Penn State Falls in Virginia in Close Matchup
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa- Penn State Women’s Lacrosse fought hard but lost their battle against the eighth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday at Panzer Stadium. This loss comes after Penn State notched their first victory in four games, defeating Ohio State 21-5 after dropping three straight games to three top 15 Big Ten teams.
The Nittany Lions came into today with a 5-6 record, whereas Virginia comes in at 9-5. Both teams only have one win in their respected divisions, which shows the elite competition between the ACC and Big Ten. The Panzer stadium-record crowd of 903 were ready for a fierce back and forth game.
Draw control started at 1:05 p.m. on an overcast, but a warm afternoon in Happy Valley. Barely three minutes into the game, Virginia scored the first three goals of the contest.
Six minutes in, however, Sophia Triandafils scored Penn State's first goal of the game. Quinn Nicolai scored the second Penn State goal a minute later and then Maria Auth tied the game up with her first goal of the contest.
Virginia's Ashlyn McGovern regained the lead with her second goal nine minutes in. Delaney Muldoon and Kayla Brisolari both found the back of the net for the Nittany Lions. A back and forth matchup would leave the last three minutes at a stalemate, as neither team could find a way to the goal.
Halftime arrived and both teams are nodded up at seven. After Virginia took a three to nothing lead, Penn State tied it back up with three goals of their own. After that, both teams swapped goals for the rest of the first half and closed out the half tied up.
Both goalies played a good game making key saves, Penn State making eight saves to Virginia’s four. Virginia had 11 turnovers while Penn State had 10. The most one-sided stat was Virginia’s draw control wins with 11 to Penn State’s four. This meant that Penn State had to play excellent defense to keep the game tied up. McGovern led the Cavaliers with three goals and Brisolari led the Nittany Lions with three.
“She is a player and competitor that responds. That’s the captain that you want,” coach Doherty said about Brisolari. “She’s been a leader since her freshman year.”
Penn State struck first in the second half with Delaney Muldoon 30 seconds in. Virginia fired back with two goals by Maggie Jackson to put them up 9-8. With 4:31 into the second half, Nicolai tied it back up for the Nittany Lions with her second goal of the game.
Avery Shoemaker and Maggie Jackson scored to put Virginia up by two with just under seven minutes into the second half. Auth cuts the lead and Kristin Roberto tied the game up for Penn State with her first goal of the game. Triandafils scored a goal as she was falling down to give Penn State the lead 12-11.
Shoemaker tied the game up for Virginia with the second goal of her game with just over 10 minutes to go in the second half. Brisolari scored with 9:25 to go after a penalty on Virginia. With six minutes to go in the second half, Shoemaker and Mueller gave Virginia the lead by two to put them up 15-13. Shoemaker capped off a scoring run for Virginia to put them three to end the game. Virginia edged out Penn State 16-13.
“We missed some shots where they were able to make theirs,” coach Doherty said. “We’re starting to gel a little bit more.”
Trent Fye is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him, email Flintfootball53@gmail.com.