UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (4/26/14) – A second-half comeback from the No. 19 ranked Princeton women’s lacrosse team fell short by just one goal as the Tigers lost to No. 8 Penn State 13-12 in the regular-season finale.
Princeton (10-5) trailed 8-4 at halftime, the first time the team trailed at halftime in 13 games, since Georgetown on March 1. It was also the first time the team had been down by four goals since that Georgetown game.
The Nittany Lions took their largest lead of the game, 13-7, with 10 minutes to play in the second half. That’s when the Tigers stormed back, going on a 5-0 run to make it a one-goal game.
It started on that next draw, as sophomore Alexandra Bruno won it and fed junior Erin McMunn for the score. Less than a minute later junior Blake Dietrick scored her first goal of the season. Sophomore Anna Menke received a pass from senior Mary-Kate Sivilli and buried one, and with less than six minutes remaining it was a 13-10 game.
Penn State (10-6) called a timeout but it didn’t stop the Princeton rally. Freshman Amanda Leavell won the next draw but Sivilli’s shot went into goalie Cat Rainone’s stick. Dietrick caused a turnover, collected the ground ball and a clear was followed up with a free-position attempt. Bruno converted on the attempt with 3:10 left and just like that it was a one-goal game.
The Nittany Lions won the ensuing draw and ran two minutes off the clock before finally turning the ball over. A yellow card on Erika Spilker with 30 seconds remaining gave Princeton a chance and set up Lloyd for a free-position attempt. Lloyd’s eight-meter shot was saved by Rainone, but Dietrick got the loose ball and fed Lloyd for the goal with 12 seconds left to make it 13-12.
Lloyd captured the next draw but time ran out before Princeton could get the equalizer.
Lloyd had a four-goal game with two draw controls and two ground balls. Bruno and Sivilli each had a goal and two assists, and Gersoff scored twice. Leavell and senior Colleen Smith won three draws apiece and sophomore Liz Bannantine had two caused turnovers. Senior Caroline Franke made two saves on three shots in the final 17:46, coming in on relief of starter Annie Woehling.
Mackenzie Cyr had a six-point game with three goals and three assists. Mosketti scored four goals and Lecher had two goals and an assist. Loizeaux and Madison Cyr tallied two goals each. Rainone finished the game with seven saves.
PSU had a slim 25-24 edge in shots, and won 13 ground balls to Princeton’s 10. The Tigers won the battle at the center circle with 16 draws to 11. Princeton committed 11 turnovers and PSU eight.
The teams went back-and-forth with goals to start the game. Princeton got its first two goals from Lloyd and a man-up goal from Sivilli who assisted on Lloyd’s first goal, with Bruno getting an assist as the team’s sat 4-3 at 12:44. Rainone held up leading scorer McMunn for her fifth save of the day just 18 minutes into the game, letting the Princeton attack know it would have its work cut out for them.
PSU grabbed the first multiple-goal lead of the day as the Nittany Lions, as they closed out the half on a 4-1 run to lead 8-4 at the break.
The final Princeton goal scorer of the first half, Gersoff, got the second half started with a goal. Eighteeen seconds later, Lloyd won the draw and scored for the hat trick and forcing PSU into a timeout with an 8-6 lead.
The Nittany Lions went on a 3-1 run to take a 12-7 lead at 17:46 and Princeton was forced to make some changes during a called timeout. Franke replaced Woehling who left with five saves.
After a yellow card to defender Maddy Rodriguez and four straight free-position attempts awarded to the Nittany Lions it seemed like Princeton wouldn’t be able to get back in this one, especially after Mackenzie Cyr gave her team it’s largest lead, 13-7 at 9:57.
With Penn defeating Cornell 10-8 today, the field is set for the Ivy League Tournament. No. 1 seed Princeton will face No. 4 Cornell in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Game 1 will see No. 2 seed Penn vs. No. 3 seed Harvard at 4 p.m. The winners will meet in the championship game for an automatic NCAA Tournament berth on Sunday, May 4 at noon.