Women's ice hockey: Syracuse beats Penn State, sits one victory away from NCAA Tournament

Syracuse's first shorthanded goal of the season couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

Allie LaCombe's tally in the first period stood as the game-winner, and goaltender Jenn Gilligan made 11 saves as the No. 2-seeded Orange knocked off No. 4 Penn State 2-0 in the CHA semifinals Friday evening.

With a win over RIT on Saturday, Syracuse will receive a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

"It really started in net for us," SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. "(Gilligan) played a great game, but overall I thought this was a great team win. We got the goal early, and in that second period we outshot them 20-4 and played well, and I just felt that if we got one more we'd be o.k. and Kaillie (Goodnough) scored on the power play for us in the third."

LaCombe scored with 6:28 left in the first period, taking an outlet pass from Nicole Renault and firing a wrist shot past Penn State goaltender Celine Whitlinger.

Goudnough provided the insurance goal just over three minutes into the final period with a seeing-eye shot from the point.

The Orange was also sound defensively, allowing only 11 shots. After six penalty kills, SU has now given up only two goals in its last 32 shorthanded situations.

Syracuse and RIT split their season series at two games apiece.

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