“I’m really proud of our effort and teamwork all over the field,” head coach Julie Myers said. “I think we were really excited to play today and to play a great team in Penn State. We are making too many turnovers, but I like that we are there for each other and we are getting better in the process.”
Virginia never trailed in the game, but saw two ties including the 12-12 tie after a 6-0 run by the Nittany Lions. Junior Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.), who finished with a career-high five goals, scored the game-winner just 37 seconds after Penn State tied the game.
Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) notched 11 saves in the net for the Cavaliers and helped hold the Nittany Lions to just 4-of-11 on free position shots. Vander Kolk also led UVA with four ground balls.
The Cavaliers had the advantage with 16 ground balls to 13. Penn State outshot Virginia, 37-29, and had the edge with 17 draw controls to 13. Madison Cyr scored four goals to lead Penn State.
Reese’s five goals led UVA and she added one assist on the afternoon. Junior Posey Valis (Baltimore, Md.) scored three goals. Junior Besser Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) had two goals and one assist. Sophomore Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) and senior Kelly Boyd (Baltimore, Md.) each had two goals and freshman Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) and senior Mary Alati (Glen Ridge, N.J.) scored one.
The Cavaliers got on the board first, scoring the first two goals of the game. Penn State countered with two-straight to even the score at 2-2. UVA then used a 3-0 run that included two goals by Valis to take a 5-2 advantage with 15:43 to play in the first half.
After a score by Penn State, Virginia tacked on two more goals to go up 7-4. The two teams exchanged scores to make it 8-5 with 4:37 left in the first. Cyr netted one for Penn State with 13 seconds remaining, but after winning the draw, Behr ran down and was fouled. She converted a free position shot that gave UVA a 9-5 lead at the half.
Penn State scored the first goal of the second half, but Virginia used another 3-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, 12-6, with 18:22 to play. However, the Nittany Lions would come back with a 6-0 run in just under 10 minutes to tie the game at 12-12 with 9:23 remaining.
The Cavaliers won the draw on the ensuing possession that gave Reese an open look at the goal as she scored her fourth of the contest. Reese added another goal two minutes later to put UVA up 14-12 with 6:20 to go. Valis and Boyd scored to give Virginia a 16-12 lead. Penn State scored the final goal to make it 16-13.
“We are back at it again Wednesday and Saturday with an in-state rival in William & Mary and top-2 team in Syracuse so it doesn’t get any easier,” Myers added.
Virginia continues play at home with William & Mary on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. before welcoming No. 2 Syracuse on Saturday, March 5 at 12 p.m. to begin ACC action.
Single-game reserved seats are available for all women’s home games for $7. Single-game general admission adult tickets for women’s home games are $5, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVA faculty and staff tickets are $4 each.