Women’s Lacrosse Falls To Northwestern In Big Ten Semifinal 9-6
No. 2 seeded Penn State fell to No. 3 seeded Northwestern in the Big Ten semi-final game in Evansville Friday night. After an uncharacteristic performance from Penn State’s offense, the Nittany Lions may have seen their season come to an end.
How It Happened
From the opening draw, Northwestern dominated the offensive zone. The Wildcats began the half with a goal less than three minutes in. They went on to score two more unanswered to make the score 3-0 at 19:56. Offensive assisting threat Steph Lazo looked clearly face-guarded and was rendered ineffective. Katie O’Donnell got the Nittany Lions on the board at 19:37 after an assist from Madison Cyr, making it a two-goal game, 3-1. Northwestern then responded with a free position goal about a minute later to raise the gap 4-1. Cyr finally came up with her first of the game with 6:21 left to make it a two-goal game again, 4-2. Ten seconds later the Wildcats responded with another goal. The half ended on Northwestern’s last goal making it 5-2.
Northwestern opened the second half with a goal less than two minutes in, furthering its lead 6-2. Madison Carter made her first of the game at 24:39 to make it a three-goal game again off of a near flawless feed from Kelly Daggett. With 20 minutes left to play, the Wildcats found the back of the net off of a crease shot from a free position and raised the score 7-3. Junior Cat Rainone stepped between the pipes for Penn State after another Northwestern goal with 17:50 left to play. Two minutes later Alexis Phillips collected an eight meter goal to make it a 8-4 game. Jenna Mosketti was able to keep the momentum going as Lazo broke free from the tight coverage and notched one at 12:01 to make it 8-5. Even being two players up after two Northwestern yellow cards, Penn State couldn’t capitalize and the Wildcats notch its ninth with 2:38 left to play. Phillips would have the last goal of the game with just over a minute left to close the game 9-6.
Player Of The Game
Two year co-captain Erika Spilker was a dominant voice and force in the defensive zone. With most of the game being played in Penn State’s defensive zone, it was clear that the unit was communicating and was a factor in ensuring Northwestern didn’t hit double digits. Spilker was able to see the field and was there for necessary slides and support.
Since the Nittany Lions are now out of the running for the Big Ten title and therefore an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament, Penn State will have to wait until selection Sunday to hear the fate of the rest of its season.