Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/10/15
From Press Release
The No. 7 Nittany Lion women’s lacrosse team used 14 Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) saves and a trio of hat tricks to beat No. 8 Virginia in an NCAA Second Round contest at Klöckner Stadium. Penn State heads to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third time in four years under head coach Missy Doherty.
“It was a great team effort today,” said Doherty. “I think Emi stood on her head today making unbelievable saves. Every game is different: sometimes our offense takes over, sometimes out defense takes over, today Emi kind of took over. It was a great effort by her and by our team to come up with some big goals and huge times.”
The Nittany Lions will head to North Carolina on Saturday at 1 p.m. to face the No. 2 Tar Heels with a spot in the NCAA Semifinals at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on the line. UNC downed Florida, 11-6, at Fetzer Field earlier Sunday.
Smith’s 14 saves for Penn State (16-4) negated a 34-21 shot advantage by Virginia (12-7), which included a 17-8 margin in the second half. The Nittany Lions earned their first 16-win season since 1989 when Penn State captured its second NCAA title with a 19-1 mark.
In front of Smith, three Lions gathered hat tricks: Katie O’Donnell (Henderson), Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.) and Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.). O’Donnell and Cyr also tossed in two assists to complete their five-point days.
Also for Penn State, Ally Heavens (Garnet Valley) had two draw controls and two caused turnovers and Natalie Schmitt (Archbishop Carroll) had a groundball and a draw control.
Kristin Brent (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) and Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) also had two goals apiece to round out Penn State’s scoring. Brent’s two-goal game was the second of her career, the latter tally breaking a 9-all tie and snapping a 5-1 UVa run with 11:34 remaining in the game.
Brent’s free-position goal proved pivotal as the Cavaliers stormed back from an 8-4 deficit to even the score. That set off a crucial 7-minute stretch where the Lions maintained possession and forced UVa to double-team the ball.
Jess Loizeaux (Clearview Regional) found a cutting Lazo on the door step with exactly four minutes to play to double the lead, 11-9. PSU would stretch the lead to three as Cyr eluded the Cavalier defense and shot into an open net on a feed from O’Donnell with 1:35, touching off a frantic 77-second stretch.
UVA’s Liza Blue capped her hat trick 11 seconds later on the free-position shot, but Penn State won the ensuing draw control and Cyr again found the open net with 61 ticks on the clock. Her goal was fed by Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) who finished the day with six draws and three ground balls.
Virginia’s Casey Bocklet would score with 29 seconds left to pull within two, 13-11, and the Cavs would get a free-position shot awarded with 16 seconds remaining. Kelly Boyd sank the shot, but the referees ruled it out due to a shooting-space violation, and on the re-take, Smith made her 15th and final save.
For Smith, it was her eighth game this season with 10 or more saves. She’s snared 10 or more saves in four of her past five games.
Penn State opened a 7-3 lead by going on a 6-1 run over a span of 10:40 midway through the first half. O’Donnell evened the score with her first tally of the day on a feed from Cyr at 19:06. PSU trailed for just 2:24 on Sunday.
Lazo picked up her first goal in two games by cleaning up her own rebound on a free-position shot and giving Penn State a 3-2 lead at 17:52. That goal was Lazo’s 40th of the year.
Smith stoned the Cavaliers on three straight occasions on one possession to help PSU regain the lead. Smith upped her total to seven saves in the opening 15:30 as the Nittany Lions continued the run.
Lazo and Coffey tallied back-to-back at 35 seconds apart on a pair of unassisted tallies to open a 5-2 advantage. Blue scored at 10:52 to briefly half the onslaught before two goals in a 16-second span gave Penn State a 7-3 lead.
O’Donnell one-timed a pretty feed from Cyr at 8:42 and on the ensuing draw win by Mosketti, Coffey went the distance for her 42nd tally of the year.
Boyd fought through traffic at 6:10 and O’Donnell completed her hat trick with a player-up goal from Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) with 3:29 remaining in the half for an 8-4 lead. Bocklet rolled around the cage with a minute to go to make the 8-5 score line entering the break.
Virginia came out firing in the second half, forcing Smith into her 10th save of the game before Mary Alati scored after a failed clear at 28:43. Brent answered back five minutes later on an O’Donnell dish following two more Smith saves to restore a three-goal lead, 9-6. Brent upped her goal streak to four games.
The Cavaliers responded 73 seconds later on a Boyd shot near the crease from Bocklet and Courtney Swan tallied from Bocklet at 14:34 to inch within one, 9-8. Cyr appeared to extend the margin to two goals a minute later, but it was wiped out by a crease infraction.
UVa finally broke through with the equalizer with 12:34 remaining on a Boyd shot off a Smith save and cap the 5-1 run. Nevertheless, Brent’s goal exactly a minute later gave Penn State the lead it would never relinquish.
Virginia out-shot Penn State 34-21. Penn State shot 61.9 percent from the field, while the Lion defense held the Cavaliers to just 32.4 percent shooting.
UVa won the ground ball battle, 20-17, while the draw controls were even at 13. PSU committed 16 turnovers to Virginia’s eight, clearing 12-of-17 times.
• Lazo became PSU’s second 40-goal scorer of the season joining Coffey, who leads the team with 42 tallies. Lazo has 41 goals this year.