WLAX: Penn State Moves To 9-2 With Win In Conference Opener

Story posted April 2, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women’s lacrosse team opened Big Ten conference play with a 16-9 victory over Rutgers. The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions improve their record to 9-2 before the meat of their conference schedule.

The final score does not give the Nittany Lions justice as Penn State controlled Rutgers for most of the game. This was apparent in the first half when the Nittany Lions scored 11 goals.

The defensive performance by Penn State in the first half was impressive as Rutgers was held to only two goals on a total of 12 shots. Head coach Missy Doherty believes their effort on Rutgers’ top players was the main reason the Scarlet Knights struggled to score.

“I think our defense stepped up and did well on their main scorers,” Doherty said.

Doherty also said that senior goaltender Emi Smith came up with some great saves throughout the course of the game. Smith’s work in goal was remarkable as she did not allow any free-position goals in the game.

Penn State’s defense was led by senior co-captain Erika Spilker and her work on Kristina Dunphey was incredible as Dunphey was unable to get consistently open looks in front of the net. Spilker was the best defensive player for Penn State today, but the entire Penn State defense played outstanding.

Spilker was not the only co-captain with a remarkable game as Ally Heavens scored two goals and played tremendous defense. Heavens’ speed was hard for Rutgers to contain as she flew by the Rutgers defense for one of her goals.

Penn State had a balanced scoring attack against Rutgers as Steph Lazo, Madison Carter and Jenna Mosketti each contributed three goals in the game. Doherty believes the numerous players scoring hat tricks makes her team a more dynamic offense.

“I think it shows how potent our offense is,” Doherty said. “Different people can step up any game.”

Lazo not only had a hat trick, but also contributed four assists giving her seven points in the game. Carter had two assists in the game, while winning numerous draws for the Nittany Lions.

Mosketti did not have many assists, but her work in winning the draw gave Penn State numerous opportunities to score. Madison Cyr came into the game leading Penn State with 33 goals and she added to her total with two goals in the game.

Cyr also recorded two assists and used her speed to stop several Rutgers attacks on defense. Kelly Daggett opened the game’s scoring with a goal in the first minute and contributed another goal in the second half.

Penn State looks to continue its winning ways in the Big Ten with a ranked showdown against number 18 Ohio State.

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email jje5139@psu.edu.