April 19, 2009

Penn State Tops Ohio State in Pivotal ALC Game

from press release

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Smiles and goals were both in abundance Sunday on Women's Lacrosse Senior Day at Jeffrey Field as No. 17 Penn State beat rival No. 13 Ohio State, 13-9, in a pivotal American Lacrosse Conference match-up. After an early goal, the Nittany Lions never trailed despite several Ohio State runs. Freshman midfielder Theresa Zichelli (Servena Park, Md.) lead the Nittany Lion offense with three goals, while junior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) tallied nine saves in the victory. With the win, Penn State raises its record to 7-7 (1-2 ALC), while Ohio State falls to 11-4 (2-1 ALC).

"I think it was a great Senior Day," said Penn State head coach Suzanne Isidor. "I think our seniors have worked so hard all year. On and off the field today, their leadership was excellent. I think the rest of the team rallied around them and got the win. It was a great team effort."

The victory gives the Nittany Lions some momentum heading into their next match, another pivotal ALC contest, at Johns Hopkins this Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m. Penn State's squad is looking to put itself into strong position heading into the ALC Tournament at Jeffrey Field on April 30-May 2 featuring a stacked field including No. 1 Northwestern.

Versus the visiting Buckeyes on Sunday, Penn State came out first with a neat pass from senior attacker Marisa Lozano (Pittsburgh, Pa.) to freshman midfielder Theresa Zichelli (Servena Park, Md.) less then five minutes in to take the 1-0 lead. Zichelli would prove to be a threat to the Buckeyes all day. Ohio State answered her goal 38 seconds later with a goal from its leading-scorer Kelly Haggerty on an assist from Maghan Beaudrault to knot the game at 1-1.

Lozano's great start wasn't over, though, as she found her teammates for back-to-back goals with 23:11 and 20:24 remaining in the first half. Senior attacker Laura Lincicome (Berwyn. Pa.) converted first to put Penn State up 2-1. Junior attacker Erica Mihm (Annapolis. Md.) scored to make it a 3-1 Penn State advantage before tallying another goal at the 14:33 mark, this time unassisted. Mihm's second goal of the day and 18th overall put the NIttany Lions up by three, 4-1.

The Buckeyes took a timeout to stop the run and the two teams went scoreless for several minutes before Penn State broke the drought on a man-down goal by Zichelli, her second of the day. Zichelli's goal put Penn State up 5-1 and that's how the teams went into halftime. Penn State's Ellis played a brilliant first half in goal, allowing OSU only one goal while making six saves under the Buckeye pressure.

A relatively low-scoring game the first half gave way to an onslaught of goals for both teams in the second half. The Nittany Lions added another goal to their lead 2:22 minutes into the second half when junior midfielder Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) found the back of the net for her first of two goals on the day. The Buckeyes answered, scoring back-to-back goals to draw within three of the Nittany Lions. OSU's first was on a free position shot at 25:38 from Olivia Annalora and the second came when Jayme Beard found Alayna Markwordt to make the score 6-3 Penn State.

The Nittany Lions took the offensive again, stretching the gap back to four goals when sophomore midfielder Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) notched her first of two goals against the Buckeyes. Ohio State followed with a goal of its own on Markwordt's second of the day, trying to climb back into the hotly-contested ALC match-up any way it could.

Not to be denied on its home field, Penn State extended its lead to six goals after three straight scores from the Nittany Lion offense. Junior midfielder Maria Valderas (Catonsville, Md.) scored off an assist from Bucci for the first goal of the run. Senior Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.) converted a free position shot before Lesnick got her second goal of the day off a pass from Mihm, who finished the day with three points. The lead was a comfortable 10-4 when the Buckeyes decided to make it interesting for the 600-plus in attendance on Senior Day at Jeffrey Field, ripping off the next four goals to shrink Penn State's lead to two goals. During the run, OSU's Kelly Haggerty tallied two goals and an assist while Lauren Sterner, Beaudrault and Markwordt also added goals.

Penn State rallied again, putting three more goals on the board and swinging the momentum back to the Nittany Lion bench. Unassisted goals by Zichelli and Bucci got Penn State back to a four-goal advantage, 12-8, with 7:40 remaining to play. Notching her 22 goal of the year, Shea added another free position score with 6:52 on the clock to get the lead back to a five-goal advantage for the Nittany Lions, 13-9. That score prompted a goalkeeping change for OSU, who tried to launch its own scoring run after getting a goal from Beaudralt, her second of the day with 6:01 left to play.

The Nittany Lions halted the Buckeye run there, however, and used some excellent clock management down the stretch to ensure the victory.

Four Nittany Lions tallied a team-high three points on the day including Bucci (2g, 1a), Lozano (0g, 3a), Mihm (2g, 1 a) and Zichelli (3g, 0a). Scoring two goals each in the victory were Bucci, Mihm, Shea and Lesnick. For Ohio State, Haggerty lead with two goals and two assists, while Beaudrault (2g, 1a) and Markwordt (2g, 0a) both had three points each. In goal, Ellis finished the day with nine saves and nine goals against in 60 minutes of play. Ohio State's Kristen Gilwee took the loss, allowing 13 goals in 53:08 minutes and stopping only three Penn State shots.

Nine seniors were honored before their final home regular season game as a Nittany Lion including: Mariel Bryan (Folsom, Pa.), Lauren Burke (Severna Park, Md.), Aly Carter (Summit, N.J.), Chrissie Galindo (Ellicott City, Md.), Brittany Jensen (Bay Shore, N.Y.), 2009 team co-captain Laura Lincicome (Berwyn, Pa.), Amanda Longobucco (Sea Cliff, N.Y.), 2009 team co-captain Megan McGuire (Eldersburg, Md.), and two-time All-ALC and All-Region honoree and 2009 team co-captain Kerry Shea (Baltimore, Md.).

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