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Fourth-Seed WLAX Opens NCAA Tournament Sunday

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15-3

14-6

Sunday - 1:00 p.m. ET
LACROSSE FIELD | UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.

NCAA TOURNAMENT SECOND ROUND        

GAME DAY CENTRAL

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS

PSU
JMU
15-3 Overall Record 14-6
5-1 Conference Record 5-1
260 Goals Scored 257
181 Goals Allowed 169
14.44 Goals Scored/gm. 12.85
10.06 Goals Allowed/gm. 8.45
587 Shots 561
32.6 Shots/gm. 28.05
106 Assists 107
58-161 Free Position Shots 49-123
161 Saves 152
18.16 Ground Balls/gm. 18.95
14.33 Draw Controls/gm. 12.5
15.00 Turnovers/gm. 15.95
9.17 Caused Turnovers/gm. 10.95

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The sixth-ranked Penn State women's lacrosse team begins their quest for a repeat trip to the NCAA National Semifinals and a possible NCAA Championship berth when the tournament gets underway this weekend.

The Nittany Lions earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will serve as host in the first and second rounds. After receiving a bye, Penn State will battle the winner of Friday's first-round contest between James Madison and Louisville in a second round affair on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Penn State is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament Appearance and sixth consecutive earning a national seed for the first time since 2013 and just third time since seeding began in 2001. The fourth seed is the highest they have ever been entering the tournament, twice they have been the seventh seed, 2005 and 2013.

THE MATCHUP

  • Penn State and James Madison will meet for the second time this season after Penn State defeated the Dukes, 12-9, earlier this season.
  • The Nittany Lions hold the 20-11 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last three contests.
  • PSU is 1-0 all-time versus JMU in the NCAA Tournament, an 11-7 victory in University Park back in 1995.

LAST TIME THEY MET

  • Penn State held off a 6-1 second half run by the Dukes as Katie O'Donnell and Abby Smucker netted back-to-back goals with under three minutes remaining to seal the victory.
  • Both Smucker and Madison Carter secured hat-tricks in the victory while O'Donnell and Kelly Daggett each scored twice.
  • Penn State held the 14-9 advantage on the draw and the 21-17 margin in ground balls.
  • Carter paces the Lions with nine career goals against the Dukes in just two games while Smucker has added six in three games and Daggett four in a pair of games.

NCAA HISTORY

  • Penn State is 21-20 all-time in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1982 when lacrosse was added to the NCAA championship program. PSU made its official tournament debut in 1983 losing to Delaware in the national semifinals.
  • The Nittany Lions are 8-3 in NCAA Tournament games in Happy Valley including a perfect 3-0 at the Penn State Lacrosse Field, which opened in 2012.
  • Penn State is 1-0 all-time against JMU in the tournament as the Lions defeated the Dukes in the 1995 first round by an 11-7 score. The game was played in University Park. PSU has never faced Louisville.
  • The Nittany Lions are 7-3 this season against the 2017 NCAA Tournament field while the Cardinals are just 1-6 and JMU is 1-4 on the year against teams in this season's tournament. The Duke's lone win is against Towson while Louisville knocked off Syracuse for its signature win of the campaign.

BOUNCE BACK ABILITY

  • Penn State hasn't lost back-to-back games all season and is 3-0 in its last three NCAA Tournament second round contests (PSU didn't advance to the second round in 2014 after a 16-13 loss to Princeton in the opening round).

LAZO NAMED B1G ATTACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • A unanimous All-Big Ten selection, senior Steph Lazo earned the Big Ten Attack Player of the Year earlier this week as she denied Maryland of a clean sweep of all major post season awards.
  • Lazo becomes the first Nittany Lion to earn this major award and joins Missy Doherty (2015 Coach of the Year), Emi Smith (2015 Goalkeeper of the Year) and Madison Carter (2016 Freshman of the Year) as Penn State has had at least one major award winner in each of the first three years of the Big Ten.
  • Lazo leads the Big Ten in Points (82), assists (39), points per game (4.56) and assists per game (2.17) while her 43 goals tie for seventh in the conference. Her point and assist totals also rank 16th and 20th in the nation, respectively.
  • The senior's 204 career points also move her into eighth on the Penn State all-time scoring list while her 85 career assists rank seventh.

THE CARTER II

  • For just the second time in her young career, sophomore Madison Carter was held without a goal in Penn State's Big Ten Tournament semifinal loss to Northwestern snapping a 25-game goal streak
  • An All-Big Ten selection, Carter's 60 goals tie for the conference lead and rank T-12th in the nation. The sophomores 99 draw controls also pace the team and rank second in the Big Ten.
  • This is just the 12th time in Penn State history a Nittany Lion has reached the 60-goal mark and Carter becomes just the seventh different player to do so and is the first in 27 seasons since Diane Whipple's 62 goals in 1990.

CAGED CAT

  • Senior goalkeeper Cat Rainone has six straight games with 10 or more saves and seven on the season including a career-high 15 vs. Maryland in April.
  • The senior's 9.92 goals against average and 4.83 save percentage both rank second in the Big Ten while her save percentage is 18th best in the entire nation.
  • Rainone's 158 saves place her third in the conference and are the most for a Nittany Lion in a single-season since Dana Cahill secured 180 in 2012.

K.O. PUNCH

  • Junior Katie O'Donnell is currently riding a multi-goal streak of five games after scoring twice in the loss to Northwestern. O'Donnell has 21 goals in her last five games.
  • The junior's 54 goals on the season rank third in the Big Ten while her 131 career goals are the most by an active Nittany Lion and are good for 13th on the Penn State all-time goal list.

LOOKING AHEAD

  • With a victory, Penn State will advance to its eighth NCAA Quarterfinal and face either Cornell, Notre Dame or fifth-seeded Princeton. The Nittany Lions are 2-0 this season against those three teams having beat Cornell 9-8 and Princeton 13-8. PSU has never played Notre Dame.
  • With a win Sunday, the Nittany Lions will remain home in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.

ABOUT JAMES MADISON

  • The Dukes are coming off their 10th CAA Championship after a 15-7 victory over Elon last Sunday. JMU ranks No. 16 in the latest IWLCA poll with a 13-6 overall record.
  • JMU is led by Katie Kerrigan with 57 points as her 40 assists are second in the CAA and 19th in the nation.
  • Kristen Gaudian leads the Dukes with 45 goals while Hanna Haven and Elena Romesburg have added 35 and 32, respectively. Margaret Tucker Fogarty is the fourth Duke with 30 or more goals as she has 32 points on 30 goals and a pair of assists.
  • Emily Poelma has started all 19 games in cage and boasts an 8.97 goals against average and a .469 save percentage.
  • JMU has the second highest scoring offense in the CAA averaging 12.89 goals per game and the best defense as the Dukes allow just 8.58 goals per game, which ranks eighth in the entire nation.

 

 

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