Penn State women’s lacrosse drops tight contest to no. 6 Northwestern
No. 10 Penn State women’s lacrosse lost a tough, rain-soaked game to no. six ranked Northwestern, 5-4.
The contest was a clash between a fast-paced team in the Nittany Lions and a slower-paced squad in the Wildcats. Northwestern controlled the rhythm and the ball almost the entire game.
The first half was dominated by Northwestern, but they only went into halftime with a 3-2 lead. The Wildcats held onto the ball for almost the entire half, while Penn State opted to take quick shots. Penn State held the shot advantage at the end of the half, 11-10.
Both goalies had fantastic games. Emi Smith, the Nittany Lion’s keeper, allowed five goals on 12 shots, stopping a few chances right on cage. The Wildcat keeper, Bridget Bianco, had eight saves on 12 shots. Bianco had the biggest save of the game, stopping Madison Cyr from tying the game with 30 seconds left.
The second half possession was dominated by the Wildcats again, but Penn State was able to get some good shots on cage. The Nittany Lions scored two goals on a couple of great cuts, but failed to get over the hump.
Cyr had a great game with two goals on seven shots. The midfielder had a chance at the end of the game to tie it on a fantastic move, dodging by three Wildcat defenders, but was denied by Bianco.
“I think it’s just confidence compared to last year,” said Cyr about emerging as a star player. “I’m more focused on getting the ball than last year, I was more of a role player. I’m just looking to incorporate myself into the offense and being a player that looks for the ball.”
Tatum Coffey, Kelly Lechner and Jenna Mosketti all contributed an assist apiece. Jess Lolzeaux and Lechner also each contributed a goal.
Kat DeRonda had a fantastic game for the Wildcats. DeRonda had three goals for a hat trick on just five shots. The Wildcats were able to pass the ball without a problem through the rain, only committing eight turnovers, despite Penn State’s hounding and aggressive defense.
“They are really a patient team,” said Penn State head coach Missy Doherty. “I don't really know that approach and it’s obviously working for them, we enjoy playing as a high tempo team, and I don't think that is going to change. Tonight we just couldn’t put our shots away.”
Lauren Murray also contributed a goal and an assist, while Kaleigh Craig also contributed a goal.
The only major disparity was in fouls. Penn State committed 23 fouls to Northwestern’s 10, including a whopping 14 fouls in the first half. The Wildcats were able to capitalize on a couple of tough calls against Penn State, never ceding the lead to the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions play their next game home on April 8, against Cornell, with the hope to bounce back after two consecutive losses.
Tim Alvarez is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.