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Penn State Ready to Regroup

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By Erin Neri, student staff writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's lacrosse dropped a tough 12-9 loss to Robert Morris on a chilly day at Panzer Stadium. Despite the loss, the Nittany Lions will have plenty to think about heading into a four-game road stretch.

"From start to finish we just didn't look very sharp," Penn State head coach Jeff Tambroni said. "We just have to straighten a lot of stuff out about ourselves and not worry about anything other than just how we can get better tomorrow than we were today." 

Although the Nittany Lions showed glimpses of triumph with some strong individual performances, the offense still struggled to find answers to the tough Colonials defensive unit. 

The Blue and White managed 20 shots on goal, but Robert Morris goalie Alex Heger made 11 saves. Heger also came up with a number of clutch saves in the second half that helped give his team momentum heading into the end of the game.

"I thought we lacked confidence a lot offensively today," Tambroni said. "We just have to do a better job of collaborating offensively." 

Tambroni noted postgame he wants to work on sharing the ball amongst the team. It was evident in Saturday's game that when the Nittany Lions held onto the ball for too long it resulted in missed scoring opportunities.

Although six different Nittany Lions netted goals, sophomore attackman Mac O'Keefe was held without a goal. Last season when the two teams met, O'Keefe scored seven goals.

While the coaching staff anticipates defenses paying more attention to O'Keefe after his record-breaking season, the difference in his productivity has changed. Tambroni was quick to mention though, that it's up to the whole offense to step up and create goal scoring opportunities, not just O'Keefe. 

"If everyone just does a little bit of their part, they'll force the defense to think a little bit more about everyone out there," Tambroni said. "Right now, we are very limited because we are limiting ourselves. I think once the ball starts moving around and flowing more so than it was today, then you can get a defense sliding around. If they want to stay and face-guard Mac [O'Keefe] or not slide from him then other people are going to have opportunities."

As a main point of emphasis in the season so far has been trying to find depth in the roster, the coaching staff still has a lot of question marks after Saturday's loss. However, the game has also given them some new things to think about.

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