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Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Falls To No. 19 Michigan In 8-7 Overtime Loss

Penn State women’s lacrosse (6-7, 0-4 Big Ten) fell to No. 19 Michigan (10-5, 2-3 Big Ten) in a tough battle Saturday afternoon.

Despite their best effort to host a victorious Senior Day, the Nittany Lions faltered in overtime and allowed the Wolverines to score a sudden-death goal.

How It Happened

Neither team found much success in the first offensive possessions of the game, as play at Panzer Stadium was scoreless in the opening five minutes. Despite putting good pressure on Michigan’s goalie Arielle Weissman, Penn State gave up its first goal after Julia Schwabe found the net on a free-position shot.

Penn State responded well, as Regan Nealon charged down the field to set up a goal by Sydney Wolfington to even the score just over one minute later.

Michigan found Penn State’s net again with just under six minutes remaining in the first quarter, as Schwabe found her second goal during a scrum in front of the goal. The Nittany Lions quickly restored the tie when Kristin O’Neill tucked the ball into the right side of Michigan’s net.

With the game tied 2-2, Weissman had proven herself as a steady presence in the Wolverine’s net. She had saved six of Penn State’s shots on goal, while her own team had taken just three shots total.

Scoring slowed down throughout the remaining minutes of the first quarter and into the second quarter. It wasn’t until a few minutes into the second quarter that O’Neill found her second goal of the game to give Penn State its first lead.

Penn State put together strong defensive stands after O’Neill’s goal, forcing the Wolverines to run out of time on the shot clock in back-to-back possessions. However, Michigan found its way past goalie Ashley Bowan with its next chance, as Annabelle Burke brought the game to a 3-3 draw.

Burke’s goal would prove to be the final goal of the half. As the first half wound down, Michigan appeared stronger on offense, drawing the score and bringing the shot differential closer to even with each possession.

Michigan didn’t waste its time in the second half, as Kaitlyn Mead put the goal in the top of the net, but the goal was called back. The Nittany Lions proceeded to take off down the field, and Brooke Hoss restored Penn State’s lead just a second later.

However, Michigan didn’t let up. Less than one minute later, Kaley Thompson brought the game back to an even score. The Wolverines kept rolling as Kaylee Dyer gave Michigan a 5-4 lead with a free-position shot.

Wolfington found her second goal of the game after an assist from O’Neill from a free-position opportunity. Two minutes later, Thompson found her second goal for Michigan, as the Wolverines took a 6-5 lead that held through the remainder of the third quarter.

With just 15 minutes remaining, pressure began to grow in Panzer Stadium. With her team down by one, Hoss stepped up to tie the game. It didn’t take long for Michigan to respond, as Burke found her second goal to give her Wolverines a 7-6 lead with just over ten minutes remaining.

After Penn State called a timeout, the Nittany Lions responded once again. O’Neill earned her hat trick for the day as she drove down the center of the Wolverines’ defense to tie the score 6-6.

With under two minutes remaining in regulation, Michigan squandered the last full possession of the game, running down the shot clock so far that the Wolverines were unable to find time for a quality shot. Penn State tried to move the ball downfield but, with 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, couldn’t get far past midfield as the game moved to overtime.

Michigan won the overtime faceoff and didn’t waste its possession. After initial struggles, Michigan finally found the net as a Jill Smith buried the ball while standing alone in front of the crease to give the Wolverines their win.

Takeaways

  • Regardless of the scoreline, Penn State deserves plenty of credit. It held the Wolverines to just eight goals and put up good shots against one of the NCAA’s best goalies in Weissman. Had Weissman not had one of her best games of the season, Penn State certainly has a far more dominant game.
  • The Nittany Lions’ offense relaxed just a bit too much after the first quarter. After putting up 10 shots in the opening 15 minutes, Penn State failed to meet that mark throughout the rest of the game. The Nittany Lions took a combined nine shots in the third and fourth quarters, slowing them down when their offense mattered the most.
  • Penn State will want to put this game behind it as the team looks down the stretch of its last two regular-season games. With an important matchup against a good Rutgers team on the horizon, the Nittany Lions need to be in a good headspace.

What’s Next?

Penn State takes its last regular-season road trip and heads to Rutgers on Saturday, April 23. The game will begin at noon on BTN+.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the void over things such as the Philadelphia Union, the United States Men's Nation Team (soccer), Eagles, and Penn State football, alongside whatever else comes to mind. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21).

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