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No. 19 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Suffers 9-8 Fourth-Quarter Implosion Against Ohio State

Despite its energy from an overtime upset victory last weekend, No. 19 Penn State women’s lacrosse (6-5, 2-1 Big Ten) couldn’t continue its win streak and crumbled in the final minutes against Ohio State (7-4, 1-3 Big Ten) in Columbus Thursday evening.

The Nittany Lions held a six-goal lead headed into the fourth quarter and failed to score for the remainder of the game. This allowed the Buckeyes to come back spoil Penn State’s four-game winning streak.

How It Happened

After a scramble in the midfield, the Buckeyes gained control of the first draw. Despite a Penn State green card, Ohio State couldn’t maintain its first possession and lost the ball from a shot clock violation.

After some movement down low from Payton Wainman, she got a feed off to a driving Lauren Saltz who slammed the ball into the back of the net. The Nittany Lions took the lead just three minutes into the game.

The Buckeyes secured the next draw, but it wasn’t long until Emily Magalotti received a yellow card for a dangerous shot. The Nittany Lions gained possession and headed in the other direction.

Ohio State survived its woman-down defensive bout thanks to a Penn State turnover and continued to kill off the clock. Manning raked in her first save of the game off of a failed shot attempt.

Both teams suffered a slight scoring drought until Meghan Murray closed it with a wicked low-left bouncer, and Penn State held the lead 2-0.

The Penn State defense held tightly to the Ohio State attackers and cutters through the circle. With defenders stepping up left and right to make big plays, the ball didn’t remain with the Buckeye offense for long.

Murray came up with a big interception to end the first quarter. The Nittany Lions remained up 2-0 after the first 15 minutes of play.

The second quarter started off messy on both sides of the ball. Turnovers for both teams and a green card and shot clock attempt for the Buckeyes plagued the first three minutes.

Emma Kelly ripped an epic high-to-low finish past Regan Alexander with 11:10 to play in the first half to put the Nittany Lions up three.

A few minutes later, Gretchen Gilmore weaved through the entire eight-meter and curled right around her defenders to earn a goal of her own. This marked Gilmore’s 18th goal of the season, and the fourth goal of the game for Penn State.

The Buckeyes picked up another draw after the goal, but Manning came up big with the save. Doing what they do best, the Nittany Lions turned defense into offense, and Gilmore came up big with another goal. Ohio State called a timeout as Penn State led 5-0 with 7:38 to play in the quarter.

Penn State got its second draw control coming out of the timeout, but Kelly was denied off of her free position shot. On the other end of the field, Rachel Spilker came up with the stop for the Nittany Lions.

Alexander produced her fourth save for the Buckeyes, granting them enough momentum to find the net for their first goal of the night. Forcing through her defender and throwing a fake on Manning, Jamie Lasda put the Buckeyes on the board with 2:13 to play in the half.

Penn State stalled the ball in tune with the final moments of the game, and Murray successfully ripped a shot off with 33.7 seconds remaining.

The Buckeyes didn’t have enough time to convert, so the first half came to a close with Penn State up 6-1.

Lasda opened the second half with a draw control for the Buckeyes. It wasn’t long until Magalotti earned her first goal of the night and gave Ohio State an explosive start to the half by narrowing the gap 6-2.

Kayla Abernathy won the draw control for Penn State and Saltz found the cage after creating separation from her defender with 13:22 to play.

Haley Urgo received a green card for Penn State for defending across the body as the Buckeyes advanced the ball through the midfield. A free position shot from Leah Sax fell wide on the outside pipe and was picked up by Ellie Hollin.

After being face guarded all game, Kristin O’Neill finally got another chance with the ball on a free position shot. She false started and the possession was granted to Ohio State. The teams traded missed shots and big saves with Manning leading the defensive end from the goal.

With 5:34 to go in the third quarter, Kelly scored the first goal in almost eight minutes for the Nittany Lions. They continued to hold their strong lead up 8-2.

The Nittany Lions suffered a shot clock violation on the offensive end, but Saltz caused a turnover quickly on the defensive end to send the ball right back down. Shots from O’Neill and Gilmore didn’t convert, and a turnover from Kelly ended the possession for the Nittany Lions.

Manning and the entire defensive unit held strong against Buckeye cutters and drives to close out the end of the third quarter. Penn State stayed up 8-2 with the final 15 minutes ahead of it.

Alexander produced a huge save off of a free position shot for the Buckeyes to open up the fourth quarter. With some quick passing in transition, Brynn Ammerman hit the inside of the top-right pocket to get another goal for Ohio State. After this shot, it was a five-goal game with about 12 minutes to play.

Missy Doherty issued a timeout for the Nittany Lions to get set for the last 10 minutes of play. Ammerman received a yellow card that put the Nittany Lions a woman-up. The Buckeyes had yet another opportunity on their offensive end but could never seem to convert.

Off of a save from Alexander, the Buckeyes finally converted with a roll dodge from Kampbell Stone. They trailed 8-4 with the clock dwindling down.

Ohio State began to dig deep and found momentum with a free-position goal from Sax. With 5:35 to go, the Buckeyes had slowly chipped away at the wide goal margin that once defined the game.

Kelly was issued a green card off of a block in the midfield, and Kate Tyack capitalized on it with a smooth free position goal past Manning. Penn State only led 8-6 with 2:56 to play in the game, and an Ohio State timeout set Amanda Moore’s squad up for the end.

An Ohio State draw control put the Buckeyes exactly where they wanted to be coming out of the timeout. Annie Hargraves slammed a shot in off of a free position attempt, and the comeback effort now lied within one goal with 2:10 to play.

Tyack beat her defender one-on-one to tie the game up 8-8 for Ohio State. The Buckeyes won the next draw control and called a timeout to make their game plan.

After working the ball around, Tyack weaved through the Penn State defense and practically leaped to get the ball into the back of the net. She came back down left-handed to beat Manning with 10 seconds remaining.

Ohio State came up with the comeback win 9-8.

Takeaways

  • The Nittany Lions originally started the season 2-4 and were on a 4-0 win streak before tonight’s game. Many expected the momentum continue, especially with the first three quarters Penn State put together. As it began to collapse in the last minutes of play, it is clear that there are still gaps that need to be filled headed into the remainder of conference play. It needs to continue to build on putting a full 60 minutes together, as tonight’s final minutes allowed the Buckeyes to insert themselves back into the game.
  • As much as the overtime victory over Northwestern spoke to the competitiveness of the Big Ten, tonight’s loss does just as much. The Big Ten, and frankly the entire collegiate league, is anyone’s game. The confidence and grit displayed by the Buckeyes was enough to put them on top of the Nittany Lions tonight.
  • Draw controls and the dominant coverage of O’Neill were key factors in the win for Ohio State. It was quick off the circle, which allowed it to possess the ball instantly. This was especially critical as it began to chip away at the large goal margin in the fourth quarter. In future matchups, the Nittany Lions will need to find a way to come off stronger off the draw so they can maintain possession. Even though multiple players stepped up in O’Neill’s place tonight, she was certainly missed during the critical moments down the stretch for the Nittany Lions.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions return home to Panzer Stadium on Wednesday, April 3, for their annual Pride Game. The first draw against Vanderbilt will begin at 1 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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