CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — After trailing by an 8-5 halftime margin, No. 10 Penn State netted 10 second-half goals to edge No. 6 Virginia 15-14 at Klöckner Stadium on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions improved to 3-1 while the Cavaliers fell to 2-3.
Penn State opened the second half with six consecutive goals before Virginia answered with a 4-0 run en route to a 12-11 lead. Head coach Missy Doherty then called a timeout with 10:18 left to play and the Nittany Lions responded with their own 4-0 rally as they took a 15-12 advantage. After the Cavaliers scored twice to make it a one-goal game, Virginia committed a foul on the ensuing draw, allowing the Nittany Lions to run out the clock.
Sophomore midfielder Kelly Lechner recorded a career-high four points (two goals and two assists) for a consecutive game, while junior Mackenzie Cyr, who added an assist, notched her third three-goal game of the season.
Sophomore midfielder Tatum Coffey added her fourth three-goal game of her career, while senior Molly Fernandez, sophomore Haley Ford and freshman Jenna Mosketti each netted two goals.
Virginia outshot the Nittany Lions by a 36-30 margin and won the ground ball and draw control battles by 17-15 and 16-15 margins, respectively. Penn State executed 11 of 14 clears, while the Cavaliers finished 9-for-12. Nittany Lion goalkeeper Emi Smith made seven saves and Kim Kolarik turned aside eight shots for Virginia.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals on the first two possessions. Dana Boyle opened the scoring 1:21 into the game before she struck again at 4:36.
The Nittany Lions responded with three of the next four goals to make it a 3-3 game. Coffey, who scored after a dodge from the right of the cage, brought the Nittany Lions to within a goal with 22:57 left in the half. The Cavaliers’ Morgan Stephens extended the Virginia lead to 3-1 with 20:25 left in the half before Cyr’s shot from outside of the crease 37 seconds later made it 3-2.
With 18:02 left, Cyr and McCormick connected once more when McCormick’s diagonal pass from behind the cage found Cyr all alone in front of the net for the tying score.
Virginia re-took the lead with Courtney Swan’s free-position shot before the Nittany Lions scored back-to-back goals en route to their only lead of the half. McCormick found Cyr for the third time of the match with 13:51 left before Ford gave Penn State a 5-4 lead 54 seconds later. Lechner raced up the field down the right sidelines before feeding Ford for the man-up score.
The Cavaliers ended the half on a 4-0 run. Ashlee Warner scored with 10:55 left to tie the game before Caroline McTiernan scored twice, including one man-down attempt, as the Cavaliers ran to a 7-5 lead. Daniella Eppler closed the first-half scoring with a man-up score with 36 seconds remaining.
Penn State opened the second period with six goals in the first 9:39 of the frame. Fernandez made it an 8-6 contest with 26:44 remaining after taking a pass from Ford and working around Kolarik’s challenge for the goal.
After the ensuing draw, Ford corralled the ball and raced down the field as she drew a foul. She made no mistake with the free-position shot as she scored on a low attempt.
McCormick tied the game at 5:14 when she came around the crease and beat the goalkeeper. With 23:08 left, Fernandez took Cyr’s pass and dodged Virginia defenders before giving Penn State the 9-8 advantage.
Mosketti made it a 10-8 contest after beating a double team with 20:33 remaining and Lechner added a goal 12 seconds later after winning the ensuing draw and scoring.
The Cavaliers responded with the next four goals as they took a 12-11 lead. Anne Thomas and Warner scored less than three minutes apart to make it a one-goal game before Casey Bocklet evened the score with 11:39 left in the second. Warner fired again with 10:18 left to give the Cavaliers their last lead of the game.
With 9:21 remaining, Coffey scored her second of the contest before Lechner snuck a free-position shot past Kolarik with 7:47 left. Coffey scored a man-up with 5:50 remaining after her shot, which she took while falling down, beat the goalkeeper. Mosketti extended the Nittany Lion lead to 15-12 after beating her defender.
Boyle and Bocklet scored for Virginia with 3:24 and 1:47 remaining, respectively, to make it a 15-14 game. After Bocklet’s goal, the Cavaliers appeared to control the game’s final draw, but a foul was called on one of the Cavaliers. The Nittany Lions were then able to run out the clock while controlling the ball in the Virginia end.