Brentaro Yamane | Layout Editor
Feb. 24, 2022
Penn State has been known for many years as a powerhouse football school, but it could be argued that the school’s women’s lacrosse team has been just as successful as its football team.
Since Missy Doherty got the head coaching job at Penn State back in the summer of 2010, she has been able to establish a winning culture at the school. Doherty, the 2015 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year has guided the school to two Big Ten Conference titles and seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
Doherty reached a new milestone by winning her 200th game as a head coach on Wednesday afternoon, when the No. 25 Nittany Lions defeated Duquesne 18-4 at Rooney Field.
“It was awesome. I couldn’t pick a better team to have this win with,” Doherty said. “They’re just a great group of girls and hard working.
“And you know, it’s been nice after going through a whole pandemic to finally get back to normal, have normal practices, normal interactions. It’s just been a breath of fresh air this year.”
Since 2012, Penn State has taken care of business against Duquesne, winning all 10 matchups while scoring 10-plus goals in every victory.
“It [the loss] was a really good lesson to learn and we were expecting it to be a bit closer,” said Duquesne Head Coach Corinne Desrosiers. “Going through these lows is just going to make us much better.”
After the Nittany Lions lost to No. 19 Drexel on Feb. 16, they had an entire week to prepare for the matchup against the Dukes. The team applied pressure from the very beginning and never relented.
Brooke Hoss started the scoring party for the Nittany Lions, scoring the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the game. Although she scored a game-high four goals, nine other players were able to find their way into the goal column, making it a true team win.
“I think, from our last game, we wanted to just be a little more efficient shooting,” Doherty said. “In our previous game, we didn’t quite put the ball away.
“So that was one of our objectives, which was if we work it down [the field] and we get a good shot off, try to put it away. And I think they did a good job of that today.”
Penn State, which outshot Duquesne 31-12 in the game, held a commanding 7-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Dukes started in a zone defense, but eventually switched to a man-on-man defense. Regardless, the Nittany Lions kept on scoring.
“Penn State’s just a really good team. We came in knowing how tough it was going to be,” said Duquesne defenseman Tina St. Clair. “It’s only our fourth game of the season. They’re definitely the toughest competitors we’ve played against, so it just kind of showed holes and where we need to improve.
“I think throughout the game we were able to adjust a little bit to where we started off slow.”
Penn State led 13-0 at halftime and pushed that lead as high as 17-0 during the third quarter.
The Dukes were able to get on the scoreboard for the first time at the end of the third quarter when Sam King scored on a free position shot, which was able to set the Dukes up to go on a 4-0 scoring run. However, the game was all but decided by then. The Nittany Lions would add on another goal to cap off the game’s scoring.
Penn State goalkeeper Cayden Jarvis recorded her first win in her first collegiate start, making three saves in the victory.
Duquesne goalkeeper Rachel O’Toole started the game, allowing 12 goals in nearly 22 minutes of action before being relieved by Mady Piersielak, who allowed five goals in just over 23 minutes. Lauren Bonino also allowed a goal in her 15 minutes of playing time.
Duquesne will have a week off before it returns to action. The Dukes, who are 2-2 on the young season, will travel to Lewisburg, Pa., where they’ll take on Bucknell on March 2.
Desrosiers plans on using the next week to get her team back on the right track.
“We need to do a better job executing and running the game plan,” Desrosiers said. “This loss doesn’t impact our ability to compete within the rest of the conference and doesn’t affect our ability to be a playoff team.”