Zanon, (1)

Penn State's Kiara Zanon (11) en route to scoring the game winning goal against Syracuse in the second period on Dec. 5, 2020. The Nittany Lions defeated Syracuse, 2-1. Photo/Craig Houtz

Penn State’s offense did not give up despite being down 1-0 to Holy Cross early on in the second period.

The Nittany Lions overcame being down by a goal by managing to score two goals later in the second period, and three in the final period, totaling five for the evening.

Penn State’s first goal of the evening came from sophomore forward Olivia Wallin and was assisted by sophomore forward Kiara Zanon.

Just about a minute later, the blue and white got into its offensive rhythm and put another one in the back of the net.

This goal came from sophomore forward Alyssa Machado, with senior forward Amy Dobson and junior forward Rachel Weiss being credited with the helpers.

Not only was this goal special by putting the Nittany Lions up by one, but it was also Machado’s first goal of the season for the blue and white.

Heading into the final period, Weiss finished a goal off Machado’s pass, which was jump started from a forecheck from Dobson.

Zanon managed to get back on the board two minutes later, as well, as she netted an unassisted goal.

To finish off the Nittany Lions’ shining offense for the evening, freshman forward Mya Vaslet also scored her first career goal for Penn State with just under a minute left to go in the matchup.

Vaslet’s goal was assisted by freshman forward Lexi Beider and senior defender Rene Gangarosa.

After a stellar performance from the Nittany Lions’ offense, head coach Jeff Kampersal mentioned that he is extremely proud of his squad’s performance during game one of this series, but there’s still things that the team could work on.

“In our first four games again our record could be different, but there’s definitely still things we need to improve on like starting quicker,” Kampersal said. “There’s a statistic like the other team has scored the first goal in our games.”

Despite knowing the team has to start faster, Kampersal explained that he likes how the squad responds to adversity.

With adversity, he mentioned that the squad needs to capture their “hungry” effort for 60 minutes, but overall he is proud of the team’s performance.

“I thought there was some outstanding individual play,” Kampersal said. “It’s nice to see Mya get one at the end there, Rachel was flying all over the place, and Zanon had a nice shot.”

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Kampersal went on to talk more about his offensive line, stating that Weiss has a lot of speed in the middle, Dobson is a steady and smart player, and Machado had a very good game today.

“It’s nice to see that group of three had some sort of specialness to them today,” Kampersal said.

Dobson mentioned after the game it felt really great to be on the ice and that her line was really yelling today in spirit.

“We really were able to find each other well, and move the puck so it was really great to get out there and get a multi-point game for the team along with seeing the team excel in the offensive zone today,” Dobson said.

Along with finding each other well throughout the offensive line, Dobson said that her confidence and composure with the puck is improving.

“I think that the speed of the game was definitely an adjustment for me,” Dobson said. “I think as a senior I like having more confidence with the puck to make more of a heads-up play and kind of just know the speed of the game.”

As for Weiss, she said she is also feeling faster when she is on the ice compared to previous seasons.

Weiss also noted that she feels more confident in using her speed, along with trying to use it as an advantage to get around defenders and bring the puck to the net or to make a play.

“I did feel slower my freshman year, maybe it was just adjusting to the speed and stuff but I worked over the summer on my skating and just getting to the net,” Weiss said.

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