March 14, 2009

No. 7 Princeton Edges Penn State

from staff reports

PRINCETON, N.J. - Down by one, junior Kristin Morrison sparked a three-goal run and senior Sarah Steele collected her second consecutive hat trick to lead the No. 7 Princeton women's lacrosse team to a 9-7 win over No. 15 Penn State on Saturday, March 14 at Class of 1952 Stadium.

Penn State (4-2) took the early lead with a goal by Megan McGuire at 27:46 but Princeton (3-1) responded scoring two in 1:14 to take the 2-1 lead. Morrison set up sophomore Lizzy Drumm for the team's first goal at 27:46, and Morrison had an unassisted marker at 21:33. The Nittany Lions evened it up when Erica Mihm grabbed a loose ball in their defensive end and ran into the entire length of the field and beat sophomore netminder Erin Tochihara for the score. Penn State took a 3-2 lead 28 seconds later when Kerry Shea scored on a free-position attempt.

A Kristin Schwab caused turnover led to Princeton's third goal at 12:38. Senior Katie Cox picked up the ground ball, the Tigers cleared the midfield and Steele threw the ball at goalie Stephanie Ellis who stopped the shot but didn't collect it. Steele picked up the loose ball and sent it back in on net for the score, to make it 3-3 at the half.

The Tigers started the second half scoring two goals to make it 5-3. Steele tallied her second goal of the game when she slipped the ball in between Ellis and the left pipe and Schwab deked her defender and found the back of the net after collecting a pass from senior Holly McGarvie.

Marisa Lozano cut the lead back to one when she scored on the doorstep at 22:53, but McGarvie answered when she notched a goal after a great feed from Morrison in front of the cage to give Princeton a 6-4 lead at 18:55.

Trailing 6-4 Penn State scored three unanswered goals to take its first lead of the second half. Lozano added her second from inside the 12-meter fan at 14:00, and her next came from just outside the right point of the eight-meter arc at10:55. One minute later, Theresa Zichelli scored on a free-position attempt.

Morrison quieted the Nittany Lions bench at 10:26 when the Tigers won the draw control and quickly brought the ball down into the attacking end. Morrison had a wide open shot on the left side and Cox feed her the ball for the game-tying score.

Schwab and Casaceli followed up with two shots that went just high of the cage. After Penn State got control of the ball, Casaceli forced a turnover and junior Sarah Vance collected the ground ball. Casaceli tried her hand again at the goal but her shot went just wide, but she managed to grab the rebound and put it away for the eventual game-winning goal at 8:34.

Steele sealed the win for the Tigers at 4:34 when she scored on a close-range shot.

Princeton held a 30-24 advantage in shots and a 36-26 edge in ground balls, while draw controls were even at nine apiece.

Morrison finished the day with four points, off of two goals and two assists, while McGarvie had a goal and an assist each and had a team-best three draw controls. Senior defender Marie McKenna had a team-high five ground balls, while Schwab led the team in caused turnovers with five.

After making a career-high 16 saves in her last game at Duke, Tochihara followed up stopping 13 shots on 20 chances this afternoon. Ellis finished her game with 11 saves.

Lozano had three goals to lead the Nittany Lions offensively, with Shea contributing a goal and an assist each. Theresa Bucci and Ellis each grabbed four ground balls, while Margo Josephs had a team-best four caused turnovers.

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