Penn State W-Lax Rebounds in Win over Duquesne
The 17th-ranked Penn State women's lacrosse team (2-1) handily defeated the Duquesne Dukes (1-1), 16-5 in a 7 p.m. match at Holuba Hall in the Nittany Lion's last game of a two-game homestand.
Seven different Nittany Lions contributed to the scoring and five players had multiple goals. Senior goalkeeper Dana Cahill, who was named to the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List at the beginning of the season, played the entire first and second half in net and finished with thirteen saves.
Nittany Lion junior Molly Fernandez led all players with a season-high five goals. For the Dukes, sophomore Caitlin Prince and junior Meredith Dunn led the team in scoring with two goals each.
Penn State’s Molly Fernandez started off the scoring quickly in the first half with a nice strike past Duquesne goalkeeper Liz Walker within the first thirty seconds of the game. However, the Dukes were swift to respond, as Duquesne’s Meredith Dunn rocketed a shot past Penn State goalkeeper Dana Cahill to even up the score 1-1 just four minutes later.
The early back and forth continued as Penn State freshman Kelly Lechner scored on an unassisted goal with 25:25 to go in the first half to make the score 2-1. Duquesne again responded with a goal by Haley Marafioti, evening up the score, 2-2.
This back and forth continued in the early going until the Nittany Lions reeled off five unanswered goals and extended their lead, 8-3. With 1:26 to go in the first half, Duquesne's Meredith Dunn notched her second goal of the game and narrowed the Penn State lead to four.
Penn State did not allow this for long, however, and Nittany Lions senior Aly Adams scored with just 11.3 seconds to go in the first. Penn State sophomore Mackenzie Cyr rocketed a shot past Dukes goalkeeper Liz Walker in the waning seconds of the first and scored her second goal of the game with 0.6 seconds to go in the first half, sending the Dukes to the locker room with many questions and down 10-4.
“Getting off to a quick start was definitely important, and something we try to do every game,” Penn State’s Molly Fernandez said. "We just did a much better job of it than we usually do.”
Unfortunately for the Dukes, there were not many answers in the second half to be had, at least not desirable ones. Penn State began their second half scoring when Molly Fernandez notched her third goal of the game with 24:56 to go in the second half and widened their lead, 11-4. The Lions' would score yet again nearly a minute later as Molly McCormick scored unassisted with 23:07 to go in the second half, making the score 12-4.
Penn State continued to pile on the points, and five different Nittany Lions managed to score multiple goals. Duquesne failed to score in the second half until the 15:08 mark, and allowed an additional six goals in the second.
For Penn State, the need to continue building is clear.
“I was proud of the way our team played, but obviously there’s always things to improve,” Penn State head coach Missy Doherty said.
The Nittany Lions return home March 4 to take on sixth-ranked Virginia and stay home for a game against Loyola (Maryland) on March 7. That game against Loyola will be broadcast live on ComRadio.
Aaron Hefelfinger is a senior majoring in Telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.