Lady Ice Lions' Rally Falls Short as Minutewomen Earn Weekend Split

Kelly Watson scored her first career goal in Sunday's loss

The Lady Ice Lions put forward another solid effort against one of the ACHA's best teams in 12-2-2 and No. 5 Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon, but had to settle for a weekend split as the Minutewomen took the back half of the series by a 6-4 count.

Much as in Saturday's Penn State overtime win, Sunday afternoon in Pegula Ice Arena saw UMass out on the front foot early, with PSU staying in the game and in a position to rally.

ACHA leading scorer Brittani Lanzilli got the visitors on the board first with a sleek redirection of a Bailey Ingalls shot, slipping the puck through Allyssa Long's five hole for the only scoring of the opening period. Next up was Meghan Lawler, who pushed through a backhand off of a deflected Courtney Sullivan shot early in the second period.

Penn State pulled one back through its most reliable source of offense: the power play. The units - which are now clicking at a 9-for-26 clip this season - found paydirt through Kelly Watson, when the standout defenseman fired clean through traffic from the point. Riley O'Connor and Anna Marcus picked up assists on the Binghamton, NY native's first career goal in her 35th career game. The fun was short-lived, however, as Ally Perdios answered just 49 seconds later to restore her squad's two-goal cushion.

A 3-1 hole certainly didn't faze PSU on Saturday, and it didn't on Sunday either, as O'Connor deflected Jackie Saideh in the last minute of the second period to pull things back within a shot.

Trouble then followed on the other side of the Lady Ice Lions' special teams though, as UMass struck twice in short order on the power play to widen their lead to 5-2 early in the third period. Perdios grabbed both markers to complete a hat trick, first with Marcus off for interference with 15:43 left, then with Liz Tuorinsky binned for roughing with 14:49 left. Those two instances would be the only time PSU was shorthanded during the contest, but they proved deadly.

Still, the Lady Ice Lions pressed forward. Tuorinsky atoned for one of the Minutewomen PPGs by blasting home her second goal of the weekend, set up by Darian Dempsey and Watson. Then, with 4:01 left, a beautiful Darby Kern steal near center set the big left winger in alone, and she shelved on UMass goalie Beth Welch.

In between those two tallies, however, Kelly Dolan beat Long on a Lawler rebound to keep Penn State at arm's length and unplug the potential for last-minute heroics.

Long, in her second career start, fell to 1-1-0 while making 25 saves on 31 UMass shots. On the other end, Welch turned aside 18 of 22 PSU tries.

Next weekend, the Lady Ice Lions (now 3-9-1 overall) travel to Lynchburg, VA and Liberty University for a rather unique set of games. First up, on Saturday, the team will face 13th-ranked Colorado twice, once at 9:00 a.m. and then again at 7:00 p.m. Then on Sunday, the top-ranked defending national champion Flames will stand as the opponent, with puck drop for that game set for 10:00 a.m.

Box Score

First Period
1. Massachusetts, Brittani Lanzilli (Bailey Ingalls, Mallory O'Brien), 14:35.
Second Period
2. Massachusetts, Meghan Lawler (Courtney Sullivan), 18:48; 3. Penn State, Kelly Watson (Riley O'Connor, Anna Marcus), 11:19 (power play); 4. Massachusetts, Ally Perdios (unassisted), 10:30; 5. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (Jackie Saideh), 0:54.
1. Massachusetts, Meredith Gallagher (2:00 holding), 12:49; 2. Massachusetts, Brittani Lanzilli (2:00 roughing), 8:10; 3. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (2:00 roughing), 8:10; 4. Massachusetts, Kelly Dolan (2:00 tripping), 6:06.
Third Period
6. Massachusetts, Ally Perdios (Brittani Lanzilli, Jessica Greenwood), 15:48 (power play); 7. Massachusetts, Ally Perdios (unassisted), 14:49 (power play); 8. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (Darian Dempsey, Kelly Watson), 13:32; 9. Massachusetts, Kelly Dolan (Meghan Lawler), 5:53; 10. Penn State, Darby Kern (unassisted), 4:01.
5. Penn State, Anna Marcus (2:00 interference), 15:59; 6. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 roughing), 13:01.
Penn State: Allyssa Long: L, 25 saves/31 shots. Massachusetts: Beth Welch: W, 18 saves/22 shots.

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