Women's Lacrosse to Clash with Ohio State in Semifinal of 2009 ALC Championship
April 27, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's lacrosse team (8-7, 2-2 ALC) will begin its postseason run on Friday when it takes on Ohio State (11-5, 2-2 ALC) at 5:30 p.m. in a semifinal match-up of the 2009 American Lacrosse Conference Championship at Jeffrey Field. The host Nittany Lions are the No. 2 seed, their highest seeding ever in the three-year history of the tournament, while the Buckeyes are the No. 3 seed.
Should Penn State win, it will advance to the ALC Championship title game, set for 2 p.m. on Sat., May 2, to play the victor of a semifinal match-up between No. 1 seed Northwestern and either No. 4 seed Vanderbilt or fifth-seeded Johns Hopkins.
The Nittany Lions enter Friday's contest riding their first two-game winning streak since early March, downing Ohio State, 13-9, and Johns Hopkins, 12-11, to end the regular season. In their last outing on April 25 in Baltimore, junior Erica Mihm (Annapolis, Md.) paced the Penn State attack with a game-high four goals in a narrow victory over the Blue Jays. For the second consecutive game, senior Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and freshman Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) were key to the offense, notching three assists and three goals, respectively.
Penn State boasts one of the nation's most balanced offenses with eight players scoring in double figures and 19 in total tallying points. Senior Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) leads the team in assists (20) and points (37) while senior Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) and Erica Mihm top the Nittany Lions in goals with 23. Theresa Zichelli has caught fire late in the season, netting six of her 18 goals in the final two games. Junior Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) (17 goals), a preseason All-ALC selection, and sophomore Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) (18 goals), whose goals have come in bunches this year, are also scoring threats.
The Nittany Lion defense is fronted by junior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and junior defender Margo Josephs (Reisterstown, Md.). Ellis, a two-time ALC Defensive Player of the Week honoree this season, owns a 10.65 goals against average and a .449 save percentage. Josephs leads the Nittany Lions with 23 caused turnovers.
Ohio State is fueled by one of the NCAA's most potent attacks. Its roster features five players that have 30 or more goals and 37 or more points. Kelly Haggerty is a dominant offensive force for the Buckeyes, leading them in goals (50), assists (38), and points (88). Alayna Markwordt, a top candidate for ALC Freshman of the Year, has contributed 43 goals and 27 assists in her rookie campaign.
Penn State holds an 11-4 all-time record versus Ohio State. The meeting between the teams on Friday will be their second in two weeks, as the Nittany Lions knocked off the Buckeyes, 13-9, on April 19 at Jeffrey Field. Penn State and Ohio State have clashed in each of the first two years of the ALC Championship with PSU winning both.
Nittany Lion fans can follow all of the action at the 2009 ALC Championship on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates through Gametracker and with a video webcast live from Jeffrey Field. Find links on the official website of Penn State athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
Tickets for the 2009 ALC Championship will be sold on game day at the gate only. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $4 for students/youth. Groups of 20 or more (any age) are $3.