staff, May 21, 2016

PENN STATE RELEASE — The unseeded and 11th-ranked Nittany Lions women?s lacrosse team is off to its first NCAA Semifinals since 1999 with an 8-4 victory over seventh-seeded and No. 14-ranked Penn on Saturday at Penn State Lacrosse Field.

?It was an awesome win for our program and just an awesome day in general,? said head coach Missy Doherty. ?Our defense just played out of their minds today. They were stopping their main threats. I was so proud of them, how on top of things they were. Emi (Smith) made some crazy saves this game and our mark-up defenders did a great job on their key players. It was a little rattling there and you could see the nerves coming out cause of the immense stress this kind of game provides but I was so proud of them to come through strong and make huge plays when it mattered.?

Penn State (14-6) used a 6-0 first-half run over a nearly eight-minute span, while holding Penn (15-5) scoreless for 27:32 to punch its ticket to the final four. The Nittany Lions will be making their 10th all-time appearance in the national semifinals.

The game was played in a steady rain and certainly affected the quality of passing, eventually leading to 34 total turnovers. Penn, which came into the game ranked third nationally in turnovers per game (10.5), committed a season-high 18 turnovers, 11 alone in the first half.

The Nittany Lions were led defensively by Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) who stopped eight shots and allowed only four goals. Smith was vital down the stretch, stopping five Penn opportunities. The Nittany Lion defense shut down Penn?s top three scorers including the NCAA leader in assists, Nina Corcoran, who didn?t record a point for the first time all season.

Junior captain Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md.) had a game-high three-caused turnovers as Penn?s top three scorers-Corcoran, Iris Williams and Alex Condon-combined for 12 of the team?s 18 turnovers. The four goals allowed were a season-best for the Nittany Lions.