Lacrosse: Northwestern falls to Penn State in final minutes


Daily file photo by Keshia Johnson

Selena Lasota runs with the ball. The sophomore scored a goal in Saturday’s loss, but received two yellow cards and was ejected late in the second half.

Claire Hansen, Reporter


After a contentious back-and-forth game, the Wildcats were unable to stifle a late-game run by the Nittany Lions.

No. 12 Northwestern (7-8, 2-2 Big Ten) fell to No. 14 Penn State (11-4, 3-1) 17-13 on Saturday. The game was the first matchup between the two teams since Penn State eliminated the Cats from the Big Ten Tournament in the semifinals last year.

Saturday’s loss makes NU’s last regular season game against Ohio State next week a must-win — the Cats need to be .500 to be eligible for the NCAA Tournament, barring a Big Ten Tournament title.

The Cats and the Nittany Lions traded goals back and forth for the majority of the matchup until Penn State exploded for a 5-0 run in the last 9 minutes of the game. Four of Penn State’s late goals came after sophomore midfielder Selena Lasota received her second yellow card with 5 minutes and 23 seconds to play, eliminating her from the game.

Senior midfielders Spring Sanders and Lauren Murray also received yellow cards in the last minutes of the game, giving Penn State multiple woman-up opportunities to score.

NU recorded more than twice as many fouls as Penn State did, and almost half the number of draw controls. The Cats edged the Nittany Lions 14-10 in ground balls and capitalized on 3 of 6 free position shots.

Junior attacker Christina Esposito led the Cats with 4 goals while senior midfielder Nancy Dunbar went 2-for-2 on free position shots.

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Twitter: @clairechansen