After a blowout win against Bucknell on Wednesday night, Penn State hopes to continue its high-scoring drive against the team’s first ranked opponent.
The No. 10 Penn State women’s lacrosse team (1-0) will play No. 6 Loyola (0-1) at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Baltimore.
After a tough overtime loss to Loyola last season, the Nittany Lions hope to push past the Greyhounds and continue the momentum they’ve gained earlier in the week.
Head coach Missy Doherty said that the pressure of last year’s matchup against Loyola will push for a strong defensive drive from the opening draw.
“[Loyola] come[s] out and they attack hard and they attack really quick down in the offensive end, so there is really no time to step back and take a break,” Doherty said. “We just have to be ready defensively to be able to take the one-on-ones away.”
Freshman Jenna Mosketti, who had three goals against Bucknell, plans to continue to improve for Saturday’s matchup.
“From what I hear they are a pretty good team, so we are going to definitely have to practice hard tomorrow and Friday, and just be ready for them,” Mosketti said.
Loyola lost a tight matchup against No. 8 Virginia on Saturday, with freshman goalkeeper Molly Wolf in net. Wolf turned back 11 shots in the Greyhounds’ 10-9 loss.
Penn State’s own freshman goalkeeper, Emi Smith, had a shutout in the first half Wednesday and also already has an exhibition overtime win under her belt.
“I’m going to go into it with the same mindset as I always do. Do the best I can, go in strong, finish strong and I just hope to do as well as I did [against Bucknell],” Smith said.
Smith said she thrives on pressure, and added that going up against a highly ranked team gives her added momentum in goal on Saturday.
“I am just going to say to myself, ‘They’re highly ranked, yes, but they haven’t seen me in the goal yet…and they haven’t seen my team,’ ” Smith said.
Veteran players Mackenzie Cyr and Molly Fernandez both racked up multiple goals in the Lions’ win against Bucknell, and Doherty hopes that returning starters can lead the attack against Loyola.
“I think they’re excited [for Loyola]. I mean it’s still the beginning of the season. We still have a lot to prove,” Doherty said.