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Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Defeated By Drexel 12-8 In Season Opener

womens lacrosse

No. 25 Penn State women’s lacrosse (0-1) started its 2022 season with a loss at No. 19 Drexel (2-0) 12-8 on Wednesday. This is the first time that the team has lost to the Dragons since their first matchup in 1994. 

The Nittany Lions trailed 7-4 at halftime and almost made a come back in the last quarter, but were unsuccessful. Senior captain Mary Muldoon led the Nittany Lions with a hat-trick. Sophomore Kayla Abernathy had a strong game with six draw controls and two turnovers.

How it Happened

Drexel’s Karson Harris had the first goal of the game just under a minute in off a free position shot, scoring on Penn State’s Ashley Bowan. 

Abernathy then won the draw control for Penn State, passing to Gretchen Gilmore who was able to find the back of the net. This tied the score at 1-1 with 13:40 left in the quarter. 

Although Abernathy had won the next three draw controls, they were all turned over by Penn State’s offense. Drexel capitalized on this and went on to score three times against the Nittany Lions.  

The goals were scored by Hayleigh Simpson, Lucy Schneidereith, and Colleen Grady. Drexel led 4-1 with the clock at 8:47. 

The ball was then between the teams with several caused turnovers and saved shots on both ends. The back and forth ended when Penn State’s Regan Nealon scored on an assist from Taylor Regan bringing the score to 2-4.  

The last shot of the quarter was taken by Penn State’s Gilmore and saved by Bennett. This ended the quarter with Drexel up 4-2. 

Starting off the second quarter, Penn State had two free position shots by Regan and Gilmore — neither shot was successful.  

Drexel’s Corinne Bednarik had a shot on goal which was blocked and picked up by Abernathy. However, the ball was turned over by Meghan Murray which led to a goal by Bednarik. 

This brought Drexel to a strong lead over Penn State at 5-2 with 9:35 left in the second quarter. However, Kristen O’Neill scored on a free position shot soon after, decreasing the lead to 5-3. 

The draw control was then taken by Abernathy and Simpson in which Simpson received the first yellow card of the game with 8:11 left in the quarter.  

After the penalty was up, Simpson came back into the game and soon after received a free position shot which was saved by Bowan and cleared. However, Drexel was able to turn the ball over and Harris was able to score.  

After a wide shot by Drexel, Penn State cleared the ball and Abernathy was able to score off a free position shot with 1:36 left in the quarter. Penn State still trailed 6-4. 

After her goal Abernathy then received a yellow card at 1:06 left in the quarter leading to a goal by Simpson for Drexel. This ended the quarter 7-4.  

Penn State put sophomore goalkeeper Cayden Jarvis in net to start the third quarter. 

Haley Urgo received Penn State’s second yellow card of the game at 10:24. Although Penn State was a man down, Muldoon was able to score after being assisted from Kara Nealon. 

40 seconds later, Drexel’s Allison Drake came back with a goal leaving the score 8-5 with Drexel leading. 

Jarvis was able to make a huge save on a free position shot. Although the ball was cleared, Drexel caused a turnover and Harris was able to score with just under five minutes left in the quarter. Coach Missy Doherty called a time out after the goal. 

Shortly after Regan had two shots but was not able to finish either one. 

With 3:14 left in the quarter Drexel’s Maddie White received its second yellow card of the game leaving Penn State a man up. This advantage with quickly lost by Regan after receiving the Nittany Lions’ third yellow card of the game with 2:06 left in the quarter. 

Coming into the final quarter, Penn State was trailing 5-9 and needed to make some big plays. The Nittany Lions came into the last quarter hot scoring three goals: one by O’Neill and two by Muldoon. With just under nine minutes left in the game Penn State was only down by one point.  

Grady ended the momentum for Penn State when she scored with 6:58 left in the game.  

The Nittany Lions then called their second time out. However, Drexel came out after the time out to score twice. Simpson scored her third goal of the game at 4:15 and Schneidereith with her second goal at 4:02.  

The Nittany Lions had three shots in the last four minutes of the game but none of them found the back of the cage. This left the final score as 12-8 in a win for Drexel. 

Whats Next?

Penn State will be on the road again next week against Duquesne in Pittsburgh. The game is at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

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About the Author

Shannon Smith

Shannon is a sophomore majoring in advertising and minoring in DMTA and sports studies. She is a part of the Onward State visual staff and a contributor for Onward States's podcast, Podward State. She is from Long Island, New York and is a die-hard New York Giants fan. To send her your favorite TikTok dance, follow @shann_smith31 on Twitter or @shannon_smith31 on Instagram.

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