Penn State’s tough schedule is not getting any easier as the Nittany Lions (4-2) travel to New York on Wednesday to play undefeated Cornell (4-0)at 4 p.m. at Schoelkopf Field.
This will be the Lions’ second straight game against a ranked opponent after suffering a 20-10 loss to No.1 Maryland this past weekend.
The loss broke the Lions’ three-game winning streak, but the players are happy to have the experience of playing the nation’s top team.
“Playing against teams like Maryland is great because it shows us what we need to work on,” junior Mackenzie Cyr said. “It showed us the things we’re good at and where we need to be to be at that level.”
Along with consistently playing against ranked opponents, the Lions have been true road warriors to start their season.
Including Wednesday’s game in New York, the team has played five out of its first seven games away from Penn State.
“It’s really tiring having to travel so much but it hasn’t really played too much of a factor into how were performing in our games,” sophomore Kelly Lechner. “It’s just difficult having to leave the day before and then practice when you get there. It’s pretty tiring.”
One of the goals for the Lions heading into Wednesday’s game is to win a majority of the game’s faceoffs, otherwise known as draw controls.
“Our main goal is getting the draw,” Cyr said. “In Maryland we did a good job with it and it’s crucial to win the draw.”
Along with winning draws, another key to Penn State’s early success this season is the team’s high scoring offense.
The Lions have scored at least 10 goals in every one of their games this season with 11 different players having scored at least one goal.
Sophomore Maggie McCormick’s 16 goals, 14 assists and 30 points lead the team in all three of those categories.
“We all just work really well together with Maggie kind of anchoring us,” Cyr said.
Despite all of the goals this season, the team is still not satisfied with its offensive production and has been focusing to strengthen its defensive performance as well.
“Attacking wise we’re just going to go a lot more aggressive to goal,” Lechner said. “On defense we’re not going to sit around…we’re going to be aggressive and run right at them and dictate the tempo of the game.”