Women's Lacrosse Travels to Play ALC Opponents Ohio State and Ohio
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 20, 2006 - The Penn State women's lacrosse team (5-8, 1-1) will embark on its final road trip of the 2006 regular season this weekend when it swings through the Buckeye State to take on ALC opponents Ohio State (2-10, 1-1) and Ohio (4-10, 0-4). The Nittany Lions will first meet the Buckeyes in Columbus on Fri., April 21 for a 5:00 p.m. game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. They will then head east to Athens and Peggy Pruitt Field where they will face Ohio University in a 1:00 p.m. game on Sun., April 23.
The Nittany Lions are currently in the throes of a three-game losing streak and, with a 1-1 conference record, sit in fourth place in the ALC standings. However, with its final three games against league foes, Penn State could dramatically improve that position.
Penn State began its run of games against ALC opponents with a 19-9 loss to defending national champion No. 2 Northwestern on April 16 at Jeffrey Field. The Lions struggled to find their offense early, as they fell behind 7-2 by halftime, and couldn't make defensive stops late, as they allowed Northwestern to score the final six goals of the game. Junior Karen Long (Ellicott City, Md.) stepped up her offensive game, notching her first career hat trick while nearly doubling her season total of four in one game. Penn State's top three scorers, Shari Maslin (New City, N.Y.), Lori Havrilla (Devon, Pa.), and Jessi Lieb (Villanova, Pa.), combined for four goals and three assists.
Maslin, Havrilla, and Lieb have headlined the Penn State offense throughout the 2006 campaign. The trio has combined to score 85 goals, more than half of the team's total this season. Senior co-captain Shari Maslin statistically is the Lions' top offensive force. She leads the team in goals (30) and points (39) and is tied with fellow senior Lori Havrilla with a team-high nine assists. Havrilla, the team-leader in shots with 67, has been a key to the Lions' offensive success in 2006, contributing 27 goals. Jessi Lieb has proven to be a complete player, excelling on both the offensive and defensive ends. The sophomore has 28 goals and five assists while leading the team in ground balls (38), caused turnovers (20), and draw controls (41). Lindsay Dutch (Ellicott City, Md.) (15 goals, 8 assists), Kim Kontson (Davidsonville, Md.) (11 goals, 7 assists), and Megan McGuire (8 goals, 7 assists) are also in double figures in points. Freshman Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) tallied 10 goals through seven games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Ohio State, mired in a 2-10 year with four games remaining, has guaranteed itself a third consecutive losing season. The Buckeyes' two wins in 2006 have come against former ALC member Davidson (16-5) and current ALC member and in-state rival Ohio (9-7).
Senior KC Carter leads the OSU offense with a team-high 23 goals and 26 points. She is the lone Buckeye with 20-plus goals and just one of three in double figures in goals scored. Sophomores Kristen Slahor (12 goals) and Jessica Patane (14 goals) are Ohio State's other two top offensive threats. Freshman Kristen Gilwee has started in goal for the last seven games, compiling a 2-5 record, a 10.62 GAA, and a .542 save percentage.
In a series that began in 1997, Penn State possesses a 7-2-0 all-time record versus Ohio State. A year ago, the Nittany Lions topped the Buckeyes in a low-scoring affair, 6-4, at Jeffrey Field. Penn State is 4-1 versus Ohio State in Columbus.
Ohio enters its Sunday contest with Penn State coming off its fourth win of the season, a 10-6 decision over Maryland-Baltimore County on April 19. The Bobcats have also beaten Howard (16-4), St. Mary's (Calif.) (13-10), and Davidson (16-7) this season.
Ohio's offense has struggled in 2006, averaging just 7.50 goals per game. Kiersten McLouth (19), Shannon Hadaway (18), Devon Dow (15), and Frannie Sullivan (10) are the only Bobcats in double figures in goals scored. Jen Heup has started 14 games in goal, compiling a 11.77 GAA and a .509 save percentage. This season, the Bobcats have been outscored 163-105 and possess a 74-30 deficit in assists.
Penn State holds a 5-1-0 all-time mark against Ohio University. In 2005, behind five goals from Shari Maslin, the Nittany Lions trounced the Bobcats, 17-8, on April 24 in a game played at Jeffrey Field. Penn State's lone loss to Ohio came in 2004, an 8-7 setback.
The final regular season and home game for Penn State in 2006 is scheduled for Sat., April 29 at 1:00 p.m. when the Lions will face No. 7 Johns Hopkins at Jeffrey Field in an ALC match-up.