WLAX: No. 6 Penn State defeats Ohio State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Of any sport, lacrosse is the one that shows how quickly momentum can come and go for a given team.
Ohio State (6-8, 0-3 B1G) had momentum late in the first half, holding a 6-3 lead with 4:30 to play in the half. But three straight goals to end the half, and five straight to start the second half, would prove to be enough for No. 6 Penn State (12-1, 3-0 B1G) to triumph Saturday 16-12 on a chilly day at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
The Nittany Lions got the scoring started as Katie O’Donnell put one home at 27:18 in the first period. Ohio State would grab their first lead of the game at 10:13 off a goal from Paulina Constant, but Madison Carter was able to tie the game up at 3 with 8:43 left in the half.
Following Ohio State’s aforementioned run to go up 6-3, it would be all Penn State for the remainder of the half. Excellent draw control by Kayla Brisolari and Carter helped the Nittany Lions assert themselves, coming back to tie the game right before halftime.
As a team, Penn State picked up right where they left off, with five goals in the opening 5:48 of the half, to take a 11-6 lead. Ohio State was able to score three goals in 3:48 to close the gap to 11-9.
Both teams traded goals for much of the second half, but the Nittany Lions were able to pull away to a 16-10 lead that essentially put the game away.
After the game, head coach Missy Doherty praised the success of her offense and of Carter, who finished with five goals to lead the Nittany Lions.
“Every game has been a little bit different...she just does a good job of scoring important goals at important times,” Doherty said.
While the Buckeyes had the Nittany Lions on the ropes, eight goals in a row was enough to put the game out of reach. Madison Carter led all scorers with five goals in the game, and she was helped by a hat trick from Abby Smucker, as well as two goals each from Steph Lazo, Maggie Gallagher, and Taylor Bleistein.
Ohio State was led by Molly Wood and Baley Parrott, both of whom had four goals. Sage Darling added two of her own, while Paulina Constant and Shannon Rosati had a goal apiece.
The Nittany Lions also saw improvement in the back end, as Cat Rainone was able to make 11 saves on the afternoon for the win with a .478 save percentage. Jill Rizzo played well, but not well enough for the Buckeyes, making 13 saves for a .448 save percentage.
But when Penn State’s defense needed to step up and lock down the Buckeyes, they were able to lock in and get the key plays they needed to come out on top.
Abby Smucker, who had three goals and an assist on the day, talked about what Penn State did to come out on top.
“On defense, we just wanted to be a little bit more aggressive...In the second half, we dictated the game based on what we wanted to do,” Smucker said.
After three games in ten days, the Nittany Lions are off until next Saturday. They’ll take on No. 17 Virginia at home, with the opening draw set for 1 PM.
Zach Kaplan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Zach Kaplan is a senior broadcast journalism major with a double minor in history and sociology. Beyond his work with the Centre County Report, Zach is involved with CommRadio as a sports director and on-air personality, as well as a broadcaster for BTN Student U productions on-campus. He also works with 46Live both on-air and as a producer to provide live coverage of Penn State’s annual Dance Marathon.
Outside of his on-air work, Zach writes for Penn State Athletics covering men’s hockey and lacrosse and has held summer internships with Israel Sports Radio, the Cape Cod Baseball League, and the Coastal Plain League.