May 12, 2013 at 7:44 PM
Last season, Penn State made it as far as the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but on Sunday, No.7 Nittany
Lions beat No.15 UMass, 12-9, to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999.
Sophomore Maggie McCormick led the Lions with four goals, while Kelly Lechner scored three and assisted once. Lechner now has five goals in the two postseason games.
Freshman goaltender Emi Smith also played stronger in her second playoff game. Against Canisius, the Denver, Colo., native made four saves and allowed 13 goals, but on Sunday, Smith made seven saves and only allowed nine goals.
The first half was dominated by the Lions, who scored eight goals, four coming from McCormick. UMass only tied the game once on a 1-1 score in the first four minutes of play. At the end of the first 30 minutes, Penn State led 8-4.
At the start of the second half, Mackenzie Cyr scored in the first two minutes for the Lions, but the Minutewomen scored three goals in a row to cut Penn State’s lead to one.
Penn State’s captain Molly Fernandez scored the next two goals to put the game out of reach for UMass, which only scored twice in the final 19 minutes of the game.
This is coach Missy Doherty’s first time in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in her coaching career.
Penn State will play No. 2 Northwestern on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Evanston, Ill. The Lions last played the Wildcats in the ALC Quarterfinals, losing in overtime, 9-8.
May 5, 2013 at 11:03 PM
After losing to No. 4 Northwestern in overtime, 9-8, in the American Lacrosse Conference semifinals, No. 8 Penn State clinched a berth into the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row Sunday.
The Nittany Lions (12-6, 4-1 ALC) earned the seventh seed and will play Canisius (14-4, 6-0 MAAC) at home in the first round of the tournament Friday.
This season, Penn State won a share of the ALC regular season championship and went unbeaten at home sporting a 12-6 record.
In the ALC playoffs, the Lions beat Vanderbilt, 16-14, before falling to Northwestern. Sophomore Kelly Lechner scored eight goals and won five draw controls in the two games.
The Golden Griffins won the MAAC tournament for the third time in a row. This will be the first time the two teams play each other.
This will also be coach Missy Doherty’s third appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach.
Last season, Penn State made it to the second round of NCAAs, beating Towson, 15-8, before losing to Florida, 15-2.
Penn State will host two rounds of NCAA action with the winner of the Penn State-Canisius game playing the winner of the Massachusetts-UConn match on Sunday.
March 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM
After beginning the second half down by three goals, the No. 10 Penn State women's lacrosse team came back to upset No. 6 Virginia, 15-14, in Charlottesville today.
The second half of the game was a back-and-forth effort from both teams that led to a combined 16 goals in the 30 minutes of play. When the half started, the Nittany Lions were losing 8-5. However, they scored the first five goals of the half to jump ahead, 11-8.
But the Lions were never ahead by more than three goals. In the final two minutes of play, Virginia's Casey Bocklett scored to cut the Cavaliers' deficit to just one. Goaltender Emi Smith made four saves in the second half to preserve the Lions’ lead.
Penn State held onto the lead to earn the win behind freshman Jenna Mosketti’s second goal of the game. Captain Molly Fernandez added two of her own, while Tatum Coffey scored three.
The first half of the game ended with four straight goals from Virginia. However, Mackenzie Cyr scored a hat trick in the half for Penn State. Maggie McCormick also added three assists in the game.
Penn State will next play James Madison on Mar. 6 in State College.
February 17, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Women’s lacrosse freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith had her first NCAA start Saturday in the team’s 13-12 overtime exhibition win against Penn.
Coach Missy Doherty named Smith starting goalkeeper earlier this month after a tough preseason battle with senior keeper Ayla Halus.
“I was really excited about [Smith’s performance]. She has continued to get better and better all year, and she has just played like a solid goalkeeper in the cage,” Doherty said. “She has made the saves that she should, and she has backed up the D well, and I hope it gave her a lot of confidence going into the season.”
Smith came into the game confident in the support she would receive from her team to keep her going in her first collegiate start.
“It was nerve-racking, but I knew that my whole entire team was behind me, and supporting me the entire way through,” Smith said. “They’re just such a great team to be a part of. I wouldn’t have started without them. They gave me the confidence to build up my energy, so I could play for them and with them like one team.”
