No. 18 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Bests Cornell 13-10
No. 18 Penn State women’s lacrosse (10-3, 2-1 Big Ten) took down Cornell (6-5, 2-1 Ivy League) on Sunday afternoon at Panzer Stadium.
Kristin O’Neill and Meghan Murray led the charge with four goals each following the Nittany Lions’ defeat by Northwestern on Thursday. In a much-needed comeback win, Penn State’s defense held Cornell to 10 goals by way of five forced turnovers.
How It Happened
Kayla Abernathy won the opening draw for Penn State and Kristin O’Neill didn’t hesitate to score a low shot for the early lead with 14:36 left. Cornell answered right back as Katie Castiello snuck one past goalkeeper Ashley Bowan.
Abernathy connected with Meghan Murray in stride for a Penn State goal with a long shot past goalie Ellie Horner. Thirty seconds later, Murray scored off of a free-position shot. The Nittany Lions continued their scoring streak as Brooke Hoss found an open lane down the middle and pushed it into the net.
The Big Red won a free-position shot but Bowan came up with a big save to deny the attempt. They continued to struggle to find a breakthrough as their next free-position shot hit the crossbar.
The Nittany Lions were running wild on offense, constantly cutting through and trying to confuse the Cornell defense. Murray secured a hat trick to put the Nittany Lions up 5-1 with 3:25 left in the quarter.
Cornell broke Penn State’s four-goal scoring streak through Caitlin Slaminko’s top-corner goal to end the first quarter 5-2.
Cornell won the draw control to start the second quarter and Kylie Gelabert scored a quick goal to put the game within two goals.
O’Neill came back for Penn State to blow past her defender and made no mistake to blast her shot in. Brooke Barger followed up with a roll along the crease and a high shot past Horner.
Amanda Cramer cut in front of the Penn State defense for a close-range goal for the Big Red. Penn State won a free-position shot but it was denied by Horner.
Cornell searched for a breakthrough against Penn State’s defense and found one as Slaminko cut through and scored an easy one-on-one goal against Bowan. The Nittany Lions ended the first half leading 7-5.
The Big Red won the first draw of the second half and jumped into offense. Josie Vogel scored in under a minute to change the momentum and create a one-goal game. They quickly won a free-position shot that was foiled by Bowan.
Cornell tied the game 7-7 with just under 10 minutes to go as Cramer scored her second goal of the game. It won two free-position shots but failed to convert both and was forced to transition to defense.
Penn State then won a free-position shot of its own but turned the ball over and Cornell hopped on its opportunity. Maggie Pons put the Big Red in the lead for the first time in the game halfway through the third quarter.
The Nittany Lions went a woman-up on offense following a yellow card. O’Neill won and converted a free-position shot to secure her hat trick and tie the game once again. Murray won a free-position shot and blasted it past Horner with nine seconds left to end the third quarter with the Nittany Lions leading by one at g9-8.
Lauren Saltz won the first draw of the fourth quarter to gain early momentum for Penn State. The Nittany Lions controlled the start of the fourth quarter but had free-position attempts stopped.
Penn State found the first goal of the fourth quarter through O’Neill’s diving shot along the crease. It won another free-position shot and Gretchen Gilmore converted it to put Penn State up by three with 10 minutes to play. The Nittany Lions continued their scoring streak as Emma Kelly and Kara Nealon joined the stat sheet with just over five minutes left in the game.
Twenty seconds after Nealon’s goal, Cornell scored one of its own as Cramer came down the field with a vengeance to secure her hat trick and cut the team’s deficit to four. The Nittany Lions picked up fouls and gave away a free-position shot that Slaminko converted to reach a hat trick with 2:59 to play.
Penn State played strong closing minutes to maintain its lead and win the game 13-10.
- Free-position shots were traded back and forth today as the teams had seven each. The Nittany Lions secured their victory in part due to their four free-position goals and reliance on Bowan to hold Cornell to only one conversion.
- Penn State struggled with turnovers today, tallying eight caused turnovers and giving up nine of its own. For a team that is No. 11 in the country for caused turnovers, it struggled to switch momentum and had some sloppy passes that led to periods of control by Cornell. Once turnovers straightened out, the Nittany Lions looked like their usual self and gain more control.
- Kristin O’Neill officially surpassed her goals from last year as she continues to lead the Penn State roster. O’Neill finished last season with 39 goals and currently has 41 for the season with three games remaining.
Penn State will travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan at noon on Saturday, April 8.
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