MIDDLETOWN, Pa.- Penn State Harrisburg went 1-1 over the weekend, splitting a pair of home games on Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9. The Lions dropped a hard-fought 3-1 loss to North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) leading Lancaster Bible before rebounding nicely and beating St. Elizabeth by the same score the next day.
Saturday was also Penn State Harrisburg's breast cancer awareness game, and over 120 fans showed up to support the women and the cause they were playing for. Decked out in special pink uniforms, the Lions played with great energy and held the conference front-running Chargers scoreless in the first half.
Things got even better in the second when Nikki Francis (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season in the game's 56th minute. The blue and white continued to keep their opponents off the board into the contest's 70th minute, but eventually Lancaster Bible's dormant offense came to life.
The Chargers' Ally Brown (East Petersburg, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) netted the equalizer at the 25:31 mark of the second half off a Monica Horning (Lititz, PA/Manheim Central) assist. The air really came out of the Lions' balloon when Whitney Heise's (Danville, PA/Columbia County Christian) goal put Lancaster Bible ahead eight minutes later. Evelyn Stauffer's (Lancaster, PA/Lampeter Strasburg) score with just 56 seconds remaining put the cherry on top of the visitors' comeback victory.
Penn State Harrisburg bounced back from their third loss of the year by taking care of St. Elizabeth in its next outing. The win improved the ladies to 5-3 on the year and 4-2 in conference play, good enough for fourth place in the NEAC standings.
Francis scored the Lions' first two goals in the game's 12th and 57th minutes, improving her total for the year to seven. The blue and white kept the visiting Eagles off the board for 75 minutes, but St. Elizabeth found new life when Valerie Lasko (Bound Brook, NJ/Bound Brook) netted her shot off a strong pass from Cassidy Crane (Lenape Valley, NJ/Lenape Valley) cutting the deficit to one.
But Lion defender Lindsey Haldeman took it upon herself to put the Eagles away for good when she gathered a loose ball at midfield, made some nifty moves past a group of defenders, drove towards the opposing goal and put her shot past St. Elizabeth keeper Catherine De La Cruz (Bloomfield, NJ/Bloomfield) to end the visitors' comeback hopes with six minutes to go.
Lion goalie Janelle Hammond (New Cumberland, PA/Cedar Cliff) guarded the net for the entirety of both games, racking up a total of 180 minutes and six saves.