After an explosive first half of the season, Penn State women’s lacrosse is well on its way to another Big Ten Title and a spot on the field in the Final Four in Philadelphia this May. One of the biggest driving forces on the offense leading the team to a 7-2 record is senior midfielder and leading scorer Madison Cyr.
Cyr has been an active midfield threat since her freshman year, making an appearance in all 21 games on the season and a name for herself in the process. Her sophomore year saw accolades like IWLCA All-America Third Team, IWLCA All-West First Team, and All-ALC team. Last season she scored 38 goals — good for third on the team — and was named 2015 All-Big Ten Team.
This season she wasted no time filling the cleats teammates Tatum Coffey and Maggie McCormick left in the offensive zone after their graduations. Cyr currently leads the team with 30 goals and 19 caused turnovers, and was just named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, further proving her dynamic midfield abilities.
“Coming into this season I wanted to play as hard as I can. It’s all mental,” Cyr said, comparing how this season stacks up to the previous ones. She’s currently on track to greatly surpass her 38 goals from last season.
“I’ve been focusing more on getting the ball on cage… I’ve been taking a second and placing the shot instead of catching and shooting,” Cyr said. Her new mindset has shined through multiple times this year, including a stunning six-goal performance against Princeton two weeks ago.
In her time on the roster up until that game, Penn State has lost to Princeton all but once. This time, during her senior year, she felt determined to come out on top. “I think we’re physically better but we never come out with the win,” she said. The Nittany Lions, thanks to Cyr’s offensive explosion, beat the Tigers 14-10.
She credited her six goals to cohesive teamwork, mainly with Steph Lazo, who has also been a dominant force in the Nittany Lion offense this season notching 10 goals and 16 assists. “Steph and I just really clicked that game,” Cyr said. “We have great chemistry and work really well together and she set me up for the six goals. The way we communicate off the field translates onto the field.”
While the team is undefeated at home and has only lost twice on the road, there’s room for improvement. The team’s preseason goal of more consistency is still a pressing matter. “We’re having big wins, but then we had the Stanford loss and our defense and offensive just didn’t have the consistency from the previous game,” Cyr recognized.
This consistency is key if the team wants to go on another Big Ten championship run. Coach Missy Doherty previously expressed her content with the new Big Ten conference as they shoot for another title. Last May, Cyr notched two goals in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State. After a tight battle in Piscataway, the Nittany Lions came out on top 13-11, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Penn State hasn’t seen a championship game since its 1989 victory over Harvard — but maybe this year that dry spell could end.
As exciting as another Big Ten title would be, the team is still taking it one day at a time. “We’re going to go game by game and hopefully come out with wins,” Cyr said. “I don’t want it to end and I’m excited to see where we go.”