Women’s Lax: Nittany Lions Dominate in 19-5 Victory Over Duquesne

Story posted February 21, 2016 in CommRadio, Sports by Madeleine Balestrier

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions, with an impressive showing on both sides of the ball, dominated en route to a 19-5 victory over the Duquesne Dukes in their home opener on Saturday outside at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.

The first half of the matchup favored the Nittany Lions (2-0) by two goals for a majority of the thirty minutes. Just three minutes into the game, freshman, Madison Carter scored her first goal of the season, which essentially asserted the Blue and White’s dominant presence for the remainder of the game. The Nittany Lion’s offense out hustled the Dukes (1-1), as Duquesne failed to create an imposing and aggressive defensive effort.

While the Nittany Lions only allowed three free-position shots,, the Dukes allowed 12, in which seven of the 12 were capitalized upon by the Nittany Lions. Katie O’Donnell’s hat trick with two minutes to go in the first half put the Nittany Lions ahead by three.

“I think we are a fast team. I think we were able to run and gun there at the end and just put our shots away,” said Penn State head coach Missy Doherty. “So once we were able to get some better looks and some better decisions on our shots, it started to go our way a little bit more.”

The second half furthered Penn State’s lead over Duquesne. Duquesne’s only goal of the half came with 1:47 left at the hands of Kaitlyn DeHaven. While O’Donnell scored her sixth goal of the season, the Dukes struggled with yellow cards and allowed seven free-position shots in one half. With their commanding lead at the onset of the half, Penn State focused on integrating new experience and strengthening team chemistry throughout the latter portion of the game.

“In practice we just work on our chemistry…we just work really well together, so it looked really well today,” said freshman Madison Carter.

The Nittany Lions looked impressive in all aspects of play. On the attack, the team looked fluid, composed, and resilient; the Nittany Lions took a total of 42 shots, while O’Donnell, Carter, Madison Cyr, and Kayla Brisolari secured hat tricks. At midfield, the Blue and White won 18 draw controls of 25 and motivated the success on the offensive half of the field.

Defensively, the Nittany Lions  were composed and enforcing. They forced 19 turnovers while allowing all three goalies playing time. Emi Smith, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week last week and starting goalie, was especially crucial to the defensive efforts with eight saves.

“Our defense on a whole tightened up after that close start to the game. All three goalies are really good it is hard to just play one in a game,” said Doherty.

Penn State Nittany Lion’s next game is Feb. 27 at 12 p.m. on the road against the Virginia Cavaliers.

Madeleine Balestrier is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email mrb5883@psu.edu.