Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Finishes Strong In 20-11 Win Over Cornell

Penn State women’s lacrosse (2-1) silenced Cornell (2-1) in a 20-11 win in Ithaca Saturday afternoon.

Kristin O’Neill picked up five goals, while goalkeeper Cayden Jarvis was a force to be reckoned with in the net. Head coach Missy Doherty earned her second road win in a row thanks to an extraordinary effort from Penn State.

How It Happened

Penn State won the opening draw to start off the match. Sophomore Kayla Abernathy opened up the scoring on Penn State’s first possession by beating Cornell goalkeeper Katie McGahan.

Cornell’s Josie Vogel responded and put the Big Red on the board with an unassisted goal that slid past Nittany Lion goaltender Jarvis. The Nittany Lions answered Vogel’s goal immediately when Meghan Murray showcased her offensive talent by beating McGahan once again.

O’Neill was the next Nittany Lion to notch the scoreboard as she exploited the Big Red defense and made the most of a Cornell turnover. The sophomore was an integral component of the Nittany Lion midfield throughout the first period and created several offensive opportunities for the lineup.

Cornell converted its woman-up opportunity at the tail end of the first quarter to tie the game at 3-3. The Big Red created a huge momentum shift to close out the first quarter with a tied game after a dominating Penn State performance to open the match.

The Big Red earned their first lead of the afternoon with an offensive break that snuck past the Nittany Lion defense and Jarvis. Cornell’s Shannon Brazier managed to put up another goal immediately after to produce three unanswered goals for the Big Red.

Katie Castiello closed out Cornell’s offensive burst with an unassisted goal, beating Jarvis to extend the Big Red’s lead to 6-3.

Brooke Hoss finally broke the Nittany Lions’ scoring drought with a fast-break goal from an assist by O’Neill. Alexa Donahoe responded right away and added another goal for the Big Red to make the score 7-4 in favor of Cornell.

After Hoss’ goal, Doherty opted to sub in freshman Ashley Bowan into the Nittany Lions’ net and gave Jarvis a break.

Virginia transfer Taylor Regan sent a blazing shot past McGahan to drop Cornell’s lead down to two goals. Penn State converted the face-off following Regan’s goal and swung the momentum back in favor of the Nittany Lions. Regan posted another goal by beating a defender one-on-one and easily beating McGahan. The transfer’s back-to-back goals were imperative to keep Penn State competitive in the game.

O’Neill added another goal to her stat sheet and tied the game 7-7 midway through the second quarter.

The Nittany Lions regained the lead from an impressive, slinging goal from Murray with two minutes remaining in the half. Immediately after, Penn State earned possession once again and sent Murray toward McGahan’s net. Murray picked up another goal only seconds after her first to create a 9-7 Nittany Lion lead.

In the final three seconds of the half, Cornell’s Maggie Pons drew a foul to earn a free position shot against Bowan. Pons’ shot deflected off of Bowan and rolled into the net to close out the half at 9-8 in favor of Penn State.

Murray opened up the second half with a quick goal to extend the Nittany Lions’ lead to two. Cornell’s Amanda Cramer responded one minute later with a goal of her own to tighten the Penn State back down to one.

Hoss picked up her second goal of the afternoon following Cramer’s goal to make the score 11-9 in favor of the Nittany Lions. O’Neill added back-to-back goals immediately after Hoss to grab a 13-9 Penn State lead. O’Neill picked up one breakaway goal and a free position shot conversion in a burst of Nittany Lion offensive energy in the third quarter.

Senior Mary Muldoon converted her first goal of the game when she snuck the ball past McGahan with a low and fast shot to make it 14-9 on the afternoon. Gretchen Gilmore added another goal to the scoreboard in the dwindling minutes of the quarter from an assist by Kara Nealon.

Cornell finally earned its 10th goal when Pons beat Bowan in the final minute of the third quarter. Bowan hadn’t seen any defensive action nearly all quarter until Pons’ attack and subsequent goal. Cornell managed to grab the final goal of the period to close out the quarter trailing 15-10.

Regan opened up the scoring in the final quarter by beating McGahan and earning a hat trick. The transfer extended the Nittany Lions’ lead to six and continued to put Cornell’s efforts out of reach.

Nealon picked up her second goal of the season off a free position shot against McGahan to make the score 17-10 from Ithaca. O’Neill grabbed her fifth goal of the season shortly after in a woman-up position to extend the lead to eight.

Regan notched her fourth and final goal of the game following O’Neill’s goal to lock the score in at 18-10.

Cornell scored its third goal of the second half when Brazier beat Bowan at the net to make it 19-11. The Nittany Lions’ defense truly impressed as the game went on and gave up only three goals in the second half compared to 11 in the first.

Muldoon picked up her second goal of the game when she beat McGahan in the final two minutes to close out the scoring against Cornell.

Cornell didn’t see any possession in the final minutes of the game and was silenced by a massive second-half momentum swing from the Nittany Lions.

Player Of The Game

Taylor Regan | Attack

Graduate transfer Taylor Regan is truly making waves in her first season playing for Missy Doherty and Penn State. Regan’s back-to-back goals in the second quarter turned the tide for the Nittany Lions and created the necessary momentum for a huge second-half push. The attacker posted four goals and two assists on the afternoon and was an enormous contributor to Penn State’s success against Cornell.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will stay on the road and head to Baltimore to challenge Loyola Maryland. The game is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, at noon.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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