March 22, 2013

No. 10 Penn State Survives Scare from Drexel

from press release

PHILADELPHIA - After Drexel tied the game with less than a minute to play, junior attack Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) netted the game-winning goal with 36 seconds left on the clock to send the No. 10/11 Penn State women's lacrosse team past the Dragons, 9-8, at Vidas Field Friday night. The Nittany Lions improved to 6-3, while Drexel fell to the identical mark.

Penn State led nearly the entire contest before the Dragons erased a three-goal deficit to tie the game with 54 seconds left in regulation. The Nittany Lions controlled the ensuing draw before Cyr scored her only goal of the game 18 seconds later after working the ball behind the net.

Sophomore midfielders Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) and Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.), who matched her career high, paced Penn State with three goals each, while senior defender Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.) and sophomore attack Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) also scored. Guy registered her first marker since scoring twice against Lafayette Feb. 25, 2012.

The Dragons outshot Penn State by a 26-22 margin and controlled 12 draws to Penn State's seven. The Nittany Lions won the ground-ball battle, 9-5, and finished 16-for-18 on clears. Penn State goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) and Drexel netminder Teresha Bradley made 11 saves each. Kelly Palace scored a game-high four goals for the Dragons.

Lechner scored twice in the first half as Penn State took a 4-1 lead. After both teams employed aggressive defense to keep the game scoreless, Lechner put the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard after finishing off a feed from McCormick at 7:59.

A Silver Spring, Md., native, Lechner added her second of the contest with 11:16 remaining. The midfielder used her speed to race around the defender before sending a low shot to the back of the net.

Palace halved the Penn State lead just 47 seconds later with her high shot from the right wing, but the Nittany Lions responded with two strikes to take a three-goal lead. With 5:19 left in the half, Coffey fired a free-position shot past Bradley. At 3:46, McCormick extended the Penn State lead to 4-1 after taking Cyr's pass from behind the cage and scoring high.

After Drexel's Alyse Maiden made it a 4-2 game 2:42 into the second half, Guy pushed the lead back to three 24 seconds later after scoring off the ensuing draw. Maiden and Amanda Norcini tallied for the Dragons with 25:36 and 24:38 remaining, respectively, to make it a 5-4 contest before Penn State answered with a pair of their own.

Lechner added her third of the contest with 23:09 left in the game before Coffey tallied her second of the game after using her speed to split a pair of defenders.

The teams later exchanged goals as Penn State took an 8-5 lead. Palace scored a man-up marker for Drexel with 15:31 remaining as two Nittany Lions served yellow cards before Coffey answered at 20:10.

Following Coffey's marker, Drexel began a run of three straight markers to tie the game. With 9:18 left, Palace netted her third of the contest after cutting through the middle of the circle and firing a shot low. Joelle Harke made it 8-7 after scoring from the left wing. With 54 seconds remaining, Palace fired a shot past Smith as Drexel evened the score.

With a pivotal draw in the balance, Guy gathered the ball for Penn State, which worked it to Cyr in the offensive end. The Westminster, Md., native went around the cage before firing a shot past Bradley to put the Nittany Lions ahead, 9-8.

Drexel controlled the ensuing draw but, following a restart, Kelli Joran threw an errant pass that found Nittany Lion netminder Smith. Penn State was then able to run out the remainder of the clock en route to the one-goal victory.

The Nittany Lions will return to action Saturday, March 30 when they welcome conference foe Florida to Happy Valley. Opening draw is set at noon.

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