PHILADELPHIA - The No. 20 Penn women's lacrosse team broke away from a 5-5 tie in the second half to score three straight goals and defeat No. 13 Penn State, 8-6, Wednesday night at Franklin Field.
The Quakers (7-4) controlled the tempo of the game, slowing down the offense but still getting off 24 shots. The Nittany Lions (5-6) lost for the sixth time this year, and all of their losses have come to ranked opponents.
"This was a do-or-die game for each team," said Head Coach Karin Brower. "I was proud of my team for pulling it out. We didn't let them get in a rhythm on offense because we caused turnovers."
The game started with a flurry of activity. Penn's Ali Ryan drew first blood on Chrissy Muller's feed 46 seconds into the game, but Penn State's Lori Navrilla answered two minutes later on a free position goal. Ryan netted her second two minutes later to make it 2-1 before the Quakers slowed down the pace of the game and controlled the ball.
After Emily Cochran's goal with 19:51 left, neither team scored until Lindsay Dutch broke the silence with 6:34 left. Penn tacked on one more before the end of the half when defender Kate Parker finished off a fantastic end-to-end run with a free-position goal at 4:03.
The Nittany Lions turned things around after the break, however, coming out with a 3-1 run to start the half and tie the game at five. Jessi Lieb, Shari Maslin and Mariel Bryan all scored with only Allison Ambrozy's goal at 23:31 breaking up the run.
But the Quakers, determined to pull off the upset, went on a 3-0 run over the next 10 minutes started and ended by Becca Edwards' goals with Tarah Kirnan's unassisted strike in between. Suddenly, the Quakers carried an 8-5 lead with less than three minutes to play, and despite a late PSU goal by Maslin, they had secured the win.
Karrie Moore went the distance between the pipes, playing a gem with six saves and six goals allowed. Cammie Jurkowsky took the loss for Penn State, making nine saves and allowing eight.
Karen Jann was the defensive star for Penn, causing three turnovers and scooping three ground balls. Despite the low scoreline, both teams were more offensive-minded than defensively tough, as Penn ripped off 24 shots and Penn State 14. Draw controls were key, and the Quakers held a wide 12-4 advantage.
Penn returns to action Sunday afternoon, hosting Ivy League foe Harvard at 1 p.m.