The Nittany Lions (14-6), who improved to 9-0 at home and 7-2 when hosting an NCAA tournament game, won consecutive NCAA tournament games for the first time since 1999 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight year. Penn State will play No. 2 Northwestern in the quarterfinal round Saturday, May 18.
Cyr moved into sole possession of fifth place on Penn State's career assists list with four helpers, while McCormick netted her fifth four-goal game of the season. Sophomore Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.) recorded her seventh three-goal game in the past eight contests, while senior Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) added a two-goal outing. Sophomore Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.), who has scored in every game in 2013, contributed her 28th marker.
Senior defender Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.) corralled a game-high six draw controls to push her career total to 101, while junior midfielder Evan Foulsham (Madison, N.J) collected a career-high four ground balls. Freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) made seven saves.
Penn State dominated draws by a 14-9 margin and finished 15-for-18 on clears. The Minutewomen (18-3) outshot the Nittany Lions by a 25-21 margin and won the ground-ball battle, 19-15. Tanner Guarino and Cori Murray led Massachusetts with three points each, while Jamie Schiloski was the goalkeeper of record with four saves.
The duo of McCormick and Cyr connected three times in the opening 8:50 as Penn State stormed out to a 4-1 lead. An Eldersburg, Md., native, McCormick scored 49 seconds after the opening draw off a feed from Cyr before the Minutewomen answered with 26:59 left in the half. After Cyr tallied an unassisted marker 17 seconds later, the attacker fed McCormick on a pair of goals 51 seconds apart as the Nittany Lions took a three-goal advantage.
UMass' Cori Murray netted back-to-back markers to trim the lead to 4-3, but Lechner and McCormick responded at 16:16 and 19:35, respectively, to give Penn State a 6-3 advantage. Freshman midfielder Ally Heavens (Garnet Valley, Pa.) collected her first career assist on Lechner's strike, while classmate Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.) recorded a helper on McCormick's goal.
The Minutewomen cut the Penn State lead to two with 4:29 left before Lechner and Coffey closed out the frame's scoring as Penn State took an 8-4 advantage into halftime.
Mackenzie Cyr widened the Nittany Lion lead to 9-4 after scoring off a feed from McCormick 1:47 into the final stanza before UMass fired three straight goals to make it a two-goal game. Amy Tiernan started the run with 26:40 left in the game, while Murray and Guarino tallied 26 seconds apart to make it 9-7.
After Guarino's marker, Fernandez struck twice for Penn State as the Nittany Lions grabbed an 11-7 lead before Katie Ferris tallied for the Minutewomen with 12:27 left. Lechner then extended the Penn State advantage to 12-8 with 10:19 remaining before Lauren Terracciano closed out the scoring with 1:58 on the clock to account for the 12-9 final.
--PSU Athletic Communications