Recently in All-Sports Blog Category
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Colors represent a lot of things in life. Whether it
portrays an idea, a person, a team or a cause, colors are everywhere. Sunday at
the Bryce Jordan Center, the only color one could find was pink and it
represented one very important idea: life.
On second thought, represented isn't the right word, the color pink LIVED
in the BJC before, during and after the ninth annual Pennsylvania Pink Zone
game, whose focus is breast cancer awareness and research. In the mind of
Coquese Washington, it showed the good sports can do to a community and even
more so, what a community can do to sports.
"Pink Zone is a special thing because sports can be, and often is, a
reflection of society and this is one of those opportunities where sports and
community can collide," Washington said. "Competing at any level of sports, we
are often role models and what we do in competition inspires people, but Pink
Zone is a day where we get to be inspired.
We get to be inspired by what we see and the fight that we see from the
Even with bad weather on a snowy Sunday in Happy Valley, people still
found their way into the BJC seats and supported 657 breast cancer
survivors who came on 17 busses from 11 different states.
A select group of survivors even had the opportunity to stand arm-to-arm
in the pregame huddle where the Lady Lions pump each other up. Even though,
that moment meant more to the Lady Lions than they will ever know.
"I thought it was great how enthusiastic they were and excited to run
out through the tunnel with us and then get in the huddle with us before the
game," guard Sierra Moore said. "It's just great that we're doing something for
them today and we were playing for them."
Penn State found itself down by 16 with 1:35 left in the first half and
put on a late mini-run to get the deficit down to 10 at the half. Then at
halftime, as Kathy Sledge of "Sister Sledge" beautifully belted their song "We
Are Family", which echoed into the Lady Lion locker room.
It's probably no coincidence that as the 700-plus survivors packed the
court that the Lady Lions were set to play on just a few minutes later, that
their years of battle and triumph inspired Penn State to come out strong in the
After just 10-minutes of play in the second half, the game was suddenly
tied at 45.
"I think we really started actually playing for them in the second half
and I just can't thank them enough for coming out here and supporting us
today," Moore said.
Although the Lady Lions came up just short late in the second half
falling 62-56, there was a greater effort and greater cause that everyone
involved knocked out of the park Sunday.
"When you have all of that energy in the arena, it almost doesn't matter
what happens with the game," Washington said. "It's just a big celebration of
surviving and a celebration of fighting. One of the hallmarks of any sporting
event is the triumph over adversity. That's why people file in to watch any
sporting event is, 'Can they do it? Can that team do it? Can that individual do
it? Can they make it happen?'"
It's safe to say that the Pennsylvania Pink Zone made it happen on
Sunday and they have been since the effort was tied to Lady Lion basketball
nine years ago.
"When you bring breast cancer survivors and basketball together, the
answer is yes because all of these hundreds of survivors have said, 'Yes, we
have faced adversity and we can win'," Washington added. "It's just an
incredible energy and every year it just gets bigger and better and it doesn't
lose its power and impact."
By Michael James McClelland, GoPSUsports.com
Ohio - From my view, with a fourth place finish for the men and the women tying
for third place, it is safe to say that both Penn State squads left the SPIRE
Institute without accomplishing all they wanted to at the Big Ten Championships.
Though the team scores left something to be desired, our individual efforts
were outstanding and should not be overshadowed.
On the men's side, we found an abundance of personal records and
champions. Captain Darrell Hill was
seeded first in the men's shot put in which he followed through with his
seemingly effortless victory. Brian Leap
came through with a lifetime best jump of 52-6.75 to secure second place in the
triple jump, with Steve Waithe close behind in third. On the track, we got to
see Robby Creese and Brannon Kidder dominate the men's mile with a first and
second place finish, respectively. Robby Creese also came through with a huge
victory in the men's 3k and Matt Fischer finished well in the event to score us
On the women's side, we found an equally impressive amount of notable
performances. Without a doubt, one of the performances that stood out in my
mind is one that may not have scored us points, but definitely motivated us as
a team. Sophomore Kasey Kemp has been battling an injury for years and came
into the Big Ten Championship with a season best of only 11-10, and came
through with a lifetime best of 12-9.25. Kemp's teammates Hannah Mulhern and
Lexi Masterson came through with season bests.
As for the first event on Friday, the women spurred into action with
season bests from Kiah Seymour in the 400m dash, Shelley Black in the 60m
hurdles, and a truly determined victory from Tori Gerlach in the 5k.
