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Auth’s Game Winner Leads No. 7 Penn State Over No. 13 Michigan, 13-12

Photos by Jeff Shomo

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics 

Fifth-year senior scored the golden goal with 38 seconds left in overtime, reached 200 career point mark

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 7 Penn State women’s lacrosse team earned a thrilling 13-12 overtime win over No. 13 Michigan on Sunday at Panzer Stadium. Maria Auth tallied the game-winning goal with 38 seconds left in overtime, her team-leading fifth goal of the day. The Nittany Lions split the weekend series with the Wolverines to improve to 4-4 overall. Michigan is now 3-4 on the season.

Auth led the Nittany Lions with five goals and three assists, her 14th career game with five or more points and just one off her career high of nine points against Ohio State in 2019.

On her third goal of the first half, Auth became the 16th Nittany Lion to reach the 200 career point mark. The fifth-year senior now has 204 career points, moving into sole possession of 11th all-time at Penn State. On the day, she passed Michele DeJuliis (203; 1994-97), Mackenzie Cyr (202; 2011-14), Madison Cyr (202; 2013-16), Maggy Dunphy (201; 1983-86) and Jen Johnson (200; 1996-99). Auth sits 11th all-time at Penn State with 144 career goals and holds a tie for 15th all-time with 60 assists.

Second-year freshman Olivia Dirks recorded four goals and a career-high two assists. She added three caused turnovers. Freshman Kristin O’Neill contributed two goals and an assist, while Kara Nealon registered a goal and an assist. Fellow freshman Regan Nealon tallied a goal. Sammy Dupcak won seven draw controls. Taylor Suplee made 13 saves in goal, her 19th career double-digit save performance.

Michigan was led by Molly Garrett, who collected seven goals and an assist, including a game-tying goal with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Annabelle Burke contributed two goals, while Erin Garvey and Maggie Kane each had a goal and an assist. Caitlin Muir tallied four assists. Ariellle Weissman made 14 saves.

The Wolverines started the game on a 4-0 run. Garvey sparked the run with a goal at the 24:16 mark. Followed by back-to-back goals by Burke just 30 seconds apart. Garrett connected on a shot to take advantage of a man-up opportunity.

A goal by Penn State’s Auth stopped the run at 14:26, off an assist by Kara Nealon, and sparked a 5-0 run by the Nittany Lions. Auth added a goal at the 9:13 mark, off a feed from Dirks, followed by a tally by O’Neill, off a pass from Auth, just 20 seconds later. Auth recorded her third goal of the half, off an assist by Dirks, to tie the game before Dirks put home a spinning shot on a free-position look to give Penn State a 5-4 lead with 3:51remaining.

Michigan’s Garrett scored to tie the game but Dirks answered with a free-position goal at the 2:48 mark to give PSU a 6-5 lead. The Wolverines scored the final two goals of the half, by Garrett and Galvin, to take an 7-6 lead into the break.

Dirks opened the second half with a snipe at the 28:29 mark, but was answered on a man-up goal by Garrett. PSU’s Kara Nealon tied the game back up at 8-8 off an assist from O’Neill. A few minutes later, O’Neill scored her own goal at the 21:38 mark to put the blue and white up by one.

The Wolverines re-took the lead, 10-9, with back-to-back goals by Garrett. However, Auth’s fourth goal of the day tied the game at 10-10 with 10:21to go.


A tally by Michigan’s Kane at the 6:40 mark was answered a minute later by Regan Nealon, assisted by Auth. A goal by Dirks, also off a dish by Auth, gave Penn State a 12-11 lead with 4:32remaining.

With just two seconds left, Garrett jumped and deflected down a pass from Muir into the goal to force overtime.

The Wolverines won the draw to begin the extra period, but PSU’s Sammy Helgeson forced a turnover in the Michigan zone. Dirks took the first overtime shot for the Nittany Lions, but Weisserman got the save. Gretchen Gilmore recovered the groundball and 20 seconds later, Auth weaved her way through the Michigan defense and found enough space to put the ball in the back of the net.

The Nittany Lions are back on the road next weekend at Ohio State. Friday’s game will start at noon with a broadcast on Big Ten Network. Sunday’s contest will begin at noon on Big Ten Network+.


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