Penn State Dominate Drexel to Move to 2-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A dominant offensive performance from Penn State led the Nittany Lions over in-state rival Drexel 15-6 on Saturday afternoon.
The blue and white got off to a quick start as Alaina Hamood scored on a wrap-around just a minute and six seconds into the game.
“I was just kind of ready to go,” Hamood said when asked about her opening goal. “ I just kind of went for it and happy it worked out.”
Hamood struck off a free position opportunity for her second of the game late in the first quarter. Hamood would complete the hat trick less than two minutes into the second quarter after a beautiful pass from Brooke Barger.
“It was very exciting, and I celebrated pretty big,” Hamood said. “ But it was just exciting to get out there and play with my friends and be able to execute on the field what we do in practice.”
After a quiet first half, Kristin O’Neill showed why she led the team in goals last season, shooting a bullet from the left side past goalie Jenika Cuocco just 45 seconds into the second half.
O’Neill would convert a free position opportunity for her second goal before scoring again with 95 seconds left in the quarter to complete the hat trick and bring her season total to a team-leading nine goals.
In addition to Hamood and O’Neill’s hat tricks, the Nittany Lions had six other players find the back of the net.
“It was great to spread that scoring around,” head coach Missy Doherty said. “That’s what we have been trying to do.”
Kayla Abernathy had three points, including two goals. While Sammy Dupack ran the length of the field before going short side to score her first career collegiate goal.
Penn State’s constant offensive pressure and ability to shoot from almost anywhere led to the Dragons playing sloppy defensively and resulted in nine free position opportunities, where the blue and white were successful five times.
“It’s always good to finish those; we are always practicing them,” coach Doherty said. “ Normally, when those are on, it does turn the tide in our favor.”
The Nittany Lions were excellent in the circle as the blue and white won 17 draws compared to the Dragons' eight. Abernathy led Penn State with seven draw controls.
In the defensive end, Penn State was extremely aggressive, forcing 22 turnovers while clearing successfully 18 out of 20 times.
The few times the Nittany Lions did lapse defensively, goalie Ashley Bowan was there to clean up the mess as she had eight saves, including two on free-position opportunities.
Next up for the Nittany Lions is a home matchup on Feb. 21 against Duquesne at 3 p.m.
Ben Palillo is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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