No. 9 Penn State Rallies for Narrow Win over Tribe

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 25, 2012 The No. 9-ranked Nittany Lions extended their season-high winning streak to four games on Sunday afternoon, edging out William & Mary (2-8), 9-7, at Penn State Lacrosse Field.

Penn State (8-2) had little trouble generating shots in the non-conference victory, totaling 33 for the game, including 20 in the first half, but struggled to consistently find the target, as just 20 made it on goal. However, clutch offense in the second half, primarily from the trio of junior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.), sophomore Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.), and freshman Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) helped Penn State carry the day.

Fernandez led the Lions with three goals while McCormick topped the team in points with four (1 goal, 3 assists). Cyr chipped in two goals and one assist.

Penn State got off to a fast start, as freshman Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.), the reigning ALC Offensive Player of the Week, netted her 24th goal of the season just 37 seconds into the game. However, her goal would be the Nittany Lions' only score for the first 20-plus minutes of the game and Penn State's lead would be its last until the 7:44 mark of the second half.

William & Mary got possession and severely slowed the game, patiently holding the ball and waiting for the right moment to strike. The tactic worked as the Tribe went on a 3-0 run to match what would be its largest lead of the game.

With 9:12 on the clock, Penn State cut the William & Mary lead in half, as Cyr scored her first goal of the game, unassisted. But the Tribe responded as Kyrstin Mackrides, cousin of Nittany Lion men's lacrosse player Matthew Mackrides, scored her second goal of the game at the 5:54 mark.

Penn State quickly answered back with the half's final goal, as Coffey netted her second of the game just 45 seconds later to make the game 4-3 in favor of the Tribe at the break.

After William & Mary's Mackrides put the finishing touches on a hat trick five minutes-plus into the second half, Fernandez scored key back-to-back goals to lift Penn State into a 5-5 tie. The first

But each time that it appeared that the Lions were going to seize control of the game, William & Mary resisted and fought back. The teams traded goals over the next nine minutes, forcing two more ties.

With 11:05 remaining in the game and the Tribe up, 7-6, the tide finally turned in favor of Penn State, as the Nittany Lions would score the final three goals of the game to secure the hard-fought win.

Fernandez triggered the game-ending run and tied the contest at 7-7 by converting on a free position attempt. McCormick then netted the game winner, scoring off a beautiful pass from Cyr to give Penn State its first lead in over 51 minutes.

When the Nittany Lions needed a goal in the final minutes to salt the game away, senior team co-captain Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) stepped up. With 4:32 left on the clock, she took a pass from McCormick and rocketed a shot into net for her 12th goal of the season.

Senior goalkeeper Dana Cahill (Towson, Md.) registered seven saves, including three key stops in the second half, as Penn State rallied from behind.

Penn State will put its unblemished 5-0 road record on the line next weekend when it travels to the Sunshine State for a critical ALC clash with No. 5 Florida (10-2, 1-0). The Saturday, April 1 game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville. The Nittany Lions are 0-2 all-time versus the Gators.

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