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Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Falls To No. 3 Northwestern 17-6

Penn State women’s lacrosse (5-5) fell to No. 3 Northwestern (9-2) 17-6 Friday night at Panzer Stadium.

The Wildcats held possession for much of the game and capitalized with an impressive offensive performance. Penn State wasn’t able to take control of draw controls and struggled to get a consistent rhythm on the offensive end.

How It Happened

Freshman Ashley Bowan started the game in net for the Nittany Lions. Northwestern was quick to score the first goal of the game and took an early 1-0 lead.

Penn State had a few offensive opportunities where it failed to score against Northwestern. The Wildcats were able to clear the ball after a failed Penn State free-position shot and scored their second of the game with 11:02 left in the first quarter.

Penn State took its first timeout of the first quarter after Erin Coykendall scored Northwestern’s third goal of the first quarter. It was Coykendall’s 26th goal of the season, and it propelled the Wildcats out to a 3-0 lead.

Jill Girardi scored her second of the game, and Northwestern led 4-0 with 8:37 left in the first quarter. Penn State was struggling to take control of the draw, giving the Wildcats multiple offensive opportunities.

After another Wildcats goal, the Nittany Lions had a man-up opportunity after Girardi received a yellow card. Penn State capitalized with a Kristin O’Neill goal to cut the lead to 5-1 with five minutes left in the quarter.

Following a Northwestern goal, a forced turnover caused by O’Neill on the defensive side of the field led to Penn State’s second goal of the game. Meghan Murray scored her 16th goal of the season to cut the deficit to 6-2 with one minute remaining in the first quarter.

Penn State won its first draw control of the game to get the second quarter started. Despite the draw control, Northwestern scored the first goal of the second quarter after Coykendall wrapped around the net for her third of the game. The Wildcats would add on another goal a few minutes later, too, to make it an 8-2 game.

O’Neill scored Penn State’s first goal of the second quarter and drew a yellow card as she attacked the net to make it an 8-3 game. Additionally, the Nittany Lions had a two-minute man-up opportunity following O’Neill’s goal, but they couldn’t capitalize that time around.

The Wildcats would tack two more goals on the board before Penn State’s Taylor Regan scored her 18th goal of the season with just one second left in the half to cut Northwestern’s lead to 10-4.

Girardi started out the third quarter and scored her third goal of the game for Northwestern, which was followed up Coykendall’s fifth of the game, to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 12-4 with 13:14 left in the third quarter.

Less than 30 seconds later, Murray stopped the bleeding for Penn State with her second goal of the night to cut the deficit to 12-5.

Three more Northwestern goals within a five-minute span gave the Wildcats a commanding 15-5 lead with 8:17 left in the third quarter. Later in the quarter, Hunter Chadwick added another for the visiting squad to make it a 16-5 game heading into the fourth quarter.

The two teams would trade goals in the fourth quarter, but that would be all, as Penn State wasn’t able to mount a comeback like it has been known to do in the past. Northwestern took an comfortable 17-6 victory Friday night in Happy Valley.


  • The Nittany Lions struggled heavily with gaining the draw control Friday night. They had to start off most possessions on defense, which took away scoring opportunities throughout the game. Penn State only had three draw controls, while Northwestern had 21.
  • Penn State didn’t have too many scoring opportunities due to turnovers and the previously mentioned draw control issues. Northwestern was dominant on offense from start to finish. The Nittany Lions had only 15 shots on goals, while Northwestern had 27.
  • Penn State had a lot of penalties throughout the game, which gave Northwestern a player advantage several times. The Wildcats capitalized often by converting the chances into goals.

What’s Next?

Penn State will hit the road to face off against the Maryland Terrapins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Sarah Sacker

Sarah is a senior majoring in journalism and a writer for Onward State. She is from Annapolis, Maryland, and is a huge fan of the Ravens and Capitals. Follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Sacker8 or email her at [email protected]

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