STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The Golden Griffins took a lead in the second half and battled back late in the game, but the Canisius women’s lacrosse team saw its NCAA Tournament experience end Friday in a 14-13 loss to No. 7 Penn State.
Penn State jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the first half before the Golden Griffins were able to find some offensive production. At halftime, the Nittany Lions had a 6-5 lead.
Canisius came out strong in the second, tying the game on a goal by Morgan Leonard and then taking its only lead of the game, 7-6, on another Leonard goal.
But Penn State responded with four straight goals then took its biggest lead of the game, 12-8, with 14:47 left in the game.
“We were tight to start the game and we knew we could play better,” Canisius coach Scott Teeter said. “We were more energized in the second half and battled to take the lead. But a nationally-ranked team did what it needed to do. They put one in the back of our net to kill our momentum and that energized them a bit. We made some good defensive plays, but we couldn’t get it out in that stretch.”
The Griffs came back to cut the lead to 14-12 on a goal from Kelly Lechner with 2:42 left. Lindsey Morgan scored with 12 seconds left to make it 14-13, but Penn State (13-6) controlled the draw to earn the win.
Leonard scored three goals and set the single-season school record for goals with 58. Tori Quinn had five points, giving her 79 on the season and the program record.
It was the third straight NCAA appearance for the Griffs (14-5) but their first in the main bracket since the NCAA expanded the main field to 26. The Griffs lost the last two years to Massachusetts in the play-in round.