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Philly’s O’Donnell, Layne help lead @PennStateWLAX past Northwestern; will face Ohio State in Big 10 finals

Friday, 1st May 2015

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Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/15
From Press Release

The second-seeded Nittany Lion women’s lacrosse team used a trio of hat tricks to beat third-seeded Northwestern, 13-10, on Friday night at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. in the Big Ten Semifinals. Penn State advances to the inaugural Big Ten Tournament Final vs Ohio State, which shocked previously undefeated Maryland 11-10.

“This is awesome,” said head coach Missy Doherty. “Our program has done such a great job this year coming up big. Leadership on our team across the board has been awesome. It was a full team effort tonight. Our team defense played awesome and our attack really came together when Maggie (McCormick) was getting a tough time today.”

Penn State (13-4), nationally ranked at No. 7, faced the tall task of downing a ninth-ranked Northwestern (12-6) side who had reached conference tournaments in the previous eight seasons as part of the ALC. The Nittany Lions trailed for only 1:45 of the game, despite leading point-scorer Maggie McCormick being held without a shot or an assist by a face-guarding Wildcat defense.

Stepping up in her place was Penn State’s potent, balanced scoring attack with three registering hat tricks: Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.), Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) and Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.). Cyr and Coffey each tallied two assists to complete their four-point evenings, while freshman and 2014 Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year Katie O’Donnell (Henderson) had three points on two goals and an assist.

Coffey was perfect from the free-position, going 3-for-3 on a night where Penn State lit the lamp 13 times on 23 shots (56.5 percent).

On the other side of the field, PSU’s defense only allowed 22 shots, anchored by Emi Smith’s seven saves. The defense saw a key performance by Cat Layne (Villa Maria Academy) who came in reserve in the first half after two first-half yellow cards were assessed to Taylor Bleistein.

Penn State ripped three straight goals in the opening 3:46 of action as Coffey scored from the free-position and Cyr dashed through the defense for her first two goals.

Penn State ripped three straight goals in the opening 3:46 of action as Coffey scored from the free-position and Cyr dashed through the defense for her first two goals.

The Wildcats fought back with four straight tallies from the 23:17 mark to the 20:26 point in the first half for a 4-3 lead. During the span, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Selena Lasota would tally her only goal of the year, which was her 58th of the season. PSU forced the freshman phenom into three turnovers.

Penn State responded to Northwestern’s four-goal flurry with a quartet of markers in a nearly seven-minute span. Coffey tallied from the eight-meter at 18:41 to even the score before Kristin Brent (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) scored 40 seconds later on a dish from Cyr for a 5-4 lead. PSU wouldn’t trail the rest of the way.

Cyr again found an open teammate four minutes later as Lazo was found on the crease for her first of the night and 35th of the season.

Jenna Mosketti tallied her lone goal of the year with 14:12 to play in the first, racing through the defense in a player-down situation to give PSU a 7-4 lead with 11:48 to go. Mosketti controlled five of Penn State’s nine draws on the night.

NU would score two of the final three goals of the half, sandwiching Cyr’s first-half hat trick as the two teams went to the break 8-6.

The second half had a more cautious approach as the Nittany Lions staved off Northwestern’s swarming defense and a surging attack. PSU opened the half with a Lazo goal on a beautiful Coffey feed for a 9-6 advantage, but NU scored three of the next four goals to creep within a goal, 10-9, with 20:18 remaining. During the 3-1 NU run, Lazo tallied with 21:25 to go.

O’Donnell came through with a pair of clutch goals, both of which were long runs to net that fooled the Wildcat defense add insurance to the Nittany Lion lead, which grew to 12-9 with 15:39 remaining.

The Nittany Lions gained a pair of player-up opportunities, both on successful clears through the neutral zone to help salt the game away. Coffey cashed in with a free-position goal with 5:32 remaining for a 13-9. NU tallied late for the final 13-10 score line.

Penn State went a perfect 11-for-11 on the clear, capping an unblemished 23-for-23 mark on clears against NU’s vaunted ride.

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