Women's lacrosse secures NCAA berth

 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The seventh-seeded Penn State women's lacrosse team will play in the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship for the second straight year after earning an at-large bid to the 26-team tournament, the NCAA announced Sunday (May 5) night.

As the No. 7 seed, the Nittany Lions will host MAAC champion Canisius (14-4) in first-round action Friday, May 10. If Penn State advances, it will host the winner of the Massachusetts-UConn matchup Sunday, May 12. The Nittany Lions will compete in consecutive NCAA championships for the first time since a three-year span from 1995-97.

Under the direction of third-year head coach Missy Doherty, Penn State (12-6, 4-1 ALC) earned a share of its first ALC regular-season championship and captured its fourth straight 10-win season. Penn State secured a perfect home regular season for the first time since 1991 and was ranked as high as No. 6 in both the IWLCA and deBeer/Inside Lacrosse Media polls for the first time since 2007. The Nittany Lions also toppled its highest-ranked opponent since the 2007 campaign when it shocked No. 2 Florida, 16-11, at Penn State Lacrosse Field March 30.

Penn State boasts a balanced attack in 2013 with six student-athletes reaching the 20-goal mark. Tewaaraton Award nominee and All-ALC first-team member Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) leads the Nittany Lions in goals (43), assists (33) and points (76), while fellow All-ALC first-team honoree Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) has collected a team-high 48 draw controls and ranks second on the team with 41 goals.

Junior Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.), who earned league second-team recognition, has contributed 27 goals and 27 assists and, along with McCormick, is one of two Nittany Lions with at least 10 goals and 10 assists. Sophomore Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J./26g), senior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md./25g) and All-ALC second-team member Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md./24g) round out the Nittany Lions' 20-goal scorers.

Defensively, All-ALC first-team honoree Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.) paces the team with a career-high 43 ground balls and 35 caused turnovers, while redshirt senior defender Colleen Shea (Baltimore, Md.) has collected 16 caused turnovers and 10 ground balls. Freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) has posted a 12-6 mark during her rookie season.

The Nittany Lions, who will host their first NCAA tournament game since 2005, will meet Canisius for the first time in program history. Both Penn State and the Golden Griffins have played Cornell, Duquesne and Ohio State this season. The Nittany Lions are 2-1 against common opponents, while Canisius is 1-2.

Game time and ticket information will be announced when it becomes available.

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Last Updated May 10, 2013