Penn State put forth a performance to remember during the women's USA 7s CRC semifinals against Temple, erasing the memory of a somewhat sluggish quarterfinal earlier this morning. The Nittany Lions put up 26 points before Temple's Korin Tangtrakul dotted down for the last score of the game.
|Owsiany fights through the tackle. (Marvin Dangerfield)|
Penn State looked to steal possession in every aspect of the game, and that began with its kickoffs. Lisa Henneman continued to put up 10-meter dropkicks, with Deven Owsiany running on at full pace. Although the hooker can't be much more than 5' tall, she packs a lot of punch into her tackles, and the pressure fed some ball-handling errors from Temple. Penn State regained its opening kickoff on one such knockon, setting up a scrum in Temple's end and opportunity to begin the game on the right foot.
Enter Owsiany again, who waited patiently on the wing for the ball to move back toward the sideline, and enough space opened up for a lane to the try zone, 5-0.
PSU looked hungry. "We wanted to have fun today," Owsiany said. "We've been working hard for three weeks straight, two-a-days, three-a-days, and we realized this was the last day to really play together as a team."
Penn State's defense produced several turnovers, and even though Temple had a couple of speedsters in Tangtrakul and Sara Linke, they couldn't take on the whole of the PSU defense. Kyle Armstrong put her side up another five points when the defense forced a penalty. The prop quick-tapped and barreled over the line as Temple scrambled to reset. Henneman made the conversion, 12-0.
When Penn State didn't have to fight for possession, the backline was much more synced than this a.m., and those errant offloads we saw earlier were cleaned up. In the backs in particular, center Lauren Barber did well to outstep her opposite, showcasing some nice footwork that produced two tries. Henneman converted both, 26-0.
Temple did get the final word, however, when Tangtrakul outran the field for a breakaway try, 26-5.
It was a replete win for Penn State, even with Sadie Anderson on the sideline for more than a half. The 7s star sat out the first match against UNC as well.
Now Penn State will face Army in the women's final, a rematch of the DI national championship in which the cadets won 33-29.
"Losing to Army was a huge bummer for us, but they were the better team on the day," Owsiany said. "I'm looking forward to taking them on again and hopefully it will be a good game."
With their final games of the season on the line, it's guaranteed to be a good final.