Weiss, Bothun, Power Penn State To A Senior Day Win Over RIT
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After tying with RIT just a day ago, Penn State picked a win on senior day in the regular season finale, 2-0. Rachel Weiss continued her stretch of hot play, and another Josie Bothun shootout fueled the blue and white on the ice.
The opening 10 minutes of the contest were choppy, as both sides struggled to create any pressure.
Natalie Heising had a strong chance on the doorstep in the late stages of the period, but Sarah Coe made one of her many saves in net.
Similar to Friday’s contest, Penn State held a major advantage in shots leading 14-2 after the opening frame.
“Effort was there yesterday, but not intense effort, so today was a little more purposeful,” head coach Jeff Kampersal said. “There was much more intent with what we were doing, as opposed to floating around.”
Much like the first period, neither team was able to get much going in the first five minutes.
RIT, however, was able to generate some dangerous chances. First, Megan McCormick found some space on the right circle, then Mia Tsilemos picked up the rebound in front, but Josie Bothun stood tall in net.
Another fortuitous bounce went the way of the Tigers, as Jordan Marchese jumped on a bouncing puck and broke out on a 2-on-1, but Bothun again made a phenomenal save.
The Nittany Lions were finally able to break through and make it 1-0 as Rachel Weiss let a wrister go and fired it past Coe. For Weiss, it was her eighth of the season and fifth in the last six games.
“[Rachel] has simplified her game and focused on her strength, which is her speed and getting into those spots where she can shoot,” Kampersal said. “She’s been ripping for eight games now and we need it.”
It looked like it was going to be a two-goal advantage for Penn State when they went on the power-play, but Izzy Heminger’s shot rang off the pipe.
The blue and white finished the second period with a heavy advantage in the shot category, 27-6.
“We have the shots, but we’re not getting to the front of the net as much as we should,” Heising said of Penn State’s struggle to score at times. “We need to be willing to go in and get some cuts and bruises.”
The final 20 minutes got off to a much faster start the other two periods, with both teams generating some early chances.
After the Nittany Lions continued to keep their foot on the gas, the Tigers went for broke as they pulled Coe and brought on the extra attacker. However, it did not work out in their favor, as Kiara Zanon grabbed a loose puck and slotted it into the empty net to put the game on ice, 2-0. It was the sophomore’s thirteenth goal of the season.
The game finished with a heavy shot advantage for Penn State, 42-10. Bothun picked up her ninth shutout of the season. There are still areas of improvement as the postseason nears.
“Power-play probably needs the most work right now, it’s just sporadic,” Kampersal said. “Special teams and faceoffs, those are the kind of things we need to work on this week.”
The only reason the score remained close was the play of Coe in net for RIT. The freshman finished the game with 40 saves, and a .976 save percentage.
Next up for the Nittany Lions, they’ll head up to Syracuse for the CHA Tournament. Penn State will be the No. 2 seed and face Mercyhurst next Friday.
Heising only has one thing on her mind going into the tournament, “winning.”
Matthew Scalzo is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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