Penn State women’s lacrosse dominates St. Joseph’s winning 17-8

posted March 13, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Molly White

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State dominated Saint Joseph's at Holuba Hall on Saturday, winning 17-8.

The Nittany Lions came into the game favored to win with a 4-2 record on the young season and the Hawks at 3-4.

Penn State made its presence known early on, ending the first half with 13 goals. But, the Hawks made a strong comeback scoring six of their eight goals in the fourth quarter.

Ashley Bowan started in goal for the Nittany Lions and put up a stellar performance in the first half, only allowing one goal on eight attempted shots.

This led to the substitution of goalies to start the third quarter, giving sophomore Cayden Jarvis some reps in net.

Saint Josephs took possession of the first draw, leading to a goal scored by Emma O’Neill within the first minute. 

Penn State midfielder Kristen O’Neill came firing back with the blue and white’s first goal of the game 2:15 into play, tying the game 1-1.

Captain Rachel Spilker came powering through with a ground ball turnover, which led to a goal scored by Mary Muldoon, to allow the Nittany Lions to take the lead.

The blue and white added to its lead after Taylor Regan scored with 6:31 left in the first quarter.

Muldoon netted her second goal less than a minute later extending the Nittany Lions lead to 4-1.

The goals just kept coming for Penn State, as Kayla Abernathy intercepted a clear attempt for Hawks goalie Jorden Concordia, putting up the fifth goal of the quarter.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, the blue and white put two more up on the scoreboard with goals by Muldoon and Lauren Saltz, going into the second quarter with a six-goal advantage.

Early into the second quarter, O’Neill made her presence known by tallying two more goals in two minutes, extending the Nittany Lions goal streak to nine consecutive goals.

Junior Meghan Murray continued to pour it on as she scored her first goal of the contest which pushed Penn State into double digits.

Gretchen Gilmore joined in on the scoring party, tallying an unassisted goal giving the blue and white a 10-goal lead.

The Hawks cut back into the deficit when midfielder Riley Evans scored the second goal for the Hawks four minutes into the third quarter.

Kara Nealon scored her first goal of the season, assisted by her sister Reagan in the third, putting the Nittany Lions up 15-2.

The Hawks came into the fourth quarter hungry to close the gap. 

Lisa Ross notched her first goal of the game, which was unassisted. Almost immediately after, Evans came back and scored her second of the day, making the score 15-4.

The Hawks went on a three-goal scoring streak in the fourth, until it was answered by Kara Nealon, who got her second of the day, leaving the score 16-5.

With four minutes left of play, Saint Joseph's Bonnie Yu scored their sixth goal off of a free position shot. Following this, Evans tallied two more for the Hawks, leaving her with four goals on the day.

Regan capped off the day with an unassisted goal with 21 seconds left to play, leaving the final score 17-8.

Today was an excellent day for Penn State’s offensive leaders, Kristen O’Neill, Taylor Regan and Mary Muldoon, all of which ended the game with hat tricks.

Against them for Saint Josephs was Evans, who finished with four goals and six draw controls.

This was an excellent showcase for the talent of both teams and a spectacular win for Penn State as they head into conference play.

In a post-game interview with defensive coordinator Katrina Geiger, she reflects on the game and the overall improvement of the team throughout the season so far.

“We have been working so hard to try to get better and sort out our units at both ends and today they played disciplined at both ends and really led to a strong start for us,” Katrina Geiger said. “Our biggest improvement this season has definitely been our defense and they did a great job going in and out of two different defenses and I think they adjusted well to throwing different looks at the other team, which was great to see.”

Sophomore midfielder Kayla Abernathy gave her opinion on where the team excelled the most in Saturday’s game.

“Our defense, especially in the first half, had some great plays and great interceptions and overall really smart lacrosse. Abernathy said. “We were definitely finishing our shots really well and scoring goals off of transition has been something our team has been working on lately.”

Molly White is a second-year majoring in Kinesiology. To contact her, email