Penn State Drops Lackluster 4-0 Series Opener to Top-Ranked Liberty

Meg Lydick made 42 saves against top-ranked Liberty on Friday night

Penn State was unable to overcome an extremely slow start against top-ranked Liberty, dropping a 4-0 decision on Friday night in Pegula Ice Arena to open the squad's final home series of the season.

The Flames received goals from four different scorers and points from seven unique sources in dominating the danger zone in front of the net, the source of much of LU's offense during the evening.

Chelsey Greenwood opening things up just 3:32 from puck drop, cashing in a nice setup in front from Lauren McDonald. It was Greenwood's eighth career goal against Penn State, a count that includes a four-score outing one year ago as well as a crucial game-tying goal at the 2015 ACHA National Tournament.

Four minutes later, Tiana Lisle made it 2-0 on a rebound that PSU goalie Meg Lydick couldn't control.

The slow bleed continued into the middle frame, where Aly Morris scored her fifth goal of the season from Katie Comeau to puff the Flames edge to three.

Lydick, for her part, did everything else required to keep her team in the contest through a lethargic first two periods, making 21 saves on 24 shots, while Penn State fired just seven towards Liberty's Nadia Rupoli.

C.J. Tipping rounded out the scoring with 4:55 remaining in the contest, just one second after a roughing call to sophomore defenseman Liz Tuorinsky expired.

Lydick wound up with 42 saves in defeat, as she inched closer to Katie Vaughan's single-season team record of 769. The freshman from Indiana, PA now has 722 stops with a likely three games left to play this season. Her ballooning rubber intake has made ripples nationally too - her 632 ACHA-recorded saves now lead all of Division 1, just ahead of Davenport's Karley Ferguson.

The discrepancy between the two save numbers is due largely, of course, to the Lady Ice Lions' recent games against NCAA Division III's Lebanon Valley College, which are not counted towards ACHA statistics. Additionally, PSU's opening game of the season, at Vermont, included a shot count that was taken during the contest but then never entered into the association's stats database.

On the other end, Rupoli had a relatively easy time of things, making 15 saves for her second shutout of the season. Penn State did finally show some edge during the third period, which saw more than half of the team's attempts on goal and an increased physical level, but it was too little, too late to bring the match back in the balance.

Penn State will attempt a better result on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the series capper. Prior to the contest, the Lady Ice Lions will hold their annual senior day ceremony, with departing players Darian DempseyLucy YeatmanCassie DunneAnna MarcusJordan Chiavacci being honored.

Box Score

First Period
1. Liberty, Chelsey Greenwood (Lauren McDonald, Courtney Gilmour), 16:28; 2. Liberty, Tiana Lisle (unassisted), 12:15.
Second Period
3. Liberty, Aly Morris (Katie Comeau), 15:32.
1. Penn State, Jordan Chiavacci (2:00 interference), 12:41.
Third Period
4. Liberty, C.J. Tipping (unassisted), 4:55.
2. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 tripping), 10:15; 3. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 roughing), 6:56; 4. Liberty, Tara Lee (2:00 tripping), 4:22; 5. Penn State, Darian Dempsey (2:00 high sticking), 3:03.
Penn State: Meg Lydick: L, 42 saves/46 shots; Liberty: Nadia Rupoli: W, 15 saves/15 shots.

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