UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 9 Nittany Lion women’s lacrosse was unable to stave off a furious rally by No. 15 James Madison, falling 13-12 at Penn State Lacrosse Field Wednesday afternoon. Senior midfielder Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) scored three times to pace the PSU offense.
Leading 10-7 with 22:44 remaining in the game, Penn State (4-2) held its largest lead of the contest. James Madison (6-1) would score six of the next seven goals en route to the victory.
In a game that saw nine free-position goals, it was JMU’s Elena Romesburg’s tally with 21:28 left that started the comeback. Betsy Angel at 19:51 and Stephanie Finley at 16:21 evened the score at 10.
Coffey tallied her third of the day four minutes later as Penn State regained the lead.  The two teams would trade prolonged possessions with the ball before JMU pulled even for the fifth time on a Brooks Lawler free-positino shot with 4:53 to go.
JMU won the ensuing draw and Jaci Gordon found Ali Curwin for the go-ahead goal with 3:16 left, giving the Dukes their first lead of the game.
The Nittany Lions were stymied on the other end in their response and gave up an empty netter to Finley with 17 seconds remaining before Katie O’Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) tallied with 4.1 seconds left. PSU was unable to regain possession off the draw for a last-second chance.
Four Nittany Lions scored multiple goals along with Coffey as Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.), Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) and Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) each scored twice. McCormick tallied PSU’s lone assist of the afternoon to complete a three-point day while Mosketti has a team-high five draw controls.
PSU took a 2-0 lead on back-to-back goals by Mosketti and McCormick in the game’s opening five minutes. Lawler and Gordon evened the score before Lechner and Coffey scored in succession for a 4-2 lead with 12:27 to go.
Curwin scored at 10:06 before Coffey’s second of the afternoon opened a 5-3 advantage with 9:41.  Taylor Gress and Gordon helped JMU to equalize once again with 7:08 remaining. McCormick and Finley traded goals at 2:29 and 2:18 as the two teams went into halftime deadlocked.
Like the first half, Penn State took a two-goal advantage as Mosketti won the opening draw and scored nine seconds later. Jess Loizeaux (Mullica Hills, N.J.) tallied her fifth of the year from McCormick for an 8-6 lead.
Gress’s goal was sandwiched between a pair of 2-0 Penn State spurts, with the second one started by Lechner and Haley Ford (White Hall, Md.), capping a 4-1 run and Penn State’s largest lead, 10-7.
The two teams each fired 31 shots, while Penn State held the advantage on draw controls, 17-10. The Nittany Lions won 12 of 14 draws in the second half.
A fairly clean game, JMU had eight turnovers, while Penn State committed just six. JMU cleared 13-of-14 times and Penn State was a perfect 13-for-13. The Nittany Lions were 4-for-9 from the free-position, while James Madison posted a 5-for-9 mark.
JMU goalie Schylar Healy had 11 saves, while Penn State’s Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) had seven stops.
The Nittany Lions return to action on Sunday for a Noon showdown with former ALC rival Vanderbilt. The game is free to attend and Penn State will host a Kids Zone with arts and crafts.