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By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Senior Day for an athletic program is often all about the seniors playing their final time on their home field, and while that was on the mind of many Nittany Lions and their fans on Saturday prior to their matchup against the Michigan Wolverines, the takeaway postgame is about regrouping for the stretch run following a 12-11 last-second loss to end the regular season. 

 

For Penn State head coach Missy Doherty, the team needs to take the loss and regroup before postseason play next week in the Big Ten Tournament.   

 

"We need to be better.  We're going into the Big Ten tournament and we're not going to do well if we played like we played today," Doherty said.

 

"We need to stay composed for a whole 60 minutes and we didn't today," junior Madison Carter added.  "That's definitely a lesson we need to take moving forward.  You never know what play is going to win the game and it goes down to the final seconds."

 

While the result didn't go the Nittany Lions' way, it wasn't all negatives for the home team to end the regular season. 

 

Six Nittany Lions scored goals in the first half to help jump the Lions out to a 6-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of action, and seven Nittany Lions put the ball in the back of the net on the afternoon, led by two goals each from Maria Auth, Kayla Brisolari, Quinn Nicolai, and Kristin Roberto. 

 

The six early goal scorers included two seniors on their special day, Katie O'Donnell and Maddie Gallagher, and although the lead didn't hold, the fast start was something the team can remember. 

 

"I hope so," head coach Missy Doherty said on if the team can take positives from the balanced scoring and strong start.  "We're still growing and learning but at this point in the season we really just have to be able to execute." 

 

"When we move the ball and we're on all the same page great things happen," Carter, who scored once today, said.  "We kind of fell off that in the second half a little bit but we just have to finish our shots and that makes a big difference."

 

The defense was another positive the team is looking to take postgame. 

 

"Our defense did a great job coming up with some really good stops.  The [Michigan shot] clock ran out a couple times, the defense was playing tough," Doherty added. 

 

Penn State needed that defense as despite the fast start, as Michigan made a late first half run.  The Wolverines got on the board with back-to-back goals to end the first half and made it three then four straight goals to start the second half, pulling to a 6-4 deficit early in the final half. 

 

Though sophomore Kristin Roberto was finally able to end the Michigan run, putting her second goal of the game in the back of the net with 22:44 to go in the game to push the lead to 7-4, the Wolverines didn't back down, scoring again less than two minutes later to make it a two-goal game once again. 

 

The two teams would go back-and-forth in the final 20 minutes of playing, as Michigan finally tied it at 9-9 with 5:39 to go.  Penn State was able to take leads of 10-9 and 11-10 in the final minutes before the final result went the other way. 

 

With the regular season over and postseason play upon them, the Nittany Lions are looking forward. 

 

"We have a big week ahead of us going into Big Tens," Carter said.  "People are a little bit disappointed right now, sleep on it and tomorrow we got a lot of work to do."

 

"We have to rebound," Doherty added.  "The Big Ten Tournament gives us a second chance."

Hagenman Sharp in Suspended Series Opener

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By Mandy Bell, GoPSUsports.com student staff writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Justin Hagenman has been the workhorse Penn State has relied on countless times over the last three years. Read More

Hagenman Sharp in Suspended Series Opener

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By Mandy Bell, GoPSUSports.com, student staff writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Justin Hagenman has been the workhorse Penn State has relied on countless times over the last three years. The junior has led the team in innings pitched all three of his seasons, throwing 82 innings in 2016, 80 1/3 innings last season and 53 2/3 this year entering Friday night's game.

Hagenman continued that trend against Northwestern Friday evening when he cruised through eight innings allowing just two earned runs before a thunderstorm postponed the final 1 2/3 innings of the game Saturday.

"The thing about Justin Hagenman is he's a competitor. Always has been," Penn State head coach Rob Cooper said. "Tonight we got exactly what I thought we would from Hag[enman] and if we play just a little bit better defense and help him out, I think the game is over and the final score is probably 6-1 and I'm at home right now."

Not only did the Penn State ace give his bullpen a night off with his eight strong innings on the mound, the right hander also recorded eight strikeouts, which is the second most of the season behind his nine-strikeout night against Purdue March 30th.

