WLAX: Nittany Lions Topple PA Foe 14-5 Behind 4 hat tricks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2) defeated the Drexel Dragons (7-3) 14-5 Wednesday night at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
On a cold and windy night, 422 fans watched Penn State pick up its 100th win against a Division 1 Pennsylvania opponent, doing so in dominating fashion. Seven Nittany Lions earned at least one point, and four players, Katie O’Donnell, Jenna Mosketti, Steph Lazo and Madison Cyr, recorded hat tricks.
“I actually thought our offense was a little off tonight, Penn State coach Missy Doherty said. “You know, we had some really good individual efforts on goals, but we have to kind of start getting a better pace on the ball, getting better timing with our cutting and our challenges.”
Penn State completely dominated possession in the first half, and owned a 9-1 lead after the first 30 minutes. Drexel committed 37 fouls in the half, 11 of which resulted in free-position chances for the Nittany Lions. Madison Carter, Lazo, Cyr and Mosketti tallied the four free-position goals for Penn State in the half.
Drexel was strong defensively in the opening minutes, and frustrated the Penn State offense with strong pressure and containment, and utilized timely stick checks to prevent quality shots on goal. Lazo broke the scoreless tie nearly six minutes in, capitalizing on a free-position chance.
The final minute of the half was filled with action, as Penn State scored three times in less than 50 seconds, with Cyr putting two in the net in a span of 20 seconds to complete her hat trick. Penn State outshot Drexel 25-6, picked up more ground balls, and went 8-8 in clears.
The second half was much more balanced, as the Dragons found some rhythm on offense and had more long possessions than they did in the first. Lacey Aghazarian scored Drexel’s second goal on a free-position shot, after drawing a yellow-card on Penn State’s Natalie Schmitt. That goal sparked their offense, and the Dragons scored three of the next four goals.
The highlight of the game was easily Mosketti’s third and final goal of the game. Mosketti jumped in the air, after cutting across the crease, to receive a high pass from Kayla Brisolari, and in one motion, turned and slammed the ball into the net to make it 12-4, as if it was an alley-oop in basketball.
“When we got the ball on offense, we just knew that we really wanted to put our shots away, and finish the game,” Mosketti said.
The Nittany Lions clamped down defensively in the final two minutes, taking away time and space for Drexel, and did not allow a goal. Emi Smith ended the game with eight saves for Penn State, and made many key stops throughout the night.
“I just try and track the ball,” Smith said. “I don’t really focus on who’s on the field, or what’s happening, I’m just like ‘okay, next save, I’m going to make it,’ and go from there.”
A couple of freshmen made starts for Penn State, namely Lucy Haubold on defense.
“Our freshmen play a little more chaotic, and they’ll take a couple more chances, so we just wanted to see what that looked like tonight, not playing on our heels, but going after them, and I thought they did a good job,” Doherty said.
The Nittany Lions are back in action Saturday at 1 p.m. at home against Rutgers.
Eric Ohlson is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com