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No. 6/Host University of Washington Tops No. 8 Pennsylvania State University, 12-7, in First Round o

Mary Elizabeth Ward Stealing the ball from Penn State's, Leah Perkins (Photo courtesy of the CWPA)

GRESHAM, Ore. — Goalie Elizabeth Lipps (Sr., Menlo Park, Calif.) stopped 14 shots to notch Player of the Game accolades as the host/Northwest Division Champion/No. 6-ranked Huskies of the University of Washington mushed past Mid-Atlantic Division Champion/No. 8 Pennsylvania State University, 12-7, in the first round of the 2018 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship at Mt. Hood Community College.

Courtesy the victory, Washington punches its ticket to a tournament quarterfinal clash with Pacific Coast Division Champion/No. 2 California Polytechnic State University at 11:20 a.m. Pacific/2:20 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, May 5, as the Huskies are guaranteed to finish no lower than Eighth Place in the 16-team tournament. Penn State, which can not finish higher than Ninth Place, will meet Rocky Mountain Division Champion University of Colorado, which dropped a 14-0 game to Cal Poly in the first round, at 8:40 p.m. Pacific/11:40 p.m. tonight in the consolation side of the bracket.

Trailing 1-0 following a five-meter penalty shot by PSU’s Emily Argentati (Jr., Reading, Pa.) 15 seconds into the seven-minute first quarter (6:45), Washington balanced the scoreboard at one-all thanks to a strike by Lauren Hickey (Gr., Palos Verdes, Calif.) at 6:27. Following a scored by Penn State’s Claire Washabaugh (Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) to jump back in front 2-1, the Huskies again pulled even via a five-meter penalty shot by Karli Stevenson (So., Tacoma, Wash.) at 4:20 to make it two-all.

A man-up marker by Claire Beno (Fr., Perkasie, Pa.) pushed Penn State back into the lead at 3-2 with 3:52 remaining in the opening frame, but even-strength and power-play scores from Stevenson (3:32) and Mary Elizabeth Ward (Jr., San Rafael, Calif.) (2:55), respectively, turned the tables on the Nittany Lions and placed the Huskies ahead 4-3.

Penn State knotted the score at four-all at 2:34 courtesy a natural tally by Argentati, but Washington exited the first eight minutes of competition clinging to a 5-4 lead provided by a blast from Stevenson at the 1:10 mark.

Similar to the style of play in the first quarter, PSU erased the lead with 4:39 remaining in the second quarter as Argentati broke loose to post the equalizer.

However, it marked the last time the Nittany Lions were tied or better versus Washington as Anastasia Bondarenko (So., Bellevue, Wash.) pumped in a go-ahead score at 1:48 prior to Ward slipping in a six-on-five chance with 24 seconds left to carry a 7-5 lead into halftime.

The Huskies insulated their lead in the third quarter as Stevenson (4:47, man-up) and Bondarenko (46 seconds, even-strength) tickled the twine to widen the margin between the programs to 9-5 with seven minutes of action left to play in the game.

Washington continued to pull away in the opening moments of the fourth quarter as Ward completed a hat-trick at 5:48 (man-up) before Stevenson and Margaret Lazzarini (Gr., San Marino, Calif.) curved in even-up tallies with 5:01 and 4:09 on the clock, respectively, to build the margin to 12-5.

Penn State attempted to stage a comeback as Argentati (3:10, man-up) and Abby Washabaugh (Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) (43 seconds, even-strength) found the back of the cage, but the Washington lead was too much to overcome in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

For Washington, Stevenson lead the way with five goals. Ward chipped in a hat-trick, while Bondarenko hit the netting twice. Lazzarini and Hickey chipped in solo strikes.

Between the pipes, Lipps made 14 saves for the win in comparison to an eight save performance by PSU’s Sofia Viebranz (So., Erie, Pa.) in taking the loss.

Argentati notched four goals to lead the Nittany Lions. Claire Washabaugh, Abby Washabaugh and Beno each contributed single scores.

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