Halus started the second half to give her experience in a game setting, but Smith returned for overtime play.
"[Smith] played pretty consistently all game, so I think it is kind of hard to go out, and then come back in [overtime], but she responded well," Doherty said.
Smith said she was confident going into overtime because of her ability to perform well in pressured situations.
“I love pressure because it just gets the butterflies in the stomach going—I just love it,” she added. “I just wanted to do the best that I could. I just wanted to stand behind my team and put forth my best effort that I had and use all of my energy.”
If Smith continues to start, she will face many older, experienced opponents head on.
“That [will] just motivate me further to do well, and say, 'Hey, I’m a freshman. If I can stuff a senior or a junior, that’s awesome,' ” Smith said.
February 3, 2013 at 12:01 PM
After losing a spirited contest 5-2 to No. 7 Mercyhurst on Friday, the Lions once again faltered in an equally physical 4-1 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Despite team improvements, Penn State still did not have an answer for Mercyhurst captain Christine Bestland. Bestland, who had a hat trick on Friday, added two more goals and an assist on Saturday.
It was an impressive night for the Nittany Lion penalty kill, however, who withstood a barrage of point shots and stymied all five Mercyhurst powerplay opportunities.
After a scoreless first frame, Mercyhurst potted two goals in each of the game's final two periods, building an insurmountable lead. Penn State's lone goal of the matinee contest came off of Jill Holdcroft's stick with just three seconds remaining.
Once again, the scoreboard was not favorable for the young Nittany Lions but Nicole Pannicia and the other 250 fans in attendance witnessed an improved team in white.
"Anyone who was here watching knows we gave them a good run," Paniccia said.
March 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM
Goalkeeper Dana Cahill has been named the American Lacrosse Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
In her first season as the starting goalie, Cahill has led an outstanding Penn State defense ranked No. 7 in the country, allowing only 7.62 goals per game.
Cahill earned the honor based on her outstanding play in wins over Hofstra (3-5) and No. 15 Vanderbilt (5-4). She held Hofstra scoreless for a 23-minute stretch then tied her career high by recording 13 saves against 33 Vanderbilt shots.
Cahill is the team leader in ground balls (22) and ranks 14th in the nation in save percentage (.496), 16th in goals against average (8.00), and 23rd (tie) in saves (59).
April 21, 2010 at 3:19 AM
Senior captain Margo Josephs earned the SAAB Award (Student-Athletes Above and Beyond) at last night's 23rd SAAB Annual Academic Achievement Awards Banquet.
SAAB is the Student Athlete Advisory Board, an organization of student-athletes. Once a year, they honor each other's off-field endeavors.
Josephs -- who was unable to return this season from an ALC tear suffered last year -- wasn't the only lacrosse player to go home with hardware: The entire team won an award as the team that earned the highest amount of money for THON. This is the team's second consecutive year with the award.
April 21, 2010 at 3:14 AM
Senior attacker Erica Mihm and freshman attacker Hayley Sofarnos (13) have been awarded ALC Offensive Player of the Week and ALC Rookie of the Week honors, respectively.
Mihm's award is the second for the Lions this season and the first of her career. The Annapolis, Md., native was critical in Penn State's win as she won a game-high eight draw controls. The Lions went on to score on six of them. Mihm also scored a hat trick.
One of Mihm's goals came courtesy of Sofarnos, who had a team-high five assists -- the most in a single game all season for Penn State. The Williamstown, Australia native is second on the team with 12 assists. She also scored a goal in the game.
April 20, 2010 at 11:25 PM
Following its come-back win over Ohio State on Sunday, Penn State has moved up a spot to No. 17 in the latest IWLCA rankings.
The Buckeyes moved up to No. 18, and ALC-rival Vanderbilt moved up a spot to No. 8. Following their first loss in nearly two years, the Northwestern Wildcats are in a strange spot as they find themselves No. 2 overall. North Carolina is the new No. 1.
April 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM
Senior captain Theresa Bucci enjoyed the trip to Columbus more than many of her teammates. The Hudson, Ohio native was able to see her family and said it's always a cool thing for her to play in her home state.
But the homecoming isn't as big as one might expect, she said, because her hometown is closer to Cleveland rather than Columbus anyway.