March 27, 2011

Red-Hot Penn State Rocks William and Mary

from press release


Penn State's Jen Steadman (2g) attacks the goal Sunday in the Nittany Lions' 17-8 victory at No. 16 William and Mary, their fifth straight.

© Jim Agnew

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The Penn State women's lacrosse team continued its red hot play of late, securing its second win against a ranked opponent in the last week by knocking off No. 16 William & Mary (4-4), 17-8, on Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg, Va. The victory was the Nittany Lions' fifth consecutive, the program's longest winning streak since 1999, and improved their season record to 6-4.

Penn State's trademark this season has been a balanced offense and that trend was on display again against William & Mary. Despite getting hat tricks from both senior Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.) and junior Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.), nine different Lions scored goals. Zichelli, who notched a team high four points, was one of four PSU players to tally both a goal and an assist. Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.) was a force for PSU, totaling one goal, one assist, four draw controls, three ground balls, and three caused turnovers.

A stout Penn State defense was also key to the win, limiting William & Mary to just eight goals, tying a season low, and zero assists. In the second half, the Nittany Lions thwarted any comeback attempt by holding the Tribe to just one goal in the final 20-plus minutes of the game.

The game unfolded as a back-and-forth affair through the first 20 minutes. Penn State tallied the first three goals, getting consecutive scores from Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.), Dean, and Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.). However, William & Mary responded with three straight goals of their own to knot the game at 3-3 with just over 10 minutes expired.
 
After senior Aly Adams (Springfield, Pa.) netted the first of her two scores, the Tribe answered with back-to-back goals to stake its first and only lead of the game at the 12:16 mark.
Penn State would end the half on a 5-0 run, getting two goals each from Zichelli and Dean and one from junior Elaine Welch (Bernardsville, N.J.), to take a 9-5 lead into halftime.

The teams traded four goals through the second half's first 10 minutes, with Dunbar and Welch accounting for the Nittany Lions' scores.

Penn State would finish the game strong, outscoring William & Mary, 6-1, including netting three free position attempts, through the final 20 minutes. Sophomore Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.) scored two goals, a single-game career high, and freshman Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) put in her sixth of the year in that span.

The Nittany Lions will be back in action next weekend when they host No. 9 Florida (10-1) on Saturday, April 2 in a key ALC match-up. Penn State will be looking to avenge a 13-11 setback to the Gators in the programs' inaugural meeting in Gainesville a year ago. The road game will be Florida's first since traveling locally to play Jacksonville University on Feb. 16.


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