Smith Scores Five as No. 1 Wildcats Defeat No. 12 Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 6, 2012 In its first night game at Penn State Lacrosse Field, the Nittany Lions suffered a 14-7 loss to defending national champion and top-ranked Northwestern (11-0, 3-0).

While the Wildcats focused their defensive attention on stopping Penn State's top scorers, other Nittany Lions stepped up. Freshman Haley Ford (White Hall, Md.) had netted just one goal going into the game but scored three on the evening. Senior Elaine Welch (Bernardsville, N.J.) also came through, recording her third and fourth goals of the season.

After missing last weekend's game versus No. 4 Florida, Penn State's leading scorer (21 goals, 14 assists), sophomore Mackenzie Cyr (West Chester, Pa.) played but saw limited action.

Senior goalkeeper Dana Cahill (Towson, Md.) notched 13 saves, including eight in the first half, against 30 Northwestern shots.

Penn State (8-4, 1-2) was put in a hole early after Northwestern's top scorer and 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Shannon Smith, tallied three goals in the first 19:06 of the game. In all, she scored five times for the game, giving her 40 for the season.

At the 10:10 mark, the Nittany Lions found the back of the net for the first time with Welch's third goal of the season. Northwestern scored less than one minute later, but Penn State responded with just over seven minutes remaining in the half when freshman Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) scored her team-high 27th goal of the season, cutting the lead to 4-2.

After the Wildcats netted two straight, Ford put in her first goal of the game with 3:14 on the clock. Northwestern would add one and carry a 7-3 lead into the break.

The Wildcats scored two unanswered goals to start the second period, pushing their lead to six. Sophomore Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) netted her second goal of the season at the 21:32 mark to chip into the NU advantage.

Penn State scored back-to-back goals for the lone time in the game when Ford and Welch tallied goals at 14:11 and 8:53, respectively. The Nittany Lions cut the lead to five twice in the second half but could never inch any closer.

Ford accounted for Penn State's final goal with 7:37 left on the clock, completing the hat trick. Northwestern tallied two more scores before the game ended, including Smith's fifth of the game with 38 seconds remaining.

The Nittany Lions totaled nine turnovers in the second half, compared to just three by Northwestern, hampering their comeback chances.

Penn State will play its final non-conference road game of the season on Wednesday, April 11 when it travels to eastern Pennsylvania to face Lehigh (6-6). Opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem. A year ago, the Nittany Lions edged the Mountain Hawks, 12-11, at Jeffrey Field, maintaining their unblemished all-time series record (20-0).

2012-04-07



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