STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- No. 9 Penn State jumped out to an early lead and No. 12 Loyola Maryland was unable to overcome the early deficit, falling 18-11 at Penn State Lacrosse Field Saturday afternoon.
Senior Ali Habicht and junior Kara Burke notched their first hat tricks of the season with three goals each for Loyola (2-4), while juniors Annie Thomas and Taryn VanThof had two goals apiece. Junior Hannah Schmitt added one goal and one assist.
Penn State (3-3) was led by Madison Cyr, Kelly Lechner and Jenna Mosketti’s four goals each.
Turnovers plagued the Greyhounds through the first half as they won the opening three draw controls, but Penn State caused turnovers and turned each of those possessions into goals, as the Nittany Lions opened the game on a 4-0 run.
Habicht scored Loyola’s first goal at 22:34, converting a free position shot, and VanThof made it two consecutive Greyhound goals with a score at 21:28.
Penn State had the next score at 19:32, but Paton gave up a free position attempt 22 seconds later and assisted Annie Thomas to bring the score to 5-3.
That would be all that the Greyhounds would score for the remainder of the half, while the Nittany Lions accounted for four more scores to take a 9-3 advantage into halftime.
Penn State extended its lead to eight by scoring the first two goals of the second half, but the Greyhounds rattled off four consecutive scores after putting freshman Taylor Caldwell into goal. Habicht scored first, followed by Thomas. Burke then notched back-to-back goals within 29 seconds to cut Loyola’s deficit to four, at 11-7.
That would be as close as Loyola would get though, as Penn State responded with five consecutive goals to take its largest lead of day 16-7 at 18:10.
Schmitt halted the Nittany Lions’ run with a goal at 15:48 and Habicht and Burke completed their first hat tricks of the season at 11:32 and 9:03, respectively, but Penn State snuck another goal in at 7:08.
VanThof scored her second goal of the day at 3:23, but the Nittany Lions closed out the scoring in the game at 56.1, bringing the final score to 18-11.
Senior Marlee Paton led the Greyhounds with a game-high five ground balls and four caused turnovers, while VanThof had a game-high five draw controls. Habicht also won three draws and Paton had two.
In goal, sophomore Molly Wolf stopped four shots and freshman Taylor Caldwell, playing in her first collegiate contest, turned back the first two shots she saw.