"[He had] command, was pounding the strike zone, able to go in, keeping the ball down and being able to repeat his off-speed stuff for strikes," Cooper said of what was working for Hagenman against the Wildcats.

Despite leading the team in both innings pitched and strikeouts through the first 34 games of the season, Hagenman (2-5) has struggled to maintain a decent record. But, this is not something new to the junior starter.

The right hander has struggled to get run support from his team the last two seasons on the mound. In 2017, Hagenman went 1-11 receiving just two or less runs of support in eight of his 14 starts and three or less in 11 of 14 starts.

Unfortunately, the pattern has continued into the 2018 season. Despite allowing three or less runs in seven of his 10 starts, Hagenman has only picked up two wins so far this year. If the Nittany Lions hang on to the 6-4 lead and secure the win in game one Saturday, the right hander will pick up his third win of the season.

Although a lot of players would mentally struggle without the constant run support of their offense, Cooper said that Hagenman has never once battled that issue. 

"It's mental toughness, it really is," Cooper said. "It's why he's good. It's why he's going to get a chance to play professional baseball. That's an example of a guy that could get upset and be like, 'Hey I rolled a ground ball we should've gotten out of this inning.' If a guy is not mentally tough, if he doesn't worry about just what he has to do and stay in the present, they can probably let that get to him. And he didn't do that."

The Nittany Lions sit in a good position leading the Wildcats 6-4 with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning that will be finished at 1 p.m. Saturday. Although Penn State is just five outs away from its first conference win since March 25 against Rutgers, Cooper and his team are not taking any lead for granted.

"Obviously this isn't over," Cooper said. "We still got some work to do tomorrow. Obviously if you give me an opportunity to have a two run lead with three outs to go on defense, then I think we'll take it. We'll come tomorrow and go through our regular pregame routine and get ready to go and try to finish this one off. We will worry about game two when it happens."

Senior Class Leaves Legacy of Hard Work

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By Erin Neri, GoPSUsports.com student staff writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's lacrosse is gearing up for its final home game of the regular season against Michigan. Come Saturday afternoon, the Nittany Lions will also hold their annual senior game to honor graduating seniors. Among Jeff Tambroni's earliest recruiting classes, the eighth-year head coach is especially proud of how far this group of student-athletes has come. Read More

Senior Class Leaves Legacy of Hard Work

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's lacrosse is gearing up for its final home game of the regular season against Michigan. Come Saturday afternoon, the Nittany Lions will also hold their annual senior game to honor graduating seniors.

Among Jeff Tambroni's earliest recruiting classes, the eighth-year head coach is especially proud of how far this group of student-athletes has come.

"When I look at Penn State lacrosse as a whole, the word that comes to mind is 'culture,' and I think this senior class has had a significant and positive impact on our culture," Tambroni said. "The overall investment in terms of what it means or what it takes to be a Penn State lacrosse player can be attributed a great deal to this group."

The Nittany Lions will be graduating seven seniors, including three of their four team captains. 

Midfielder and captain Ryan Keenan will continue his lacrosse career at the nest level, drafted to the MLL 54th overall by the Ohio Machine. 

As Keenan is looking forward to playing at the next level, he has the coaching staff and his fellow teammates to thank for helping him get there.

"It has been an awesome experience but I have to thank my teammates, I couldn't have gotten here without them," Keenan said. "The everyday practice and intensity of being a Penn State lacrosse player, along with the work ethic, [has prepared me for the next level]." 

Keenan was recruited by Tambroni when he was in high school, but even then, he knew he wanted to be a part of a program where he could help lay the groundwork for future teams.

Even though it would require hard work and dedication, Keenan and other members of the senior class were up for the challenge of changing the culture surrounding what it means to play lacrosse at Penn State. 

"When I came here, I just bought into Penn State lacrosse and building the program brick by brick," Keenan said. "It resonated with me and the kind of person I am. I wanted to build up and be the first one to change the culture and be a part of something new. That's what a lot of guys, especially in my class, came here for."

The senior class ushered in what Tambroni and the seniors call a 'culture shift' in the program, focusing on aspects like hard work, discipline and being a good teammate. The senior class has exemplified these ideals in the last four years and hopes rising Nittany Lions will continue to follow in their footsteps.

