Women's lacrosse claims Big Ten Tournament Championship

May 04, 2015

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The No. 7 Nittany Lion women's lacrosse team won the inaugural Big Ten Tournament, 13-11, over No. 20 Ohio State on a sunny Sunday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) scored four goals and defender Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md.) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Penn State will play No. 18 Johns Hopkins on Friday in the NCAA first round at Charlottesville, Va. The winner will face the winner will face the winner of Virginia-Winthrop in the second round. 

"We're really excited," head coach Missy Doherty said. "This (tournament) is going to be one we'll enjoy for a long, long time. It's a product of the girls on this team. From day one they were just really fun, driven team to work with. And this is what happens when the girls have their priorities in the right place and enjoy each other and work hard."

A 3-0 spurt midway through the second half propelled the Nittany Lions (14-4) to their first tournament championship, breaking an eight-all deadlock with 17:09 remaining. Despite OSU's 3-1 ensuing run, Penn State would never relinquish the lead to beat the Buckeyes (13-7) for a second straight time.

Coffey was outstanding all tournament, finishing with seven goals in two games, while Smucker played on a makeshift defense that was comprised solely of midfielders. Penn State kept Ohio State below its season average in goals en route to the victory.

Coffey joined Smucker on the All-Tournament Team, while Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) and Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) also joined in the honors. Mosketti had two goals and a team-high six draw controls, while Smith made seven saves including a crucial stop late on Katie Chase to preserve the win. Chase had four goals and three assists for the Buckeyes.

Penn State's balanced offense featured seven different goal scorers led by Coffey's four and followed by Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.), Katie O'Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) and Mosketti each scoring twice.

Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.) had a three-point day on a goal and two assists, while Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) pitched in with a goal and an assist. Kristin Brent (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) scored for a second straight game for the Lions.

Penn State out-shot the Buckeyes, 25-24, while coming up even in saves with seven apiece. Both teams had eight turnovers and Penn State cleared 9-of-10 times, while PSU's ride caused five turnovers on 11 Ohio State clearing attempts.

Both teams picked up 13 draw controls and the ground ball battle was won by OSU, 10-8. Coffey led PSU with three grounders.

The game opened with Chase scoring after just 41 seconds, but four straight Nittany Lion goals opened a 4-1 lead with 14:55 in the first half. Coffey and Cyr tallied unassisted goals before Lazo found an open Brent and McCormick for back-to-back goals 100 seconds apart.

The Buckeyes fought back with a 3-1 run as Cyr's free-position goal was sandwiched in the run. O'Donnell notched her first followed by a Jennifer Porretto goal for Ohio State as PSU had a 6-5 lead with 3:21 remaining.

Two quick strike goals from Coffey and Mosketti regained a three-goal margin with 2:06 remaining as Penn State took the 8-5 lead into the half.

Ohio State quickly erased its deficit with three goals in the opening 7:15 of the second half to even the score, 8-8. The always resilient Nittany Lions were not to be deterred as Lazo, Mosketti and Coffey scored a trio of goals to open an 11-8 advantage with 17:09 to go.

O'Donnell answered Cian Dabrowski's goal from her knees to regain a three-goal margin, 12-9, with 13:53 remaining. Porretto would answer 40 seconds later and Chase connected at 9:19 to pull within one, 12-11.

Coffey's scamper down the middle of the Ohio State defense proved pivotal just 90 seconds later as the Nittany Lions added insurance and turned things over to the defense. Penn State allowed only two shots down the stretch and both were saved by Smith. 

Last Updated May 04, 2015