UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior Katie O’Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) registered a game-high five goals, but it was not enough as No. 17 Penn State was defeated by No. 7 Northwestern, 17-13, in Big Ten Conference action this evening under the lights in front of a record crowd at Panzer Stadium.
Penn State sees its three-game win-streak snapped as they fall to 9-5 on the season and 3-1 in Big Ten play while Northwestern improves to 12-3 on the year and remain a perfect 4-0 in conference action.
Sophomore Maria Auth (Street, Md.) and junior Madison Carter (Davidsonville, Md.) added four and three goals, respectively, while freshman Rachel Rosen (Port Washington, N.Y.) collected a career-best four assists. Auth added a pair of assists herself for a six-point evening.
The teams traded goals early as Sheila Nesselbush opened the scoring for the Wildcats and O’Donnell answered for Penn State for the 1-1 score at the 27:28 mark. However, Northwestern then used a 6-1 run to open up a 7-2 lead before Auth stopped the bleeding with her second of the game at the 12:21 mark for the 7-3 deficit.
Jill Girardi responded just 17 seconds later for the visitors, but the Nittany Lions used a mini 3-0 spurt to get back within a pair of goals, 8-6, with 3:11 remaining in the first half. Freshman Quinn Nicolai (Moorestown, N.J.), Auth and O’Donnell registered the goals for the hosts.
O’Donnell then sandwiched a goal at the 2:03 mark between a pair of Northwestern goals for the 10-7 halftime deficit.
Nesselbush added a quick goal for the Wildcats coming out of the break, but O’Donnell and Carter followed it up with back-to-back tallies just 58 second apart for the 11-9 deficit at the 27:01 mark.
After two-straight scores from the visitors, Penn State used a mini 3-0 run to cut to within a single goal, 13-12, at the 12:55 mark. Auth scored twice and assisted Carter on the final score of the run.
However, that was as close as the hosts came in the contest as Northwestern scored four-straight goals including a pair from Holly Korn to put the game out of reach. O’Donnell scored a late goal with 1:52 remaining to account for the 17-13 final score.
Freshman Lucy Lowe (Cockeysville, Md.) falls to 7-5 on the year after making 13 stops while her counterpart, Julie Krupnick, made 13 saves to improve to 12-3 on the year.
The Nittany Lions continue this tough stretch of action as they travel to No. 2 Maryland for a 7 p.m. affair next Thursday night on the Big Ten Network.
- O’Donnell extends her goal streak to 37 straight contests while Carter and Auth have now each scored in 17 straight.
- O’Donnell secures her sixth consecutive game with at least three goals and has scored multiple goals in 13 of 14 games on the season. Her 45 goals now lead the team and she also moves past Colleen O’Hara ’03 and into eighth on the Penn State all-time points list with 210 points just one shy of Steph Lazo ’17 in seventh.
- O’Donnell is also now just 13 goals shy of becoming the fourth member of the 200-goal club in Penn State history.
- Penn State outshot Northwestern 42-33, but the Wildcats held the 30-26 edge on target. Neither team did well from the 8-meter as Northwestern was 0-for-3 while Penn State went just 3-for-10.
- Penn State held the groundball edge for just the second time this season, 21-17, but Northwestern controlled the draw 18-13. The Nittany Lions were a perfect 23-for-23 on clear attempts until the final attempt with less than 10 seconds remaining in the contest.
- Lowe collected a career-best six groundballs in the game while junior Kelly Daggett (Bainbridge, Pa.) added three. Junior Kayla Brisolari (Crofton, Md.) had a team-best six draw controls on the evening.
- Penn State was outscored in the first half for just the third time this season and remains winless when trailing at the break falling to 0-3.
- Northwestern in now 22-8 all-time against Penn State.