Nittany Lion Women's Lacrosse Looking to Make Tournament Run
May 3, 2011
By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
In what has been called one of the toughest conferences in the nation by coaches all season, the 9-7 (3-2) Nittany Lions who are ranked number 17 in the country in the latest polls will take on the conference's sixth seed, Johns Hopkins in the first round of the tournament.
This will be the second match up of the season between the two teams with Penn State getting a come from behind 10-7 road win over the Blue Jays on April 23.
The Nittany Lions have had a strong offensive attack all year with nine players scoring double-digit goals. They are led in the goal department with Jen Steadman at 32 goals and Laura Lesnick putting it in the back of the net 25 times.
Freshman Mackenzie Cyr led the Lions in assists at 20 on the season.
Penn State will not only have a balanced and formidable offensive attack to take into the game, it will also have the newly named American Lacrosse Conference Goalie of the Year in first year starter junior Dana Cahill.
Cahill finished the year 27th in the nation in goals against average at 9.62 per game to go along with being ranked 19th in save percentage and 30th in total saves in the country.
While Penn State knows it will have a lot of weapons for Hopkins to deal with, the Blue Jays will also have a strong attack to test Cahill and the rest of the Penn State Defense.
Hopkins averaged just over 11 goals a game as a team this season in their 16 games, including a season high 19 against George Mason in the beginning of the year.
The Blue Jays are led in the scoring department by three players with over 26 goals on the season with Colleen McCaffrey at 38 goals, Candace Rossi at 31 goals, and Taylor D'Amore at 26 goals.
The winner of this No. 3 vs. No. 6 match-up will move on in the tournament to face the No. 2 seed Northwestern Wildcats Friday at 5:30 (C.S.T).
While the Lions fell to Northwestern 14-5 earlier in the year, Johns Hopkins defeated the Wildcats 12-11.
The tournament's conference championship game, and automatic NCAA bid, will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. (C.S.T).
Penn State will be looking to make a strong tournament run to cement their spot in the 16 team NCAA field, and a win against another tough team in Johns Hopkins is the start they need.