"Our preparation and our work ethic, I think those are the biggest things our senior class will leave behind," Keenan said. "Hard work in the weight room, doing extra work on off days, team comradery and team chemistry, we do a lot of things that bring this team closer together."

Redshirt junior Mike Aronow is the lone Nittany Lion captain who will remain in Happy Valley to play out his last year of eligibility. Even though he'll watch his own recruiting class and some of his best friends graduate in just a couple weeks, he will bring valuable leadership experience to next season's team. 

"If you can have a redshirt or hold over from time to time who has that experience, that does carry on that class and maturity, it's always a positive," Tambroni said. "I think [Aronow] has done that. You bring back a two-year starter, a captain, that knowledge of that it meant to decide [to commit] at that point and to watch Penn State grow, I think it can only be a benefit."

Penn State's captains aren't the only leaders it will be parting with though, as many other members of the senior class also took leadership roles, like defenseman Chris Isenberg. 

Although Isenberg was forced to spend a good chunk of his four-year career sidelined due to injuries, he learned from the challenges and accepted a new role as an emotional leader on the team.

"I definitely saw my mentality pivot from being discouraged and angry at the idea of not playing to the overall big picture - that it's not just me playing lacrosse but me and my team," Isenberg said. "That's one of the biggest aspects of the 'culture shift,' we're not a selfish team, we're extremely selfless and we enjoy success amongst each other and not just individually." 

Although the journey back to the field was long and frustrating for Isenberg, being able to play the last few games of his senior season alongside his teammates made it all worth it. 

Injuries made him cherish the little moments throughout the season, leading up to what could possibly be his last game inside Panzer Stadium with his fellow seniors.

"I just appreciated everything and coming back and playing," Isenberg said. "It's one of the best things I could have asked for, just to know I get to play with these guys to finish out my career." 

With a small class of seven, the group has been able to grow extremely close. As they approach the end of their time in blue and white, they have taken time to reflect on everything they have had to overcome to get to this moment. 

"We're the last ones standing and we've been through so much together on the field and off the field," Isenberg said. "It's definitely going to be a really emotional day."
By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Dani Fey has gained more experience than she could ever imagine as a freshman for the Penn State softball team, starting 39 games so far this season.  Read More

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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Dani Fey has gained more experience than she could ever imagine as a freshman for the Penn State softball team, starting 39 games so far this season.

An invaluable part of this Penn State team, primarily because of her versatility and athleticism, Fey has had an up and down season. She settled in early as the Nittany Lions leadoff hitter, before some ups and downs in Big Ten play. Despite that, Fey has continued to work hard and has truly earned her significant amount of playing time. 

"It's been really exciting," Fey said. "I just came in with my head low, grinding, just trying to do my best and work hard every day and it has paid off, I haven't exactly had the freshman year that I wanted but it's definitely something that I've learned from and stuff that I've taken from this season that I will be able to fix better for next season."

Coming from a small town, Bangor, Pennsylvania (population just over 5,000), Fey has been able to perform much of her first season with the Nittany Lions in front of family and friends.

"I get to see my family every weekend basically which is really nice. I feel bad for the kids that don't so I'm really thankful for that," Fey said. "Just being from Pennsylvania and growing up around Penn State stuff and a whole bunch of Penn State fans, and being the first kid from my high school to go to Penn State was huge and my town blew up which was really cool. I've always been a Penn State fan and always followed the stuff going on here."

That was one of the big aspects of Fey's decision to attend Penn State. The atmosphere at Penn State was more comfortable to her allowing her to succeed. 

"It was a really easy decision for me (to come to Penn State)," Fey said. "It came down to two schools and it was really late in the recruiting process and this felt more like a home. It's better for me academically and from an athletic standpoint too." 

Since arriving at Penn State, Fey has been a staple throughout head coach Amanda Lehotak's lineup, providing a spark with her ability to draw walks and cause havoc on the bases. Despite the ups and downs, her attitude has never changed and continues to work to improve.

"We call (Dani) Tori Dubois Jr. because she is kind of sporadic like Tori was her freshman year," Lehotak said. "For Dani I think she is only going to get better and better. She has had a pretty good, productive freshman year and doesn't even give herself enough credit."

