No. 12 Penn State Women’s Hockey Narrowly Avoids Upset, Ties With RIT

Story posted January 14, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Ethan Ellis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State was unable to complete the weekend sweep of the Rochester Institute of Technology after a third period goal by Athena Vasdani drew the Tigers even with the Nittany Lions.

After a big second period for Penn State, the team looked to be in command of the game. Goals by Tessa Janecke and Kiara Zanon gave the Nittany Lions the 2-1 lead after a slow first period.

However, this was the beginning and ending of Penn State’s scoring in the game. The Nittany Lions looked sloppy in both their shooting and passing on the ice. This was clearly displayed in the shot count as Penn State had 41 shots on goal while RIT only had 13.

“It’s things that we work on all the time, it’s just not hammered home,” head coach Jeff Kampersal said of the shooting performance.

Defensively, Penn State was relentless and physical in creating turnovers and limiting shots from RIT. The team had little trouble breaking up passes, helping backup goalie, Katie DeSa who got the start for the game.

“I thought our D’s did a really good job this weekend,” Kampersal said.

In overtime, Penn State kept the puck down in its attacking zone for a majority of the period, but was once again unable to capitalize. The overtime period capped off by a missed open-goal shot by Eleri MacKay, further displaying PSU’s shooting struggles on the day.

“I still don’t know how Eleri’s (shot) didn’t go in.” Kampersal said.

The missed opportunities for both teams were fully displayed during two power play periods of the game. RIT’s power play was highlighted by an inability to get the puck out of the Nittany Lions’ attacking zone, leading to a total of zero shots on goal during their sole power play of the game. PSU, meanwhile, fared only a little better in their power play game, attempting only three shots during their only power play of the game, coming away with no points.

“I thought we should have had a few more power plays.” Kampersal said.

Postgame, Kampersal expressed his frustrations with how the game went.

“It wasn’t a lack of effort. It’s hard when they pack five kids in front of the goals and they have a good goalie and you’re shooting through a sea of people,” Kampersal said.

Zanon continued her streak of having at least one point per game to seven after her second period goal. Zanon was integral to the Nittany Lion’s offense in this game as she finished the game with two points and five shots.

“[Zanon’s] in here every morning working on skills, practice, lifting,” Kamperal said of Zanon’s work ethic.

With this draw, Penn State moves to 16-8-2 on the season and 6-1-1 in conference play. The Nittany Lions next play Mercyhurst away in another CHA double header. With only eight games left until the CHA Tournament, these upcoming series will be crucial for Penn State to clinch home ice advantage.

“There’s a lot at stake, like home ice. If they can’t get motivated by that, then we have bigger issues,” Kampersal said.

Ethan Ellis is a second year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email