No. 6 Women’s Lacrosse Defeats Lehigh 13-6 In Season Opener
Women’s lacrosse kicked off its season a day earlier than anticipated. Due to cold weather, the No. 6 ranked team traveled to Bethlehem where it took down Lehigh 13-6 on Friday. Throughout the game, Penn State’s defense was relentless with tight man-to-man coverage that showed evidence of team communication.
How It Happened
Penn State started off strong and quickly took the lead. Most of its first half was spent on the offensive front thanks to draw control domination. The Nittany Lions gained possession through 14 draw controls throughout the game while Lehigh only had six. Freshman attacker Madison Carter stood out, leading the team with three draw controls. Junior midfielder Steph Lazo initiated some of the offensive momentum when she scored the first goal less than five minutes into play with a feed from Maggie Gallagher behind the net. The rest of the offense perpetuated her momentum, and Penn State notched two more unanswered goals from Katie O’Donnell off of a free position and Abby Smucker from her non-dominant side. After a Lehigh timeout with 18:06 left in the half, Penn State goals continued with an unassisted from Jenna Mosketti and a Carter goal assisted by Smucker.
The Nittany Lions answered Lehigh’s first of the game with a draw control from Carter that led to a goal for Mosketti. After Lehigh’s second goal, Penn State’s Mosketti put another one on the board with 3:27 left. Despite Lehigh’s last second goal in the first half, Penn State ended the first half leading Lehigh 7-3.
The Nittany Lions came out strong in the second half with an immediate draw control from captain Ally Heavens leading to a Lazo goal 46 seconds in. A minute later, Heavens received a yellow card but Lehigh still struggled offensively, especially with ball control. Penn State’s defense stepped up to effectively slow Lehigh down. With 21:38 left in the game, O’Donnell found the back of the net on a free position. Right after, Lazo netted two goals in a row off draw controls. Cyr assisted once again another goal from Mosketti with 16:11 to play. After leading the team with three assists, Cyr scored one of her own for Penn State with 8:35 left in the game, closing out Penn State’s scoring at 13 goals on the game. Lehigh scored shortly after on a free position with 6:35 remaining to finalize the score at 13-6 in Penn State’s favor.
Carter stepped up big time and collected statistics similar to those of returning players. She led the team in draw controls, notched a goal, and caused a turnover, making a name for herself in the process. Goalie Emi Smith ended the game with nine saves and .600 save percentage, adding defensive prowess to offense’s hustle.
After every goal there was a booming cheer from the sidelines. Penn State fans traveled well, chanting “We Are” after all 13 goals.
Player Of The Game
Steph Lazo led the team in goals with a rare 100 percent accuracy. She was relentless and was able to see the back of the net. She capitalized on every assist from Cyr and every opportunity the Lehigh defense gave her.
The Nittany Lions attempt to remain undefeated in their home opener against Duquesne Saturday, February 20.