 Fey boasts an impressive .376 on base percentage thanks to a team high 26 walks. This patience is what once had her at the top of the order despite her inexperience. 

"My roles models are probably Gianna (Arrizurieta) and Tori (Dubois)," Fey said. "Tori basically said in another article I'm her mini me. We are very similar and I love looking up to her in the outfield and as a hitter because she is obviously really good at both." 

Fey has also been a huge contributor on the defensive side, making multiple highlight reel catches in right-field while appearing multiple times at catcher. It was this versatility that allowed her to see the field so early as a true freshman. 

With the season winding down Fey knows she has a lot to improve before coming back as a sophomore. She also has plenty to be proud of and has lots of accomplishments from her freshman season. Likely an impact player next year, Fey will be a mainstay in the lineup and be a table setter once again in Lehotak's offense.

"She's athletic, has an arm, has speed so once she goes home and relaxes this summer she is just going to get better and better," Lehotak said. "We are very excited to have her back next year."

By: Briana Zuccarelli, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- With the final game of the regular season approaching, the Penn State women's lacrosse team says goodbye to six graduating seniors.  Read More

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By: Briana Zuccarelli, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- With the final game of the regular season approaching, the Penn State women's lacrosse team says goodbye to six graduating seniors. 

On Saturday, seniors Katie O'Donnell, Maggie Gallagher, Bridget Chakey, Allie Dolder, Madison Day, and Shelby Wells will be honored for their time on the team during the senior game against the Michigan Wolverines.

"It's sad," said Gallagher. "I don't want to leave yet. I have had a great four years and I don't think I want it to end. Not being able to play a competitive sport anymore is going to definitely be different. So, I think it's going to be a different transition. It's just really sad." 

This senior class will be recognized by not only their families and teammates, but from the coaching staff as they have led the team to great success from the moment they each walked onto campus. When they first arrived at Penn State, it was a whirlwind of emotions, but they each knew they had a job as a member of the lacrosse team, and that was to compete.

As freshmen, the team headed to the Big Ten Tournament, where they defeated Northwestern in the second round and took down Ohio State (13-7) to earn the program's first Big Ten tournament title. As sophomores and juniors, they experienced back-to-back NCAA national semifinal appearances. This marked the first time PSU had made back-back appearances in nearly 30 years. 

"These seniors have been a huge part of our transition forward," head coach Missy Doherty said. "I mean in their four years here we won that Big Ten Championship and went to two Final Fours. They've really helped us take this program to the next level. 

With three successful years in the books, the seniors are looking to make one final run in play, and then plan to move their focus on competing for another Big Ten Championship title. Although success was a major accomplishment for this class, Doherty believes their leadership has set them apart from the rest. 

"I think that is what's special with Penn State and our program," she said. "Our seniors are the first to include the freshmen and make them feel like they are a part of the family. There is no hierarchy when it comes to behavior and our classes; it is one team."

As they prepare for their final matchup of the regular season, the seniors recalled some of their favorite memories as Penn Staters. While most said they enjoyed winning the Big Ten championship as freshman, O'Donnell had a different memory in mind from the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

"I would definitely say sophomore year, going down to Florida for that first weekend and getting that first win over a No. 2 team," O'Donnell said. "To be the underdogs going into that game and coming out on top was just really awesome. To be able to be a part of the first time this program has went to a Final Four in so many years was just really amazing."

The team will look to move to 10-7 for the season and 4-2 in the Big Ten conference on Saturday. This game will be bittersweet for this team, but the senior class has much to be thankful for knowing they left their mark on the program. 

"I would definitely say, looking back, the best part of being a student-athlete, especially here at Penn State. All the opportunities we're given," said O'Donnell. "I'm just really grateful for the positions I've gotten to be in in the past four years and being a part of this program."

By Andy Kuros, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -After falling behind 5-3 in the fifth inning of game one vs Bucknell, the Nittany Lions clawed their way back into the game and nearly completed a late comeback. Senior Gianna Arrizurieta's RBI triple and sophomore Kennedy Legg's game-tying RBI groundout in the 6thinning helped Penn State tie the game at 5-5, forcing extra innings.  Read More

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