Posted: April 7, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh gave No. 18 Penn State all it could handle on Wednesday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex, but a Theresa Bucci goal with just 12 seconds to go lifted the Nittany Lions to a dramatic 14-13 win. The Mountain Hawks trailed 13-11 with 10:25 to play but fought back to tie the game at 13 with 3:45 on the clock before Bucci scored the game-winner. Bucci and Jen Steadman led PSU with four goals apiece as the Nittany Lions improve to 7-4, while sophomore Lauren Murray netted a team-high three scores for Lehigh who drops to 9-3 following the setback.
“I thought we played well, it was a real strong effort from our team tonight,” Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern explained afterwards. “I thought we had a couple of chances in front of the net that could have made things interesting had we been able to score, but overall I thought we really fought hard. I can’t say enough about the effort of our team.”
She continued, “I thought Penn State capitalized on the chances it had. We know we can play at this level with a team like Penn State, we just can’t seem to be able to get over the hump.”
The teams were evenly contested all evening long and that was reflected in the stats. Lehigh was credited with 25 shots, while Penn State took 26. The Mountain Hawks scooped up ten ground balls with three different players registering two, and PSU scooped up nine with Laura Lesnick and Aly Adams picking up two apiece. The Nittany Lions held the edge in draw controls with 17 as Maggie Dunbar totaled four, while Lehigh won 12 draw controls, led by Lauren Dykstra with four.
In goal for the Brown and White freshman ML DiNisco got the start and sent back five shots in her 45 minutes of action, and senior Kelsy Ferris stopped four shots in 15 minutes on the field. Penn State’s goal keeper, Stephanie Ellis, sent back nine shots as she went the entire 60 minutes.
Murray opened the scoring for Lehigh with a goal 37 seconds into the game off a feed from Allison Thomas, but Lesnick came right back and tied things at one with her goal at the 28:51 mark. Mary Dean then gave Penn State a 2-1 lead with her score with 25:59 on the clock and Steadman’s goal 20 seconds later made it a 3-1 game. Thomas brought Lehigh within one with a free position goal at the 24:39 mark but Theresa Zichelli answered for the visitors with her 13th score of the season to make it a 4-2 game.
Freshman Meg Kelly brought Lehigh within a single score with her goal at the 22:28 mark but Steadman scored two straight for Penn State to put the Nittany Lions up 6-3 with 18 minutes left before halftime. Thomas and Anna Patterson cut Penn State’s lead to one with two straight scores for the Mountain Hawks to make it a 6-5 game with seven minutes to play, but Bucci and Dean answered with back-to-back goals of their own to raise PSU’s lead to 8-5 with just over one minute remaining. Murray scored off a feed from Draper with 21 ticks to go however and the teams retired for halftime with the Mountain Hawks down two, 8-6.
Carmola and Murray got Lehigh back even with two scores to begin the second half but Bucci scored twice and Dean netted one score for PSU as the Nittany Lions opened up an 11-8 lead with 16:26 to go. Draper got Lehigh within two with her score at the 14:40 mark and freshman Ashton Hellmuth scored on a free position goal with 13:10 to play to make it an 11-10 game. Carmola then made a terrific play to sprint behind the net, come around the other side and fire a shot into the back of the goal with 12:18 remaining to tie things at 11.
Goals by Steadman and Hayley Sofarnos for Penn State gave the visitors a two score lead with 10:25 left to play but Dykstra took a feed from Thomas and scored to make it a one goal game a minute later, and the junior then tied things at 13 with her free position goal with 3:45 to play, setting up an exciting final few minutes of play. Penn State controlled possession following the draw control and let time wind down before Bucci unleashed a shot with 12 seconds to go that found the back of the net to make the score 14-13. The Nittany Lions then won the ensuing draw control and ran the clock out to hold on for the one goal victory.
Lehigh - Penn State Post-Game Extra
Lehigh now steps back into Patriot League play as the Mountain Hawks host league foe Holy Cross on Saturday, April 10 at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The opening draw control is set for 1:00 and all of the action will be broadcast live on Lehighsports.com.