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No. 22 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Collapses Against Princeton 18-13

No. 18 Penn State women’s lacrosse fell to Princeton 13-18 in its Morgan’s Message game Saturday afternoon in Panzer Stadium.

While taking a shot at mental health, the Nittany Lions didn’t have enough shots to find the back of the net to outlast the Tigers. After an extremely back-and-forth battle with multiple lead changes and ties, the Nittany Lions weren’t able to put a complete fourth quarter together.

How It Happened

After a little scuffle, Penn State won the draw control and advanced the ball to the offensive end. After a failed free position attempt, Princeton missed one of its own as well.

Ally Lipkin put up the game’s first goal for the Nittany Lions with a low bouncer. Princeton’s McKenzie Blake answered moments later, moving around her defender to slam one of her own over keeper Sydney Manning.

Sophomore Haven Dora scored for the Tigers just over a minute later. Princeton took the lead, but the Nittany Lions forced a turnover on the next possession.

Capitalizing on the turnover, Meghan Murray fired one from the middle of the eight-meter. With eight minutes to go in the first quarter, the game was tied up.

Both teams were heavy on aggression today, with turnovers and fouls left and right to accompany that.

In transition, defender Sammy Dupcak ended up on the offensive end and scored her first goal of the season. Naturally, fans and the bench alike all went electric for the senior.

After Princeton received a yellow card for dangerous play, Penn State used the man-up opportunity to add another goal to the board. Kristin O’Neill put up an effortless free position shot to give the Nittany Lions a two-goal lead.

Blake added another goal for the Tigers with just a few seconds remaining. Only a one-goal differential separated the teams as the first quarter came to a close in favor of Penn State 4-3.

A yellow card for Lauren Saltz during the draw control put the Nittany Lions a man down at the beginning of the second quarter. Princeton used this opportunity to tie the game up off of a bullet from Meg Morrisroe.

After another draw control, the Tigers continued pushing and took the lead 5-4 with a goal from Grace Tauckus. With just a minute in between, Blake found the net again off of a free position shot. A Nittany Lion timeout was called to regroup.

O’Neill found the back right corner of the cage with a little over nine minutes remaining in the quarter. The goal marked her 13th of the season and a much-needed boost for Penn State.

Right past the head of Princeton goalkeeper Amelia Hughes, Kayla Abernathy capitalized on a free-position shot. The Nittany Lions were making their way back into the game, tying it up 6-6. Jami MacDonald didn’t let the tie last long as she also went and scored on a free position of her own.

Payton Wainman drilled her first goal of the game into the net with around five minutes left to play in the half. Her goal tied it back up at 7-7.

Off of a wicked pass from behind the goal from Wainman, Murray hammered the ball into the back of the cage. The Nittany Lions took the lead for the first time in the second quarter.

Penn State finally found its footing again as the second quarter carried on. O’Neill picked up a hat trick off of another free position shot, putting a two-goal differential between the teams.

Blake is a force to be reckoned with for the Princeton offense. She put up another goal, her fourth of the game, attempting to chip away at the slight Penn State lead.

The first half came to a close with the Nittany Lions leading 9-8.

Princeton won the draw control to open up the second half. The Tigers turned the ball over, and Penn State completed a successful clear attempt. Gretchen Gilmore capitalized on the transition offense, widening the gap to 10-8.

Dora scored her second for the Tigers off of an assist from MacDonald. Saturday’s game was the epitome of back-and-forth, trading goal for goal.

Emma Kelly added a Penn State goal off of a free position shot with 10:20 to play in the third quarter. After some missed shots on both ends, Kelly fed Gilmore for a smooth shot to put Penn State up three.

Off of a Princeton foul, O’Neill got another opportunity from the eight-meter. She capitalized, bringing the score to 13-9. The Princeton coaching staff called a timeout to restrategize.

With little action in between, the timeout was clearly effective for the Tigers. They came back out and Sophie Whiteway put one in the back of the net with 4:27 remaining.

Turnovers from both ends resulted in back-and-forth action all over the field. Penn State held the 13-10 lead as the third quarter came to an end.

Due to a green card at the end of the third quarter, there was no draw to start the final quarter of play. Princeton’s Samantha DeVito snuck a free position shot past Manning.

A bout of saves from Hughes and Manning was ended by Princeton’s Ella Sloan, scoring her first goal of the season. She tightened the gap to a one-goal differential for the Tigers.

Blake grabbed the draw control and pushed the ball onto the Princeton offensive end. Whiteway found the net and tied the game back up with a little over 10 minutes left to play.

Off of a turnover from Murray, Princeton executed a clear and MacDonald capitalized with a wicked shot. The Tigers took the lead as the battle continued. Penn State was forced to call a timeout to reset for the remaining amount of play.

Sloan put up her second goal of the game as the Tigers went up two with 6:55 remaining. Blake added another free-position goal on the next possession, and MacDonald added another a moment after.

O’Neill was awarded a yellow card and the extra spacing on the field ended with Manning out of the goal. Kari Buonanno rolled the ball into the empty goal, making quite a statement about what the fourth quarter has looked like for the Nittany Lions.

Princeton stalled with the remaining few minutes to earn its first win of the season 18-13 over the Nittany Lions.


  • Free-position shots made up the majority of the game today and controlled the narrative. Princeton secured the win due to its success in completing the free shots. The volume of attempts speaks to the overall aggression and number of fouls during the game.
  • While Princeton took the victory, this game was very evenly matched up until the end. To have this level of competition leading into the upcoming road trips for the Nittany Lions was a good test of their endurance and tenacity.
  • To have won this game, Penn State needed to figure out how to hold on to its lead and stay consistent throughout play. Princeton gave it a tough test with their physicality and it ultimately wasn’t able to pull through in the critical fourth quarter.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions take the trip to Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 28, to face the Drexel Dragons. The teams will face off beginning at 3 p.m.

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About the Author

Ally Eaton

Ally is a freshman public relations major from York, Pennsylvania and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She gets to write awesome feature stories and create epic content for our social media pages. Ally is a lover of country music and Trader Joe's. If you'd like to discuss March Madness or your most creative coffee order, feel free to contact her on Twitter @allyeaton31 or in her inbox [email protected].

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