WLAX: Penn State wins Big in 19-8 victory over Duquesne
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The No. 12 Nittany Lions put on an excellent showing of lacrosse on Wednesday’s home opener, defeating the Duquesne Dukes 19-8 at Panzer Stadium.
In the first half the favored Nittany Lions (2-1) jumped out to a 6-0 start highlighted by freshman, Sophia Triandafils scoring her first hat trick in three minutes. The quick start in this game proved to be more than enough breathing room for a Nittany Lions team coming off a two one-point games (14-13 loss at Towson and 14-13 win at Lehigh).
“There was a couple of things we needed to fix as team,” Penn State head coach Missy Doherty said when comparing her team’s performance in this game to the previous two. “We needed to play faster, take care of the ball on the clear, and do a better job of re-defending… and I think we did a really good job of taking care of those things”
The Duquesne Dukes (0-2) did not do themselves any favors in the first half, they committed 15 fouls. They also went 0-3 on their free-position shots while Penn State converted all three of their free-position shots.
Penn State’s aggressiveness was on full display in the first half as they took 19 shots. The defense also did their job forcing the Dukes into 10 first half turnovers. The game was essentially out of reach by halftime when the Nittany Lions went on a 6-2 run to end the half with them up 13-5.
In the second half Penn State picked up where they left off, extending their run by scoring three goals to start the half. Senior, Maggie Gallagher’s goal at the 26:45 mark forced the officials to turn on the running clock. Penn State’s attack was quiet for a while after that goal, until Triandafils scored her fourth goal at 22:25 mark.
“it’s definitely a confidence booster,” Triandafils said when asked about her a big game, “I mean it’s kind of scary coming out as freshman… it’s pretty nice to get out there and do my thing today.”
The Nittany Lions shot the ball 15 times in the second half and if it wasn’t for the Dukes’ sophomore reserve goalkeeper, Maddy Curtis saving five shots in the final 22 minutes of play, the Nittany Lions victory margin would’ve been wider.
The Nittany Lions looked like a top tier team on both sides of the ball in this game. The offense moved the ball well leading to 34 total shots. The defense played aggressive and poised, forcing 18 total turnovers and only fouling 12 times.
“It was good to see them [Penn State] step up, had some really good learning lessons at attack and defense and build some momentum going into Saturday,” said Doherty.
Penn State’s next game is Saturday at 3 p.m. against No. 13 Cornell Big Red in Panzer Stadium
Jerome Taylor is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.