No. 10 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Comes From Behind To Beat Johns Hopkins
No. 10 Penn State (10-1, 2-0 Big Ten) defeated unranked Johns Hopkins (8-3, 0-2 Big Ten) 16-10 in Baltimore on Saturday.
Sophomore Madison Carter scored six goals in the victory, and senior Steph Lazo added five more for Penn State. The Nittany Lions outshot Johns Hopkins 40-29 in the winning effort, and senior goalie Cat Rainone made eight saves for the Lions.
How it Happened
The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start in Baltimore today with goals from sophomore Madison Carter and senior Steph Lazo. Carter’s team-leading 35th goal of the season came just 32 seconds into today’s contest, and Lazo followed with her 28th of the season with 26:01 remaining in the first half.
The Nittany Lion defense frustrated the Blue Jays for the first ten minutes of the game, but Johns Hopkins broke through with 20:12 remaining in the first half to cut Penn State’s lead in half. After winning the following faceoff, Johns Hopkins tied the game at 2 with a goal from Miranda Ibello, a goal that came just 16 seconds after the Blue Jays’ first of the game.
After Johns Hopkins equalized, the game became a bit of a back-and-forth affair. Penn State stopped the bleeding caused by Johns Hopkins’ attack with Carter’s second goal of the game, but the Blue Jays offered their own quick response again, tying the game at 3 with 16:18 remaining in the first half. Lazo gave the Nittany Lions their third lead of the game with her second of the game, but Johns Hopkins responded again just 22 seconds after Lazo’s 29th goal of the season.
The Nittany Lions continued to put pressure on Johns Hopkins, but Blue Jays goalie Caroline Federico stopped several shots, including two free-position shots by seniors Abby Smucker and Lazo. Johns Hopkins made the Lions pay for its missed chances, scoring three goals in 1:50 to take a 7-4 lead, giving Penn State its first deficit of the game in the process. The Blue Jays extended their lead to 8-4 prior to halftime, and took this four-goal lead into the intermission.
Penn State came out flying in the second half, getting the first two goals through Smucker and junior Katie O’Donnell to cut the Blue Jays’ lead in half to 8-6 with 25:29 remaining in the second half.
The Nittany Lions’ momentum was killed off when Johns Hopkins extended their lead to 9-6 with a goal on the power play with 21:44 remaining in the period. Penn State responded well to this with a power-play goal of their own from Smucker just 1:11 later. Smucker completed her hat-trick to cut the Lions’ deficit to 9-8, but Haley Schweizer of Johns Hopkins restored the Blue Jays’ two-goal lead just 33 seconds after Smucker’s 12th goal of the season.
Steph Lazo got her 30th goal of the season with 17:19 remaining to, once again, cut the Blue Jays’ lead in half. The game stayed at 10-9 for a while, mainly due to several missed chances by the Nittany Lions, including free-position shots from Smucker and freshman Kristin Roberto.
After seemingly countless missed free-position shots, Madison Carter finally buried one for the Nittany Lions to tie the game at 10 with 13:11 remaining in the half. Lazo then scored two power-play goals in 27 seconds to help Penn State retake the lead with 11:51 on the clock.
Carter scored another free-position shot later in the half to further extend the Penn State lead, and senior midfielder Taylor Bleistein scored her seventh of the season to give her team an even larger lead. Bleistein’s goal came 25 seconds after Carter’s fourth of the game and 38th on the year.
Carter added her 39th and 40th goals of the season to seal a huge, come-from-behind victory for the No. 10 Nittany Lions, capping off an excellent second half effort after a lackluster first half.
Player Of The Game
Madison Carter | Sophomore | Attacker/Midfielder
Despite the team’s sluggish first half, Carter and the Nittany Lions’ attack came alive in the second half, scoring 12 goals. Of the team’s 16 total goals, Carter scored six of them, including the tying goal on a free-position shot with 13:11 left in the game. Additionally, Carter scored three of the Nittany Lions’ last four goals of the game to help clinch the victory for Penn State. Carter showed leadership on the offensive side of the ball when the team needed her most.
Penn State will travel to Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 29 for a non-conference game against Drexel. Wednesday’s contest will be the team’s third consecutive away game.
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