It was not all positive as two of the most prominent Penn State athletes suffered injuries over the weekend, but overall, it was another memorable weekend in Penn State Athletics with several sports teams playing important games. All of the action is recapped below:
They saved the best for last. This was the final sporting event of the weekend and arguably the most entertaining. Facing Michigan in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament after defeating Boston College 5-2 in the second round two nights earlier, the Lions emerged victorious in dramatic fashion. Clare Stachel put Michigan in front early scoring on a penalty kick, but Maddy Evans would tie it up right before halftime. A scoreless second half and two extra time periods took the match to a penalty shootout.
The five-round shootout originally looked bleak for the Lions as the Wolverines held a 2-0 lead. Things changed in a hurry. An Evans goal and Erin McNulty save gave the Lions life. Tani Costa buried a shot in the fourth round followed by another McNulty save. The momentum had quickly swung in favor of the home team. Maya Hayes completely fooled goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer. Holly Hein came up empty as McNulty made her third straight save to seal the win. The team as well as fans in attendance at Jeffrey Field went wild. After being on life support a few minutes earlier, the Lions find themselves in the Elite 8. They will host Duke this Friday with the match beginning at 7 p.m. The full bracket can be found here.
Penn State won two road matches over the weekend, sweeping Indiana Friday night (25-12, 25-18, 25-22) and defeating No. 21 Purdue in four sets (25-16, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21). Ariel Scott and Deja McClendon led the way in kills both nights for the second ranked Nittany Lions who clinched the Big Ten title and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament with the victory Friday night. They will close out the regular season with two home matches, hosing Ohio State on Wednesday before facing Michigan State on Saturday.
The ninth ranked Lady Lions defeated Lafayette 75-34 yesterday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center in a game that was never really competitive. Penn State led 42-14 at halftime, and the margin only widened from there as ten different players scored with Maggie Lucas and Mia Nichson leading the way with 12 points apiece. Next up for the 3-0 Lady Lions is the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Tournament in Northridge, California. Detroit will be the first opponent on Friday.
Pat Chambers’ squad rebounded from a 17-point loss to North Carolina State with a 55-52 overtime victory over Providence Friday night. Playing in their final game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament yesterday afternoon, the Nittany Lions lost to Akron 85-60. Tim Frazier only played six minutes before suffering a leg injury. While it does not appear to be serious, Frazier’s absence was too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome as the Zips outscored them by 29 in the second half. The 2-2 Nittany Lions return home to face Bucknell on Friday at 4:30.
The top ranked wrestling squad defeated Leigh 29-6 in its Friday night season opener before winning its first road dual against West Virginia 44-6 yesterday. Cael Sanderson’s squad has two weeks off before the Nittany Lion Open on December 2nd followed by a match against Indiana one week later.
Women’s Ice Hockey
Penn State traveled to Wentzville, Missouri and split a weekend series with Lindenwood, losing 5-1 on Friday before bouncing back with a 3-2 victory victory one day later. Their record now stands at 5-8 as the travel to Erie this coming weekend to play two games against Mercyhurst.