Bryn Mawr, Pa. – The Bryn Mawr lacrosse team got their 2015 season off to a chilly start earlier Saturday afternoon. On a day where temperatures never actually made it above the freezing point, the Owls dropped a hotly contested match to the Nittany Lions of Penn State Abington. Junior midfielder Claire Johnson led the way for Bryn Mawr with seven goals in the contest, while freshman Fiona Steele chipped in another four. Penn State Abington was led by Katelyn Haas and Michaela Mast, who both scored four goals apiece for the blue and white.
The Nittany Lions (1-0, 0-0 NEAC) jumped out in front by a 2-0 lead early, thanks to a pair of goals in the first six minutes of play. However, Bryn Mawr (0-1, 0-0 Cent.) responded nicely with a four-goal run of their own to turn the two-goal deficit into a two-goal advantage. Most of the hard work was done by Steele, a freshman making her first collegiate lacrosse start. Her first goal came off of a free position attempt, and then she followed that up with another tally just under a minute later after Johnson won the draw. Once again, Johnson won the next draw and the ball found its way into the stick of Alison Spain. She made a perfect pass inside to Steele, who beat her defender and scored to give the Owls their first lead of the season.
After the three-goal burst from Steele, Abington finally managed to cover her on the next offensive possession, but that simply left room for Johnson to work some magic of her own. After a foul inside the circle, Tanya Hamid put a free position shot just wide of the cage, but possession stayed with the Owls. Johnson ended up with the ball, and after a nice run around her marker, she put it cleanly past the Nittany Lions goalkeeper and in to make it a 4-2 Owls lead.
For whatever reason, Abington finally woke up after that tally. The Nittany Lions would go on to score the next six goals in the half, turning their two-goal deficit into a four-goal lead. Bryn Mawr managed to sneak in one more goal before halftime, thanks to another nice offensive possession from Johnson, but as the teams hit halftime the Owls found themselves trailing 8-5.
Bryn Mawr got out of the gate quickly in the second frame, getting back within two with a goal just 45 seconds into play. The Owls controlled the opening draw and would march down the field into the offensive zone, with Ashley Arbuckle earning a free position shot. The senior sprayed the ball just wide of the cage, but the Owls maintained possession in the attacking third. Finally, Johnson would make another nice run past her defender and put the ball in the back of the cage to make it 8-6 in favor of the visitors.
However, that was as close as the Owls were able to get. Penn State Abington would tally 10 more goals in the half to ultimately take home the 18-13 victory from Bryn Mawr. Johnson would end up with seven goals on the day, the sixth most by a player in a single game in Bryn Mawr history. Alison Spain and Tanya Hamid would also go on to tally goals for the Owls; the goal for Hamid was her first career goal as a four-year defender for Bryn Mawr.
The Owls will get a short break before getting back in action in the middle of next week, as Bryn Mawr will host Lancaster Bible on Wednesday, March 4th. That game is set to take place at 4:00 PM on Applebee Field.