Fast Start Helps No. 11 Penn State Bury Drexel
from press release
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 11/12 Penn State women's lacrosse team jumped out to a six-goal lead and never looked back in a 21-8 victory against intrastate rival Drexel in a non-conference matchup at Holuba Hall Wednesday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions secured their first five-game winning streak since 2011 as they improved to 7-3, while Drexel dropped to 4-6. Penn State, which improved to 4-0 all-time against the Dragons, totaled at least 20 goals for the second straight game and third time this season, and held its opponent to eight goals or fewer in four straight games.
Twelve Nittany Lions - led by sophomore Madison Cyr's (Westminster, Md.) game-high five points (4g, 1a) - recorded at least one point. Cyr's four markers matched her career high, while older sister Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) added a goal and three assists. The senior attacker now boasts 95 career assists on her résumé as she closes in on third place (98) on the program's all-time list.
Penn State dominated the Dragons in all aspects of the game, holding advantages in shots (34-14), ground balls (18-13), draw controls (16-13) and caused turnovers (13-9). The Nittany Lions went 7-for-8 on clears and converted on all four free-position attempts. Senior defender Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) secured a career-high five caused turnovers, and goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) earned the victory with the start. Freshman Cat Rainone (Newtown Square, Pa.) made two saves in the second half.
In the first half, the Nittany Lions opened the game on a 6-0 run within the first 4:53 of the contest. Sophomore midfielder Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.), who secured a team-high four draw controls, gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead before Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) and Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) extended the Penn State advantage to 3-0 just 22 seconds apart.
The younger Cyr added a free-position goal with 26:57 remaining before McCormick and junior Jess Loizeaux (Mullica Hill, N.J.), who matched her season high with three goals, gave Penn State a 6-0 lead. Drexel scored two of the next three markers to make it a 7-2 game before the Nittany Lions ended the frame on a 5-3 run en route a 12-5 halftime advantage.
The Cyr sisters connected for three of the Nittany Lion next four strikes during the run, while Lechner and Loizeaux also scored in the frame. A junior attacker, Loizeaux netted her marker with one second remaining.
The second half opened with three straight Penn State tallies, including Mosketti's second of the game 1:09 into the frame. Madison Cyr and Mosketti added markers to make it a 10-goal lead before Drexel scored its first marker with 23:57 remaining. The Nittany Lions then ended the game on a 6-2 run.
Loizeaux and junior midfielder Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) extended the Nittany Lion advantage to 17-6 with goals 1:29 apart before sophomore midfielder Ally Heavens (Garnet Valley, Pa.) added her second of the season with 18:18 remaining.
Freshman Taylor Bleistein (Bayville, N.Y.) put the Nittany Lions ahead, 19-6, before the teams exchanged the game's final four goals. Classmate Natalie Schmitt (Malvern, Pa.) and senior Evan Foulsham (Madison, N.J.), who scored for the first time since her sophomore season, both tallied during the span to help account for the 21-8 final.
The Nittany Lions will return to conference action Sunday, March 30 when they travel to No. 4/5 Florida. Opening draw is set for noon.
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