Penn State women’s lacrosse victorious in Panzer opener

Story posted February 13, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Adrianna Gallucci

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa—Penn State women’s lacrosse came out strong in their opener on Feb. 11 against Bucknell.
Bucknell scored first in the first quarter, but Penn State put up four unanswered goals in the period, including freshman Emma Kelly’s first collegiate goal.

Junior midfielder Kristin O’Neill had a hat trick before the first quarter even ended.

In the second quarter, Bucknell added a goal, but O’Neill continued her dominance and added two more to the Nittany Lions total.

O’Neill broke two of her own personal records with her sixth goal and seventh point, which came in the third period.

O’Neill didn’t realize that she had broken her own records, but she said that she was “really thankful to play next to people [she does] on offense and practice with them every day” and complimented the “best defenders in the country” who push her to work harder every day.

“Every play, she goes hard, getting some great opportunities; there’s never a time she holds back, so it was great to see her come up with some huge goals today,” said head coach Missy Doherty about O’Neill. “She doesn’t just do one thing. She does a lot of things that help us win.”

Doherty also credited the offense for moving the ball around in order to find O’Neill, calling it a “team effort.”
Brooke Hoss scored back-to-back goals within 20 seconds of each other in the fourth quarter to bring the Penn State lead up 14-4.

Kara Nealon also had her hat trick with just under ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, and Hoss had a hat trick, too.

It was also a special day for Kelly, who had her first collegiate hat trick with her second goal in the second quarter and her third in the fourth.

“Emma goes hard. You could see that today… it was good to see her get her feet under her a little bit and see her contribute so much as a freshman,” said Doherty.

She compared the freshman to what O’Neill looked like in her first year.

Goaltender Ashley Bowan saved two of the 11 shots on goal in a game that was dominated by Penn State’s offense and defense.

Doherty noted that the team wanted to “find some transition” from last season to this one and find ways to “work the ball down to get a goal in the first couple of seconds” or “score in transition.”

Doherty’s philosophy was shown in Hoss’s two goals in under twenty seconds.

“Something we’ve really tried to say this year is ‘control what you can control,’ so just play in the moment, don’t get too far ahead of yourself,” said O’Neill. “We’ll definitely be excited about this game, definitely learn from it.”

Penn State will play Drexel at home next Saturday, Feb. 18.

Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in journalism. To contact her, please email