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Women’s Lacrosse Downs Virginia, Earns NCAA Quarterfinals Appearance

Penn State women’s lacrosse kept its postseason winning-streak alive Sunday afternoon, and earned a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Nittany Lions defeated Virginia at the Cavaliers’ Klöckner Stadium 13-11 in a back and forth battle, and will face North Carolina next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with a trip to the national semifinals on the line.

How It Happened

Despite only several days of rest, Penn State burst out of the gates to the tune of a 7-3 advantage midway through the first half. Katie O’Donnell received a pass from Madison Cyr, then Tatum Coffey broke through unassisted mere seconds later to gain the early advantage.

But the Cavaliers hung around. A Casey Bocklet score with less than one minute to play in the first half narrowed the advantage to 8-5. Virginia entered boasting a stellar defense: It had only allowed more than seven goals in a half once prior to Sunday’s meeting. That one team was Penn State, and the Lions doubled the milestone again on Sunday.

Virginia started the second half firing on a 4-1 scoring advantage. Kelly Boyd netted an unassisted goal to even the game at nine, but Kristin Brent promptly responded from the free position to regain the lead for Penn State.

It was an advantage Penn State wouldn’t relinquish. Steph Lazo and Cyr rallied off goals, and Penn State won 13-11.

Virginia outshot Penn State 34-21 in the game, but Nittany Lion goalie Emi Smith recorded an impressive 14 saves to negate the attacks. O’Donnell, Cyr, and Lazo all posted hat tricks.

Notes And Quotes

  • “It was a great team effort today,” said coach Missy Doherty to Penn State athletics. “I think Emi stood on her head today making unbelievable saves. Every game is different: sometimes our offense takes over, sometimes out defense takes over, today Emi kind of took over. It was a great effort by her and by our team to come up with some big goals and huge times.”
  • The Lions are no strangers to postseason play: It’s the third time in Doherty’s four years they’ve made it this far.
  • Lazo recorded her 40th goal of the season during the game, joining Coffey in the 40-point club.
  • Penn State’s now 3-0 in teams it’s played twice this year, notes Penn State athletics.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel to North Carolina for a Saturday matchup with the Tar Heels. If it wins, the semifinals will be held in PPL Park in Chester, Penn. It’s the second time the two teams have met in the tournament. In 2005, North Carolina won by a goal in double-overtime.

Photo: @CoachDohertyPSU/Twitter

About the Author

Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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