Penn State Downs Lafayette for Fourth Straight Win

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Penn State pushed its way above the .500 mark for the first time this season, improving to 5-4 by virtue of its 17-9 win over Lafayette (1-7) on Wednesday night in Holuba Hall. With the victory, the Nittany Lions complete a sweep of their four-game home stand.

Freshman Mackenzie Cyr(Westminster, Md.) had the best game of her young career, notching a game-high six points (3 goals, 3 assists). Seniors Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.) and Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.) also tallied hat tricks while Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) scored two goals and assisted on two more.

Junior goalkeeper DanaCahill (Towson, Md.), the reigning ALC and Synapse Sports National Defensive Player of the Week, recorded seven saves before being relieved in the second half by freshman Melissa Lloyd (West Chester, Pa.). Appearing in her secondgame of the season, Lloyd made three saves.

Penn State came out of the gates sluggish, surrendering three goals to Lafayette through the game's first 12-plus minutes. The Nittany Lions were able to get back one when Steadman netted her 13th of the season but found themselves saddled with a two goal deficit with near the midpoint of the first half.

Eastman sparked a 4-0 Penn State run when she used her speed to weave her way through the Leopards' defense and put in the first of her three scores with 16:37 remaining in the half. Follow-up goals by Lesnick, Cyr, and another by Eastman provided the Nittany Lions with a 5-3 lead.

After Lafayette trimmed the advantage back to one, goals by senior Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.) and another by Steadman with just two seconds left on the clock, stretched Penn State's lead to its largest of the half at 7-4.

The Lions sprinted from the halftime break, scoring four straight goals, getting two each by Cyr and Lesnick, to gain control of the game. Lafayette's top scorer, Ana White, trimmed the lead by one at the 21:47 mark but it did little to slow down the PSU attack.

Five subsequent unanswered goals by Penn State, including the career first for freshman Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.), ballooned its lead to 16-5 and put the game out of reach for Lafayette. Lafayette outscored Penn State, 4-1, through the game's final 14:29 but it was not enough.

The Nittany Lions will return to the road this weekend, traveling to Williamsburg, Va. to face No. 16 William & Mary (3-3) in a 1:00 p.m. non-conference clash on Sunday, March 27. The Nittany Lions are 23-7-1 all-time versus the Tribe, including last season's 11-8 victory in University Park.

2011-03-24



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