Michigan Buzzer-Beater Drops Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On a sunny afternoon, the Penn State Nittany Lions (9-8, 3-3 B1G) met the Michigan Wolverines (7-10, 2-4 B1G) for the final home game at Panzer Stadium this season. Prior to the game, the Nittany Lions recognized six seniors who were playing their last regular season game in the blue and white. However, Michigan spoiled the occasion with a last-second goal to win, 12-11.
“We couldn’t finish offensively,” Penn State head coach Missy Doherty said. “We’ve been flat, we don’t have a rhythm, and no one wants to take the lead.”
The Nittany Lions came out of the gates hot, putting up six unanswered goals to jump out to a quick lead. Freshman goalkeeper Lucy Lowe held the Wolverines at bay with eight saves in the half.
“We’re going into the Big Ten tournament and we’re certainly not going to do well if we play like we played today,” Doherty said.
Michigan was able to notch two goals to cut into the Penn State lead in the first half with senior Bianca Brueckner and sophomore Molly Garrett able to find the back of the net. Despite outshooting the Nittany Lions 20-12, the Wolverines went into the half trailing 6-2. Six Nittany Lions scored the six goals in the first half, including junior Kayla Brisolari and sophomore Maria Auth notching one of their two team-leading goals.
Coming out of the break, the Wolverines scored three of the first four goals to continue their 5-1 scoring run. Garrett scored the first of her game-leading four goals in the stretch. The Nittany Lions were matching the Wolverines step for step early in the second half with goals from Brisolari, sophomore Kristen Roberto, and freshman Quinn Nicolai.
“You have a lot of adrenaline going, Michigan’s a great team and great competitors, I really think they just went on a run there in the second half and we weren’t able to stop them,” senior Katie O’Donnell said.
With under ten minutes to go in the game found themselves behind 9-6. But a 3-0 scoring run featuring two goals from Garrett and one from freshman Maggie Kane evened up the score with 5:30 left.
Junior Madison Carter scored with 28 seconds left to swing the lead back to Penn State, and all the momentum. However, after a goal from sophomore Catherine Granito with six seconds left to tie the game, the winner of the ensuing draw would have a chance to take one final shot. Kane won that draw and took a shot from about twenty yards that bounced up and over the left shoulder of Lowe and into the net just before the buzzer sounded. The goal clinched the comeback win for the Wolverines and capped a ten goal second half to steal a win on the road from the Nittany Lions.
“We’re still growing and learning, but at this point in the season we really just have to execute better,” Doherty said.
Michigan’s season ends at 7-10 following the win, as their 2-4 record in the conference could not qualify them for the Big Ten tournament. Penn State takes a 3-3 record into the Big Ten tournament, as they have already locked up the third seed and await the Northwestern Wildcats in Ann Arbor.
Joe Skinner is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.