No. 8 Penn State handily beat Rutgers in its conference opener today at the Penn State Lacrosse Field by a final score of 18-7.
Senior Steph Lazo put up nine points, while Katie O’Donnell and Madison Carter each scored a game-high four goals to push the Nittany Lions past the Scarlet Knights.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions got off to a slow start, allowing Kristina Dunphrey of Rutgers to score the first goal of the game 5:16 into the first half. Penn State responded to the early goal by scoring three of its own; sophomores Kayla Brisolari and Madison Carter, and freshman Kristin Roberto all scored to give the Nittany Lions a 3-1 lead. Rutgers offered a response of their own by scoring twice in 1:16 to tie the game.
After Rutgers equalized, junior captain Katie O’Donnell and sophomore Madison Carter scored two goals in nine seconds to give the Lions a lead they wouldn’t give up. The Nittany Lions went into halftime with a 12-6 lead, with half of those 12 goals coming from Carter and O’Donnell — who each completed hat tricks in the first half.
Penn State continued to pour it on in the second half, with goals from senior Taylor Bielstein, O’Connell, and senior Steph Lazo to give the Lions a nine-goal cushion. After Lazo’s goal, the Nittany Lions would go on to add three more goals to bring their total for the game to 18.
The Lions almost kept the Scarlet Knights off the board for the entire second half, but a consolation goal by Amanda Turturro broke senior goalie Cat Rainone’s second-half shutout, in which she made six saves on seven Rutgers shots to shut down the Scarlet Knights’ offense.
Player of the Game
Steph Lazo | Senior | Attacker
Lazo scored a hat trick, but also assisted on six more to help her team to an emphatic win. She directly contributed to half of the 18 Nittany Lion goals today, bringing her individual totals to 25 goals and 26 assists in just nine games on the season.
The Nittany Lions are back in action this Tuesday, March 21, when they will travel to Princeton for a non-conference game against the No. 7 Tigers at 2 p.m.