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No. 25 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Takes Down No. 14 Princeton 16-14

No. 25 Penn State women’s lacrosse (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten) upset No. 14 Princeton (3-3) 16-14 on Saturday on the road.

The Nittany Lions struggled to gain the lead for the majority of the game, as goals were constantly shared back and forth. Penn State’s quick and strong runs eventually wore down Princeton’s defense, as Gretchen Gilmore and Kristin O’Neill combined for 12 goals in a big win for the team.

How It Happened

Princeton won the opening draw and quickly took the lead after Samantha DeVito opened up the scoring. Seconds later, Kari Buonanno put the Tigers up by two after a free-position goal.

Kristin O’Neill charged down the middle lane for a solo goal to put Penn State on the board. O’Neill found herself in the middle again and spun past the defense to tie the game 2-2.

The Tigers went back on top when Ellie Mueller cut through and put one past goalie Ashley Bowan. Penn State won a free-position shot, but it was foiled by a save from goalie Amelia Hughes. The Tigers transitioned to offense, and Jami MacDonald hit the back of the net.

O’Neill secured her hat trick with 6:24 left in the first quarter, as she charged in and blasted it past Hughes. Gretchen Gilmore followed up for Penn State to tie the game 4-4. Princeton fought back and quickly retook its lead through a Kate Mulham goal.

Meghan Murray took down a Tigers defender and won a free-position shot that was disallowed because she stepped on the crease. The Nittany Lions had a last-second effort to score and won a free-position shot after a push that went wide to end the first quarter with Princeton in the lead 5-4.

The Nittany Lions won the first draw of the second quarter, and Brooke Hoss found the back of the net following a strong charge down the middle to tie the game. Mulham scored less than a minute later to give the Tigers a one-score lead.

Following a few minutes of turnovers, Gilmore found a breakthrough for Penn State, as she ran alongside the crease and slipped the ball in low. Princeton followed just 11 seconds later when Sophie Whiteway blasted the ball into the net. However, Penn State found itself in a woman-up situation and had a slew of shots stopped by Hughes until O’Neill then won a free-position shot and hit it past Hughes’ head to tie the game 7-7.

The Tigers found their rhythm, and Grace Tauckus scored two back-to-back goals, rolling through the entire Penn State defense to hit the back of the net. Penn State called a timeout to find its footing, but Princeton won the draw control, which led to a MacDonald score to give it a 10-7 lead going into the second half.

Kayla Abernathy won the third-quarter opening draw for Penn State, and it won a free-position shot 45 seconds into the quarter for Gilmore to convert and reach a hat trick. A mere 45 seconds later, Gilmore scored another goal to make it a 10-9 game. O’Neill followed up and kept the momentum going, running past defenders and hitting the ball high into the net, even with a stick in her lane, to tie the game 10-10 with 12:34 left in the third.

Buonanno responded for the Tigers a minute later with a goal to regain an 11-10 lead. However, this back-and-forth contest continued when Hoss took it all the way for Penn State, as she ran right up to the crease and drilled the back of the net to tie it again. Penn State then found its first lead of the night when Hoss scored a free-position goal. The lead was short-lived, though, as McKenzie Blake cut through the defense to sneak one past Bowan for Princeton.

O’Neill came through and found an open lane to blast a shot past Princeton’s defense with 3:53 left, and then Buonanno closed the third quarter with a solo goal to tie the game 13-13.

The Nittany Lions opened the fourth quarter with a score, as Murray reclaimed their lead with 12:21 to go. Buonanno came down the field for the Tigers and found herself open in front of the goal for an easy rocket past Bowan to tie it right back up.

After a rare stall in the action, Gilmore broke through by driving down the middle and hitting the back of the net to give Penn State the lead again with 5:31 left in the game. Penn State reached its first two-goal lead of the game when Gilmore once again took it all the way to score, making it a 16-14 game. Bowan then came up big with a save, and the Nittany Lions kept control for the rest of the quarter to secure its 16-14 win.


  • Penn State had great ball control today, giving away only seven turnovers. It caused 11 turnovers, as it never let the Tigers get comfortable and dominate possession. The Nittany Lions also won 13 ground balls to keep the game within reach and stay strong on defense.
  • Gretchen Gilmore and Kristin O’Neill’s dominance propelled Penn State to the upset victory. Gilmore secured the win for the Nittany Lions with her four goals in the second half, and O’Neill had another stellar game to continue her 11-game scoring streak.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21.

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About the Author

Ashley Connington

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

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