Shannon Yoxheimer had a role in all three Nittany Lion goals as the team kicked off its second season in Division I, including the final score of the night to force the tie with 3:37 left in regulation. She assisted on the first two goals from Kelly Seward and Taylor Gross.
Sarah Nielsen had two assists, while Gross and Jordin Pardoski posted one each.
Victoria Andreakos, Amanda Pelkey and Brittany Zuback netted the Catamount goals.
Nicole Paniccia made 35 saves for the Nittany Lions, who were outshot 38-21.
The teams meet again Saturday afternoon to complete the two-game series.
Nittany Lions stop Badgers
Tani Costa and Maya Hayes found the net for the Nittany Lions (10-1-1, 3-0 Big Ten). Costa scored first, her fifth goal of the season, with a low shot from close range set up by Hayes in the 31st minute. The senior forward then netted her 13th goal, heading in a ball from Mallory Weber and Taylor Schram.
Rose Lavelle scored a second-half goal for the Badgers (7-2-2, 2-1-1).
Britt Eckerstrom made three saves in the net for Penn State, which visits Minnesota on Sunday.
PSU takes three at Yale
Against Dartmouth, Samantha Tutelman topped Melissa Matsuoka 6-4, 6-3 and Marie-Frederique Bedard stopped Suzy Tan 6-2, 6-2. In doubles, PSU faced Boston College and got an 8-6 win from Chelsea Utting and Jacqueline Zuhse at No. 1.
Penn State faces Boston College in singles and Brown in doubles on Saturday.