Suplee Shines in Weekend Win over Cornell
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With the help of a strong defensive performance, No. 25 Penn State pulled out a commanding 19-9 win over Cornell on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions were dominant through the entire 60 minutes. Junior Quinn Nicolai put Penn State on the board in the first minute, and a few more goals from her alongside some big scoring runs by the team gave Penn State a 12-4 lead going into the half. Senior Maria Auth led the team with four goals, while senior Yasmain Hamood, sophomore Lauren Craft and Nicolai all tallied three.
The 19 total goals from the Nittany Lions are sure to boost their average on the season, which was 15 per game coming into Sunday.
“Offensively, after the first two games, we felt like we needed more… it’s providing us some versatility,” head coach Missy Doherty said.
The Nittany Lions came into this game ranked No. 25 with a 3-0 record. They had another commanding win over Duquesne earlier in the week and could find themselves on the move upward in the rankings.
Sunday’s result also marked Cornell’s first loss of the season, having previously beaten both Villanova and Marist within the past week.
The highlight of the match was the defensive performance of sophomore goalie Taylor Suplee. Suplee tallied 20 saves in 51 minutes, beating the single-game career best of 18 that she recorded last year. Sixteen of those saves came in the first half.
Suplee credits her successful day to the strong play from the rest of her team.
“I think the defense has definitely been outstanding,” Suplee said. “They’re doing a really good job pushing girls out so, the [defense] is killing it.”
Doherty wasn’t hesitant to throw praise towards Suplee.
“She stood on her head, she was awesome,” Doherty said. “She’s been great for us the first four games. She’s been a huge reason we’ve had these wins. Defensively, we have to get better, so she gets easier looks to save, but the fact that she’s making some really hard saves is awesome… Her momentum plays are just a spark for the team every single game.”
The Nittany Lions have a little less than a week to prepare for their next home outing against Loyola (Md.). Loyola is undefeated on the season so far, having recorded a decisive 17-6 win over the No. 4 Florida Gators.
Francesco de Falco is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.