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Penn State Drops Nail Biter to No. 11 Princeton, 12-11

Princeton scored in the last 30 seconds to end PSU’s three-game streak.

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

Photos by Jeff Shomo

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State women’s lacrosse put up a solid fight against No. 11 Princeton, but ultimately fell 12-11 in a game that came down to the wire in the Nittany Lions’ first outdoor game of the season at Panzer Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

PSU erased an early five goal deficit by scoring six unanswered goals, three by sophomore Kristin O’Neill, mid-way through the game to take their first lead, 8-7, five minutes into the third period.

The Tigers made an adjustment and would go on a 4-1 run themselves to head into the final quarter up, 11-9.

The Nittany Lions clawed back as junior Meghan Murray opened the fourth period with a goal to inch PSU within a score. PSU remained down by one until the final two minutes when graduate student Taylor Regan found the back of the net to tie the game at 11-all.

But in the last 30 seconds of the game, Princeton capitalized on a free position opportunity for the 12-11 lead.

With time winding down, PSU’s Murray won a crucial draw control, and on the play, Princeton received a yellow card putting the Nittany Lions a woman-up. Another foul by the Tigers brought PSU a last chance free position and game tying opportunity that was taken by O’Neill, but the shot sailed wide.

The loss ends a three-game streak for Penn State who is now 5-3 heading into Big Ten play. Princeton is now 6-0.


  • O’Neill was an overall force leading the Lions with four goals, five draw controls, two caused turnovers and two ground balls.
  • Murray won a career-high nine draw controls of PSU’s 14 total. She bested her previous high of five draw controls from 2020 vs. Lehigh. Murray also netted a hat trick.
  • Freshman Ashley Bowan had ten saves, tying her season-best, which she achieved in PSU’s previous game at Towson. Seven of those saves vs. Princeton occurred in the first half.
  • Penn State was a perfect 19-for-19 on clears.
  • The Nittany Lions had more shot opportunities over the Tigers; 36 to 32 overall and 24 to 22 in shots on goal.
  • PSU won the draw control battle 14 to 12.


Head Coach Missy Doherty
“Kristen is a competitor. From getting the draw to making deep plays to coming up with huge goals for us. She’s our leader, our competitive leader, and in a game like this, it was great to see her come up big, and a couple more of us need to come up with the plays that she’s making.”

“I think our D played really well. I think our goalkeeper had some great saves today. We had two freshmen playing on the crease defensively, and they did a great job of reading the situation ahead of time and coming up with some good knockdowns and some good plays. I think overall it was a great game. We fell a little short, but I’m proud of how competitive they were.”

Junior Meghan Murray
“I think that we are excited we got a good matchup with a top team in the country and prove that we belong with the top teams in the country.”

“We did a good job coming back and just sticking with our game even though we had little mistakes here and there. Our defense and Ashley especially held up strong and came up with a ton of great saves.”

“I think this was a good test and gave us a lot of confidence. Every game is going to be a battle and every team we play is good. There’s no bad team in the Big Ten, it’s always a competition, it’s always a battle, and I think that this really prepared us well for that. I think that we’re excited to get after it and have our first full season two years.”

Penn State begins Big Ten action at Ohio State on Saturday, March 26.

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