No. 9/10 women's lacrosse hosts No. 2 Florida Saturday

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 9/10 Penn State women's lacrosse team will face its fourth top-10 opponent of the season when it welcomes No. 2 Florida to Happy Valley Saturday, March 30. Opening draw at Penn State Lacrosse Field is set at noon.

The Nittany Lions (6-3, 1-0 ALC), who are 1-3 against ranked opponents this season, will look to become 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2005. Although Saturday afternoon's matchup is Penn State's fourth home game of the season, the squad is scheduled to play outdoors for the first time in 2013.

Both the Nittany Lion offense and defense will be put to the test against a potent Florida (13-0, 1-0 ALC) squad that ranks second in the NCAA in scoring defense (5.77) and sixth in scoring offense (14.77).

Sophomore attacker and leading scorer Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.), who missed both matchups last season against the Gators, will look to continue her dominating presence this season.

McCormick, who registered her 100th career point against Drexel, ranks 15th in the NCAA in points per game (4.56) and 16th in points (41). The Eldersburg, Md., native paces the Penn State contingent in goals (24), assists (17) and points (41) and is just five goals away from tying her 2012 total.

In addition to McCormick, five Nittany Lions have netted at least 10 goals. Junior Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.), who boasts a 16-game point-scoring streak, has registered 20 markers, while sophomore Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) and freshman Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) have notched 14 goals each. Both senior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) have contributed 13 markers.

Freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.), who made 11 saves against Drexel, will look to keep the Florida offense at bay along with senior Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.). The defender, who ranks 16th in the NCAA in caused turnovers, is one of two Nittany Lions who has registered at least 10 ground balls (26), draw controls (18) and caused turnovers (17).

In its last matchup, Penn State edged Drexel, 9-8, in Philadelphia March 22. After the Dragons erased a three-goal deficit with 54 seconds remaining, Cyr scored the game-winner with 36 seconds left on the clock to secure the Nittany Lion victory.

Florida, which will enter the league matchup with a 24-game regular-season win streak, boasts one 30-goal scorer (Shannon Gilroy), while three Gators (Kitty Cullen, Ashley Bruns, Brittany Dashiell) have recorded at least 20 goals. Anchoring the defensive unit is senior goalkeeper Mikey Meagher, who ranks second in the country with a 5.81 goals-against average and third with a .520 save percentage.

In their last matchup, the Gators dispatched league rival Ohio State, 13-7, March 23 behind five goals from Gilroy. Florida has recorded at least 13 markers in all but one game this season.

Following Penn State's game against Florida, the Nittany Lions will travel to Evanston, Ill., to face fourth-ranked Northwestern April 5. 

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Last Updated March 28, 2013