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BURLINGTON, Vt. - Shannon Yoxheimer and Micayla Catanzariti scored twice to lead the Penn State Nittany Lions to their first ever Division I win 5-3 Saturday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Brittany Zuback opened the scoring for the Catamounts 14:41 into the first period on the power play. A Gina Repaci point shot missed the net and Zuback was able to sneak it past Penn State goaltender Nicole Paniccia after a fortunate bounce off the boards.
Yoxheimer responded for the Nittany Lions with a little bit of history. She scored the first goal in Penn State history after a scramble in front of Vermont goaltender Roxanne Douville.
Vermont answered back 38 seconds later on the power play. Delia McNally scored her second career goal in front of the Penn State net. She corralled a rebound off an Emily Walsh shot and swept it past Paniccia on her backhand. Dayna Colang earned her first collegiate point on the play with an assist.
Penn State came out firing in the second period. Catanzariti scored two second period goals to give Nittany Lions their first lead of the game. At the 3:10 mark she deflected a point shot from the top of the crease past Douville. With 2:39 left in the period she scored again in front of the net on a scramble play.
Midway through the final frame the Nittany Lions built a two-goal lead off a Vermont turnover in their own end. Penn State converted the turnover into a two-on-one in the slot, Catanzariti beat Douville with a low backhand for her second of the afternoon.
At the 13:26 mark of the third period the Catamounts got one back on Emily Walsh's first goal of the season. Klara Myren entered the zone in transition and executed a perfect drop pass to Walsh, who one-timed a shot that Paniccia stopped however on the rebound Walsh converted her 14th career goal.
The Catamounts came on strong after the Walsh tally, outshooting the Nittany Lions 11-6 in the final frame but they could not solve Paniccia. Myren had Vermont's best chance late in the game but her shot rang off the crossbar.
Freshman forward Birdie Shaw scored an empty-net goal for the Nittany Lions to seal the program's first win in their inaugural Division I game.
"We didn't execute the way that we can play," said Vermont head coach Jim Plumer. "We started slow and didn't create the kind of momentum that we wanted to, and Penn State played hard, give them credit."
Vermont returns to action tomorrow afternoon as the Catamounts face Penn State at 2 p.m. Prior to the game the Catamounts will have an alumnae game at 11 a.m.
NOTES: Vermont is now 4-5-3 in season openers since becoming a Division I team in 2001 ... Vermont was 2-for-2 on the power play ... Vermont set an attendance record in a home opener with 785 ... Check back later tonight for UVMAthletics.com for highlights.