UNIVERSITY PARK – No. 18 Penn State women’s lacrosse heads to Evanston, Ill. to take on No. 2 Northwestern on Thursday, March 30. The top-20 battle will be nationally televised on the Big Ten Network with first draw set for 8 p.m. et.
Both teams look to continue a win streak, the Nittany Lions off to five consecutive wins and Northwestern on a 10-game streak.
Penn State is ranked second in the Big Ten behind Northwestern and ranked 18 nationally in the IL/IWLCA Coaches Poll this week.
at No. 2 Northwestern
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Evanston, Ill. | Venue: Ryan Fieldhouse
Live Stats | Watch: BTN | Notes
LAST TIME OUT
Penn State dominated Ohio State in a 13-3 win on Saturday, March 25.
The Nittany Lions recoded a first half shutout for the first time since its 18-4 win over Duquesne in 2022.
O’Neill moved her scoring streak to 15-straight games and her multi-goal performance streak to 10 games. She recorded her seventh hat trick of the season with her three goals.
Gilmore led the offense with her third hat trick in four games after being named the lL/IWLCA and Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week last week (3/21). She recorded four goals on seven shots with three assists to total seven points.
Meghan Murray and Kayla Abernathy each scored two goals, Abernathy also posted two caused turnovers, one ground ball and one draw control while Murray recorded one caused turnover, one ground ball and two draw controls.
Hollin notched a career high five caused turnovers and matched her career high five ground balls.
NITTANY LIONS IN THE RANKS
Penn State ranks first in the Big Ten in caused turnovers (117) and sixth nationally as well as fifth in ground balls (203).
The Nittany Lions are second in the conference in shots on goal per game (24.73) and 12th in the country.
Sammy Dupcak ranks 13th nationally in ground balls (31) and is tied for first in the conference. She is also third in the Big Ten and 12th nationally in caused turnovers (20).
Kristin O’Neill is ninth in the country in goals (36) and third in the Big Ten.
PENN STATE -NORTHWESTERN SERIES
The Nittany Lions and the Wildcats have a 35-game history that Northwestern leads 26-9.
The Wildcats own the last four consecutive wins in the series with the last one coming in 2022 at Panzer Stadium.
The Nittany Lions are 3-11 in away games in Evanston.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Northwestern is ranked second in the country and first in the Big Ten this week with its only loss this season coming from no. 1 Syracuse.
The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 NCAA Tournament where they lost to North Carolina, the eventual National Champions.
Freshman Madison Taylor has claimed all but one Freshman of the Week nod from the Big Ten so far this season (5-of-6).
Izzy Scane has won three Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week awards including a split with Penn State’s Gretchen Gilmore last week (3/21). She was also named the IL/IWLCA Offensive Player of the Week twice.
NITTANY LIONS TO WATCH
O’Neill, Dupcak and Ellie Hollin were named Big Ten Players to Watch in the preseason.
O’Neill was also named to The Tewaaraton Award Watch List and selected by Inside Lacrosse as a Top 100 Returning Player at the start of this season.
Freshmen Erika Ho, Maggie Golder and Emma Kelly were placed on Inside Lacrosse’s Power Top 100 Freshman List.
Elise Smigiel joins Penn State as a sophomore transfer from Marquette.
Head coach Missy Doherty named seniors Rachel Spilker and Regan Nealon and junior Kristin O’Neill as captains for the 2023 season.
This is Spilker’s second season as a co-captain for the Nittany Lions.
Doherty added two new faces to her coaching staff for the 2023 season. Shanna Brady will join as the team’s defensive coordinator and Naomi Radio will serve as the volunteer assistant coach.
A Maryland graduate, Brady joins Happy Valley after a two year stint at Towson as an assistant coach.
Radio spent the 2022 season as the first-ever head women’s lacrosse coach at Juniata College.