No. 5 Penn State women’s lacrosse fell to No. 1 Maryland 16-14 at home Thursday night. The Nittany Lions and Terrapins battled back and forth, but the nation’s top team managed to pull away in the second half and escape Penn State with a hard-fought win.
Sophomore Madison Carter scored six goals for Penn State in the losing effort, while junior Katie O’Donnell added five more. Senior Steph Lazo scored two goals and added three assists, and senior goalie Cat Rainone made 15 saves.
How It Happened
Penn State opened the scoring early in the game with a goal from junior O’Donnell. O’Donnell’s 43rd of the season came with 28:09 left in the first half, but not before Maryland responded with a goal less than two minutes later to tie the game at one.
O’Donnell scored again to make a 2-1 lead with 25:33 left in the half. Again, however, Maryland countered — this time with three unanswered goals — to open up a 5-2 lead on Penn State.
Carter stopped the bleeding with her team-leading 53rd goal of the season to cut the Nittany Lion deficit to two points, but Maryland responded with another goal to make it 6-3 with 13:20 left in the first half. With Penn State in need of a goal-scoring run of their own to get back in the game, sophomore Kayla Brisolari, Carter, and O’Donnell all scored to give the Nittany Lions a 6-5 lead.
After Penn State’s outburst, the Terrapins managed to tie the game at six on the half, although the Nittany Lions held the momentum heading into the second half.
Lazo scored her 40th goal of the season for the Nittany Lions lead at the start of the second half. Shortly after, Maryland responded with two of their own goals to re-take the lead with 26:02 left.
Carter answered with her 55th goal of the season to tie the game at eight with 24:45 left in the second half. Penn State couldn’t keep the momentum after Carter’s goal, as Maryland scored twice to extend the Terrapins’ lead to two points. From there, the Nittany Lions couldn’t quite catch up, pulling within one on several occasions on the back of three more goals from Carter.
Every time the Lions came within a goal, Maryland struck again to re-gain its two-score lead. This pattern continued through most of the second half until the Terrapins broke the pattern by taking their largest lead of the half with 9:36 left.
Lazo brought the Nittany Lions back to within two with her 41st goal of the season 2:30 later, but Taylor Hensh re-extended Maryland’s lead to three with 6:29 left in the second half. Maryland scored again on the power play with 3:45 left to put the game out of reach for Penn State. O’Donnell’s and Carter’s late second-half goals weren’t enough for Penn State as Maryland closed the game 16-14.
Player Of The Game
Madison Carter | Sophomore | Attacker/Midfielder
Even in the loss, Madison Carter carried her team at different points on Thursday night. She scored six goals, and was always active and involved around the front of the net. Her six goals give her 58 on the season to extend her team lead, all but guaranteeing she will finish the season with 60 goals or more.
No. 5 Penn State wraps up its regular season next Sunday, April 30, with a matchup against unranked Michigan in Ann Arbor.