group, not only scoring the winning goal in double overtime, but totaling five goals and an assist on the afternoon.
"Jenny was awesome, that's what a senior captain does, when you really need a goal she steps up and scores and today was no different," Doherty said.
"She's one of our best attackers, a leader on and off the field," Cahill said talking about the clutch Steadman.
Steadman talked about how nice it was to get a big win on a day like this.
"I think it was special for all of us, it's our last home game as a class," the senior attacker said.
The Lions were in a fight all day long, after leading 2-1 early on, the home team didn't lead again until Steadman's final goal.
The second half is when the Lions really made their move against the Buckeyes, outscoring the road team, 6-4, and scoring three of regulation's last four goals, which included being down 10-8 with 4:21 to go.
"I think our offense finally started clicking," Steadman, said, "we started finishing our shots more and we were all helping each other working the ball around."
Even with the second half surge for Penn State the game was not without controversy as Ohio State thought they snuck away with a win with under a minute to go in regulation.
Working the ball around the Buckeyes got a shot on goal with just over 40 seconds to go, thought it went in and started celebrating on both the field and sideline.
The refs quickly came in and ruled the ball had not crossed the line and play was to continue on, much to the dismay of the rowdy Ohio State crowd, who could be heard chanting OH-IO all game long.
"It was a light bouncer but I'm telling you it didn't go in, I stopped it right before it went in," Cahill said, trying to put an end to the guessing.
Whether it was a big senior goal or a defense working as a unit the Lions stepped up big in their last home game of the year.