Penn State’s Power Play Fuels Win Over Holy Cross

Story posted October 10, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McLaughlin

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saturday night was an offensive affair at Pegula as Penn State defeated Holy Cross 6-2.

Through the first several games of the season, it’s been rough on the Nittany Lions to say the least. After a crushing series sweep at the hands of the Boston College Eagles, the Nittany Lions bounced back with a 6-2 win over the Crusaders.

After a sloppy start for both teams, Kiara Zanon broke the scoreless tie with her second goal of the season, which was assisted by Natalie Heising. With the assist, Heising earned career point No. 100, becoming the third Nittany Lion to achieve that feat. But Heising’s night wasn’t over, adding two goals by the end of the game.

Heising wasn’t the only one with a career milestone on Saturday night. Carrie Byrnes and Julie Gough earned both their first goals of the season, providing a spark the Nittany Lions offense needed in the 2021 campaign thus far.

Gough talked about the difference in play on special teams over the last couple of games as Penn State has scored five goals or more in back-to-back contests.

“Obviously we’ve had some tough times scoring over the past couple of weekends even though we’ve had those opportunities. Just feeling those floodgates open was an amazing feeling for the whole team and obviously we had a wide variety of people scoring.”

In the second frame, the Nittany Lions turned up the pressure and added four goals to take a 5-2 lead, thanks to great special teams. Coming into this game, the Nittany Lions did not have a single power-play goal but added two in the second period alone.

Head coach Jeff Kampersal spoke about the team’s success on the power play after the game.

“We actually had players that aren’t normally on it. We were getting good looks [especially with] someone like Karley Garcia does a good job of finding sticks and finding seams. If our best players are doing their thing then we got a good shot every night.” Kampersal said.

Overall, this victory was all about Penn State putting together a team effort. While Heising had a career night, three different players found the back of the net, including freshman Carrie Byrnes notching her first goal of the season.

One thing to keep an eye on moving forward is the health of freshman Mya Vaslet. The Ontario native went down in the closing minute of the first period and was stretchered off the ice.

In the postgame presser, Kampersal discussed what the atmosphere of the locker room was like and how the players handled Vaslet’s scary injury.

“They were just talking. It was good. They expressed a few feelings and then put it aside knowing that they got to take care of business. We’ll say a prayer for her and hopefully she’s okay because she’s a really big part of our team,” Kampersal said.

Penn State will not play again until Oct. 23 when it travels to Providence to face Brown University.

 

Matthew McLaughlin is a second year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mem6936@psu.edu.