READING, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg battled heat, humidity and an opposing Lions' squad at Albright on Wednesday night, Sep. 11 but it was the latter that sent the ladies home with their first loss of the fall. Senior captain Kara Hoy (Camp Hill, Pa. / Camp Hill) scored Penn State Harrisburg's lone goal of the match off an assist from sophomore Rachel Shetler (Pequea, Pa. / Penn Manor) but it wasn't enough as Albright's Emily Sousa recorded a hat trick and the hometown Lions topped the Blue & White 4-1.
The contest's start time was pushed back three hours due to the extreme heat on Wednesday afternoon but neither the delay nor Penn State Harrisburg slowed down Sousa as it took the freshman just five minutes to net her first goal of the match in breakaway fashion.
The Lions defense bounced back, hunkered down and kept the deficit manageable by denying the home team any more points in the first half.
When the second half got underway, however, it didn't take Sousa long to net her second goal of the evening in the 53rd minute. Before Penn State Harrisburg could catch its collective breath, Albright struck again when Rebecca Sartorio upped her team's advantage to 3-0 in impressive fashion thanks to an outstanding 20-yard strike that deflected off the post and into the back of the net less than four minutes later.
Sousa completed her three-goal outing by finishing off a breakaway in the match's 67th minute. Natalie Wilson made the assist.
Penn State Harrisburg's highlight of the night came when Shetler, the Lions' do-it-all midfielder, showed off her versatility by taking a corner kick in the 72nd minute and striking a well-placed ball into the box. Hoy finished off the play by heading her shot past Albright keeper Stacey Porter. The score was Hoy's third of the young season.
Penn State Harrisburg managed just six shots on the night, only three of which were on target. In comparison, Albright got off 14 total shots and eight shots on goal. Filling in for injured goalie Mackenzie Gates (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin), Blue & White keepers Mae-Lynn Gonzalez (Blakeslee, Pa. / Pocono Mountain West) and Mercedes Copelane (Reading, Pa. / Reading) combined for four saves.
"We did not deserve the win tonight," said Penn State Harrisburg Head Coach Adam Clay. "We are a strong team but we won't win games when we get outworked, don't play smart or fail to match the physical play we see from better teams."
Penn State Harrisburg returns home for the team's next match. The Lions host Hood this Saturday, Sep. 14 with kickoff set for noon.