UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A late flurry of goals to close the first half and a strong performance in the draw circle gave the seventh-seeded and No. 7 ranked Penn State women's lacrosse team a 12-9 win over the No. 15 UMass women's lacrosse team on Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Tournament Second Round at the PSU Lacrosse Field. Maggie McCormick and Mackenzie Cyr led all players with six points each, while UMass was led by Cori Murray's three goals and two goals from both Tanner Guarino and Lauren Terracciano.
The loss ended UMass' season at 18-3 overall and snapped a 15-game winning streak. The Minutewomen had advanced to the second round after defeating No. 18 UConn on Friday in the first round. Penn State improves to 14-6 overall and will face second-seeded Northwestern in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
UMass also received goals from Katie Ferris and Amy Tiernan. Jamie Schiloski made the start in goal recording four saves in nearly 50 minutes of play. Rachel Vallarelli closed out the final 10 minutes with two saves. After returning to action in Friday's game following a knee injury, Kelsey McGovern had two draw controls on Sunday to set a new single-season draw control record at UMass with 110 for the year.
PSU's McCormick had four goals and two assists, while Cyr had two goals and four assists. Kelly Lechner added three goals, while Molly Fernandez had two. Emi Smith made seven saves in goal for the win.
UMass held a 25-to-21 advantage in shots for the game, but a 14-to-9 edge in draw controls for Penn State proved the difference maker.
After Penn State took a 4-1 lead in the first 10 minutes of the opening half, Murray scored back-to-back goals 33 seconds apart to pull the Minutewomen back within a goal at the 17:04 mark.
The Nittany Lions tacked on a pair of goals off UMass turnovers to push their lead back to 6-3 at the 10:24 mark.
Guarino cut the deficit to two again with her score with 4:29 to go, but UMass was able to score off the ensuing possession. A Smith save led to a transition goal for Penn State with 1:21 on the clock extending the lead to 7-4. Penn State won the next draw control tacking on another goal 17 seconds later.
PSU again won the draw control after the goal and gained the extra man advantage with 24.9 seconds to go. Tatum Coffey ripped a shot from the doorstep, but Schiloski made the save to keep the deficit at 8-4 heading into halftime.
UMass killed off the balance of the penalty to start the second half, but Cyr tallied an even-strength goal to put the Nittany Lions up 9-4 just under two minutes into action.
Tiernan, Murray and Guarino each scored consecutive goals over an eight minute span with the Minutewomen pulling back within two, 9-7, with 19 minutes to play.
Back-to-back draw control wins, however, swung momentum back to Penn State with Fernandez and Katie Guy extending the Nittany Lions lead to 11-7.
Ferris then converted a loose groundball into a goal to pull UMass back within three goals, but Penn State again responded with a Lechner goal to go up 12-8 with with 10:19 to go.
The UMass defense was able to get possession back twice over the next three minutes, but was unable to convert those into goals.
Penn State forced a turnover on UMass' third possession in that span and ran off nearly four minutes of time before the Minutewomen were able to get the ball back.
Terracciano scored with 1:58 to go making it 12-9 and a PSU turnover on the next possession gave the UMass sideline hope for the late rally. The Nittany Lion defense forced a turnover with just over a minute to go, collected the groundball and ran out the balance of the clock to secure the win.
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