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Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Falls To No. 8 Loyola 11-7

Penn State women’s lacrosse (4-1) fell to No. 8 Loyola (4-0) on Saturday at Panzer Stadium.

Loyola was Penn State’s first ranked opponent of the season and its biggest challenge so far. Penn State joined the scoring late after a 25-minute shutout and had a big fourth quarter, but its efforts weren’t enough.

How It Happened

Loyola opened up the scoring when Jilian Wilson scored off a free-position shot with 12:11 to play in the first quarter. Loyola won the draw, and Georgia Latch ran through the middle for a quick shot past goalie Ashley Bowan just 17 seconds later. The Greyhounds kept their possession, and Emily Wills joined the scoresheet with 1:54 left to end the first quarter 3-0.

Loyola continued its strong play to start the second quarter. It cleared the ball, and Sydni Black dodged through Penn State’s defense to bounce it into the back of the net just over 90 seconds into the second quarter, 4-0.

The Greyhounds had another free-position shot saved by Bowan before the Nittany Lions lost possession once again. Loyola jumped on the ground ball, and Meg Hillman scored her first goal of the game.

Penn State finally got on the board with 4:38 left when Kristin O’Neill won space and flew the ball past goalie Lauren Spence from far out. O’Neill connected with Kayla Abernathy who found an open lane for an easy goal, 5-2.

Loyola won the draw and found its momentum again as Latch scored her second of the game on a give-and-go to end the half leading 6-2.

The Greyhounds controlled the start of the third quarter and continued to win the draws. Wills scored her second of the game just over a minute in.

The Nittany Lions responded four minutes later when Gretchen Gilmore scored her first of the game with 9:13 left to play.

Wills secured her hat trick when she found an open lane and an easy shot against Bowan. Latch followed up with a third goal to secure her own hat trick to end the quarter 9-3 for Loyola.

O’Neill won a free position shot and took no hesitation in pushing it into the top just 46 seconds into the fourth quarter, 9-4. Penn State continued to dominate and convert free-position shots as Payton Wainman and Meghan Murray joined the score sheet, decreasing the deficit to 9-6.

Chase Boyle was credited with a goal for Loyola with 8:49 left, following a confusing defensive breakdown. Loyola did not risk losing its lead and kept shooting until the end, as Anna Ruby scored with a mere 18 seconds left in the game.

Gilmore rolled past the Greyhound defense to find a last-second breakthrough past Spence, scoring as the buzzer went off to end the game 11-7.

Takeaways:

  • Penn State’s defense had a good display, despite the loss. Loyola had 20 shots on goal but was held to only 11. Bowan held her own against the top 10 team. Despite turnovers of its own, Penn State caused 14 turnovers by Loyola to stop its complete domination.
  • The fourth quarter was successful for the Nittany Lions with their newfound energy and urgency. They came back with purpose and scored three in a row as their offense kept winning fouls and toying with Loyola’s defense.
  • Penn State struggled to control the game, and Loyola dominated possession. It switched draw-takers multiple times in the first half and struggled to find its rhythm. In the third quarter especially, Penn State was held to one goal due to multiple turnovers and the inability to break past the Greyhounds.

What’s Next?

Penn State will travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8.

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About the Author

Ashley Connington

Ashley is a freshman studying journalism from New Jersey. She has the misfortune of rooting for the New York Giants, but at least they have Saquon! You can send ways for her to meet Saquon to her instagram @aconnington26 or watch her obsess over Harry Styles and Chelsea FC on twitter @ashconnington.

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