No. 2 'Cats Pound Penn State and Punch Ticket to Philadelphia

The Lions scored on their first shot of the evening at the 12:32 mark, but junior Christy Turner answered with a foray into the offensive zone that ended in an 8-meter goal, one of five free position tallies for Northwestern on the evening.

Leonard and junior Kat DeRonda each managed unassisted efforts around the crease to extend the lead before Fitzgerald scored her 58th of the season to cap NU's game-opening run at 10-1 with 5:10 still left in the first.

But the Wildcats were far from done in their prolific first half, with Rich notching her second of the half before Leonard struck twice in the final 1:10 before intermission. PSU's Madison Cyr appeared to score the final goal of the half with 16 seconds showing on the clock, but Leonard won the ensuing draw and quickly took it down the field to restore a 10-goal Northwestern lead at the break.

A deflated Penn State squad saw its deficit grow even larger as seniors Amanda Macaluso and Fitzgerald converted 8-meter attempts for the first two goals out of halftime, setting the score at 15-3 and all but ensuring a ninth consecutive berth in the semifinals for the Wildcats.

* * * *

EVANSTON, Ill.; May 18, 2013 Sophomore Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) recorded a team-high three points and freshmen Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.) and Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) netted two goals each, but the seventh-seeded Penn State women's lacrosse team fell to No. 2 Northwestern, 15-7, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Lakeside Field Saturday evening.

The Nittany Lions, who advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight season, completed the 2013 campaign with a 14-7 overall record. The ALC regular season tri-champions also finished the season with the program's most wins since 1999.

McCormick, who recorded a goal and two assists, finished her breakout sophomore season with 87 points, the most by a Nittany Lion since Tami Worley collected 94 points during Penn State's 1989 national championship season. The IWLCA Second-Team All-American and Eldersburg, Md., native led Penn State in scoring for the second straight year.

Senior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) also scored for Penn State, while junior Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.) and sophomore Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) recorded one assist each. In 2013, Cyr notched a career-high 35 helpers to push her career total to 81, good for fifth all-time in program history.

Freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.), who started the game and made two saves, played a portion of the first half and all of the second, while redshirt senior Ayla Halus (Hershey, Pa.) tuned aside one shot during her 7:48 of first-half relief. Senior defender Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.) closed her career with a game-high three caused turnovers.

Northwestern, which netted five free-position markers, outshot the Nittany Lions by a 29-16 margin and held advantages in draw controls, 17-7, and ground balls, 17-8. Alyssa Leonard led the Wildcats (19-2) with four points.

After the Wildcats opened the game on a 5-0 run within the first 13 minutes, Mosketti put Penn State on the board with the team's first shot at 17:27. After a restart, the Nittany Lions moved the ball up to Cyr, who fed Mosketti in the middle of the circle. The Fallston, Md., native then fired a shot past Northwestern goalkeeper Bridget Bianco for her 27th goal of the season.

Following Mosketti's strike, Northwestern responded with a six-goal run as it widened its advantage to 11-1. After taking the 10-goal lead, Lechner answered for the Nittany Lions with 1:33 remaining after firing a low, free-position shot to the left corner.

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