Penn State Debuts Panzer Stadium with Dominant Win over Lehigh
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa- Penn State opened up newly renovated Panzer Stadium with a dominant 15-5 win over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon.
“I think it’s an amazing facility for lacrosse,” Head coach Missy Doherty said about the stadium after the game.
Getting the opportunity to play their first game in the new stadium was also a thrill for the players as well, especially for senior Madison Carter.
“We were super excited,” Carter said. “We were glad that the weather held out and we could finally get outside. We have been practicing on it all fall, all spring and it’s beautiful. We’re so thankful for it and we’re lucky we could play our first game in Panzer today.”
The Nittany Lions dominated much of the first half, spending the majority of the first frame in Lehigh’s zone.
Penn State struck first after surviving an early flurry of shots from Lehigh. A goal from Kristin Roberto and two goals from Kelly Daggett combined to give Penn State a 3-0 lead in just a one-minute span.
Sydney Wolfington and Quinn Nicolai then teamed up to score two goals in a 30-second run to move the lead to 5-0. All five of those goals came in the first 10 minutes of the first half.
“I thought [the energy] was pretty good,” Doherty said. “I think right from the get-go the offense came out and was firing on a bunch of cylinders.”
Just past the midway point of the first half, Lehigh finally made it onto the scoreboard thanks to a goal from Mary Ellen Carron to cut the Penn State lead to 5-1. Following that, Lehigh began to tighten up on defense, keeping Penn State scoreless for nearly 15 minutes.
Penn State’s scoring drought was ended by Sophia Triandafils, extending the Nittany Lion’s lead to 6-1. That five goal lead was short lived as Hannah Cermack quickly tallied two goals to cut the Penn State lead to 6-3, ending the first half.
The first half success for Penn State was a combined team effort, along with determined spirit.
“I loved the energy they came out with,” Doherty said. “I love watching them play when they’re so confident and fast [and] aggressive.”
After allowing Lehigh to creep back into the game, Penn State knew they had to make some adjustments going into the second half.
“I think the pace changed a little bit, because when their feet move faster, their minds tend to move faster too. Just better decision making and thankfully in the second half we also put our shots away.” Doherty said.
As the second half started, Penn State wasted no time. Kayla Brisolari capped an aggressive Nittany Lion push with a goal to put them up, 7-3. Soon after, Triandafils found the back of the net to make it 8-3.
It appeared that Lehigh may have gained momentum at the end of the first half, but those two early goals and a third added by Delaney Muldoon moved the Penn State lead to 9-3.
Following that goal, Lehigh took a timeout to try and settle things down. Penn State’s Lauren Craft made sure Lehigh would not have a chance to sneak back into this game, as she added two quick goals to make Penn State’s lead 11-3. Muldoon then added another goal of her own to make the score 12-3.
Following a few minutes of no goals, Penn State once again found the back of the net as Nicolai brought the lead up once again, now at 13-3.
A Penn State penalty helped lead to two quick Lehigh goals. Sondra Dickey and Cermack scored. It cut the Penn State lead to 13-5, but it was too little too late as time continued to tick down.
Shannon Moore and Yasmain Hamood came off the bench to add late goals for Penn State, up 15-5, which would be the final score.
“I’m glad we got in who we got in, but I’m always hoping and wishing we could even do more of that.” Doherty said.
Penn State returns to action this Wednesday at Duquesne. That game starts at 3:00 p.m.
Jake Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.