WLAX: Penn State Falls Short Against Visiting Cornell

Story posted April 14, 2016 in CommRadio, Sports by Alissa Devine

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 10 Nittany Lions (9-4,1-1 Big Ten) couldn’t find their offensive rhythm going into the second half against Cornell (10-1, 4-0 Ivy League) on Wednesday, falling short 10-7 at Penn State Lacrosse Field.

Even with a Madison Cyr hat trick, hitting the 40-goal mark for the second time in her career, and stellar goalkeeping from Emi Smith turning away 10 goals, Penn State struggled to gain offensive possession in the second half.

The Penn State Nittany Lions came out to a strong start, leading the Big Red 5-2, finding their lanes in front of the net on good sustained offensive pressure. Penn State’s defense did a good job containing Cornell’s offense throughout the game, especially in the first half of the game.

“Our defense did a pretty good job of forcing them to some other options,” Doherty said. “On the other end we didn’t put our shots away, so it swings the momentum when you can’t put away your shots.”

However, Cornell turned up their aggressive play and found themselves scoring the final four goals of the half, giving the Big Red a 6-5 advantage. Four of those goals were scored by Joey Coffy, Cornell’s elite goal scorer.

Cornell extended their lead to a score of 8-5, with Penn State struggling to just gain possession of the ball, in part of sloppy play on offense.

“We had to try to get in sync a little bit, and clean up some of the miscues that we were having,” Graap said. “We turned the ball over actually really sloppy today for us, so I think we had to kind of overcome a little bit of that.”

A Cyr’s goal came with about 20 minutes remaining in the game and ended the 6-0 Cornell run, but the Big Red on an extensive possession led to an Amie Dickson unassisted goal to give them a 9-6 lead. Penn State went almost 25 minutes without scoring a goal, until the goal from Cyr.

Taylor Reed came right back to make it 10-6 after another long Cornell possession and then Steph Lazo dangled her way to the front of the net to make the score 10-7.

Lazo commented on the team’s offensive struggles and said, “The opportunities just weren’t there. Every possession starts with the draw, and they were just a little more aggressive than us trying to get it.”

Penn State has improved so far this season on the defensive end as shown against the Big Red, but couldn’t reciprocate their usual pace on the offensive side. The Lions look to regain offensive confidence this Sunday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Defensively, we worked a lot better than we have the last couple of games,” senior defender Erika Spilker said. “And now we just have to put it together all over the field. The offense had some great opportunities and they’re working really hard to make it a full-field thing.”

Alissa Devine is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email alissadevine96@gmail.com.