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No. 16 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Overcomes Ohio State 15-13 In Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals

Penn State women’s lacrosse (10-6, 5-2 Big Ten) defeated Ohio State (8-9, 1-6 Big Ten) in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon in Panzer Stadium.

The game was a close contest for the entire hour of play, and the biggest lead was Penn State’s three-goal lead in the final two minutes. While Penn State stayed on its feet the whole time, both teams struggled to find real dominance. Emma Kelly and Gretchen Gilmore led the Nittany Lion offense with four goals each.

How It Happened

Penn State won the opening draw but a scramble for possession ensued. After much back-and-forth possession, Ohio State drew first blood, scoring the first goal through Emily Magalotti.

Gilmore picked up a one-minute green card, forcing Penn State to play a woman down. Ohio State failed to capitalize on the advantage and Gilmore came back on the field. She beat her defender and bounced the ball into the back of the net to put Penn State on the board halfway through the first quarter.

The Nittany Lions scored again with just under five minutes in the quarter as Meghan Murray grabbed her first goal of the game.

The Buckeyes quickly came back as Leah Sax broke through the defense and smashed in her shot. Only 40 seconds later, Ericka Ho grabbed her first goal of the day for Penn State.

Ohio State won a slew of free-position shots but couldn’t find a breakthrough. The first quarter ended with Penn State leading 3-2.

Penn State won a free position shot to start the second quarter but the attempt went wide of the net. The Buckeyes came back downfield to grab a goal of their own. They grabbed a free-position goal less than a minute later to take the lead 4-3.

Ohio State had a hand on the tempo of the game, keeping the ball in its possession. It found another breakthrough as Brynn Ammerman’s shot cut through the Penn State defense. Penn State called a timeout in an attempt to regroup.

Both teams slowed down the tempo, opting to take long possessions and wait for the perfect time to get a shot off. Ellie Hollin and Ammerman picked up two-minute yellow cards after a scuffle near goal.

Kelly joined Penn State’s scoresheet, scoring a solo goal through an absolute rocket. Ammerman’s penalty was released for Ohio State, leaving Penn State a woman down for the rest of the half.

Gilmore picked up another goal to end the half and tie the game 5-5.

Ohio State won the draw to start the second half and quickly won a free-positon shot, slotting it in low past goalie Sydney Manning. The Buckeyes picked up a two-minute yellow card for dangerous play, putting Penn State a woman up.

The Nittany Lions wasted no time in capitalizing on this advantage, and Gilmore secured a hat trick on the day, streaking in front of the net to push the ball in. Ohio State quickly pulled one back to retake the lead.

Halfway through the third quarter, Penn State retook the lead with two quick succession goals by Kelly to secure a hat trick for the game, and Ohio State called a timeout.

The Buckeyes came back from their timeout with a fire as Jamie Lasda scored a goal. Zoe Coleman followed soon after with a quick stick shot right in front of the goal.

Kelly fought back, scoring a free-position goal for Penn State to tie the game 9-9 with 3:35 left in the third. Neither team could find a breakthrough in the remaining time, and it remained tied 9-9 heading into the final quarter.

Penn State won the draw to start the fourth quarter, getting off two shots before Ohio State cleared. The Buckeyes ran downfield and overwhelm the defense to take the lead. They controlled possession, scoring another goal to increase their lead to two before Penn State called a timeout with 10:23 left in the game.

The Nittany Lions came back from their timeout with a vengeance. Murray spun past her defenders, getting all the space she needed to wrap a shot around and into the back of the net. Penn State won the draw and Murray immediately scored off a free position shot to tie the game 11-11.

After a few minutes of slow play, Gilmore found the breakthrough to retake the lead. Kara Nealon followed up by running around the crease and slipping the ball in on the near side to increase Penn State’s lead to two.

The Nittany Lions continued to dominate possession, winning another free-position shot. They opted to pass the ball around before Kristin O’Neill found her first goal of the game with a low sling.

With just under three minutes to play, Lasda pulled one back for Ohio State, decreasing its deficit to two at 14-12.

After another timeout from Penn State, Abernathy took it all the way herself to hit the back of the net and have a three-goal lead. The Buckeyes pulled back a goal with a minute to play but failed to overcome its two-goal deficit. Penn State secured its win and will move on to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Takeaways

  • Every team does better when it can win draws and control the tempo, and Abernathy is the backbone of this for Penn State. She won 13 on the day and passed 200 career draw controls in the first half.
  • Kelly and Gilmore both had standout games. Gilmore recorded four goals and one assist and Kelly recorded four goals on the day. Both helped keep the tempo in Penn State’s favor and never let them lose the needed momentum to fight for this win.
  • Free-position goals were a huge help to the Nittany Lions tonight. They had a 50% conversion rate, scoring four goals from eight shots.

What’s Next?

Penn State will move on to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament and play the winner of Maryland vs. Rutgers. The game will be played at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, at Northwestern.

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About the Author

Ashley Connington

Ashley is a sophomore studying journalism from New Jersey. She is not okay about Saquon leaving the Giants and was crying on her couch all day. She can't look at all of her Saquon merch and doesn't know when she will recover. You can email [email protected] to send her ways to meet Saquon or watch her obsess over Chelsea FC on twitter @ashconnington.

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