All in all, this weekend was not what we wanted, but it's what we do
with this feeling going into the outdoor season that will make all the
difference. As a squad, I know we are
all close friends and all want to see each other succeed. Outdoors we have the great additions of Mike
Shuey in the javelin and a healthy Rob Cardina in the decathlon. With the
inclusion of their leadership qualities and our ability, as a unit, to
synthesize this frustration into motivation, I truly believe outdoors will yield
us spectacular results. Best of luck to
those competing at Indoor Nationals. Go
By Gabby Richards, GoPSUsports Student Staff Writer
Pa.- Saturday's senior night was bittersweet for coaches Jeff and Rachelle
Thompson - the four seniors honored were the first gymnasts they recruited as coaches
for Penn State.
Seniors Krystal Welsh, Sidney Sanabria-Robles, Alex Witt, and Lexi Carroll
contributed to Penn State's quad meet win on Saturday, finishing ahead of Iowa
State, Penn and SUNY Brockport, capping off their undefeated home slate this
These seniors are
special, as they, along with the coaching staff, have again put Penn State on
the map as one of the top women's collegiate gymnastics programs. Aside from
their contributions to the sport, these girls have created a familial environment
for the program; the trust they have in one another has made them as successful
as they are today.
"From day one,
these girls have been developing this trust for one another," head coach Jeff
Thompson said. "We have this saying, 'grab the rope.' When one of your
teammates is having a bad day or doesn't perform as well on a routine, it is
their job to support one another. If everyone is 'holding on' and supporting
one another, being successful and doing what we do at practice in meets becomes
that much easier."
It was no surprise
to fans watching on Saturday that the seniors performed as well as they did.
Welsh clinched the all-around title, finishing with a season best score of
39.400. She tied for first on vault with a score of 9.925 and earned a winning
score of 9.875 on floor.
trailed Welsh for the all-around crown with a score of 39.300. After a miss-step
on uneven bars, the senior bounced back in a big way, scoring a 9.900 on vault,
9.850 on floor, and winning the balance beam crown with a score of 9.900.
"We worked really
hard on details this week," Sanabria-Robles said. "We wanted to do what we do
in the gym in the meet, and we did that in three out of four events today. Once
we put it all together, we will be good to go."
Witt has been a
consistent competitor for Penn State on uneven bars all season, after coming
back from a thumb injury, which left her worried she wouldn't compete. Witt
placed second on bars with a score of 9.800. Carroll was not in the starting
rotation, but she competed in an exhibition routine on floor, earning a 9.775,
capping off her career as the last performer of the day.
The Nittany Lions
finished with an overall team score of 196.650, just shy of their meet goal of
"You always want to
score the 197," Witt said. "We keep adding more little details and sticks,
hoping to get to the 197 that we need. We are consistent and we know we are
hitting every routine because we trust each other and work off of each other.
Every time we compete, the little things help bring us to the next level."
Since the beginning
of the season, these gymnasts have been working tirelessly to see out their
goal: win every meet. After Saturday's performance, they have won all but two
matchups this season, both of which were on the road.
"We want to win the
Big Ten tournament," Sanabria-Robles said. "That has been a dream of ours
forever, since we started our journey here. We want to make it to nationals,
just do what we know we can do. If we do that, we can make it into the Super
Six and that is definitely the ultimate dream for us."
"At the rate we are
going, we are on the right path," Witt added.
There is a sign
outside of the Penn State women's gymnastics facility, which reads, "little
eyes are watching." So many young gymnasts attend home meets at Rec Hall,
watching these gymnasts every move. They have been conditioned to be stellar
student athletes, but often times in a sport like gymnastics, which is just as
mentally challenging as it is physical, you can get caught up in sticking a
landing or earning a certain score. These gymnasts never lose sight of that;
they know they are not only champions for the sport, but role models for those
aspiring to be just like them.
"I got really
emotional making their senior video," Thompson said. "This was a great way for
these girls to end their career in Rec Hall. These girls don't let little
things bother them. When they have mistakes they put them behind them quickly.
These girls are special; for them to go undefeated at home in their senior
season is special."
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Headed into this weekend, the Penn State women's
lacrosse team knew it would have a challenge on its hand. With No. 8 Virginia
coming to town, the No. 9 Nittany Lions were ready for their first big test of
the season, taking on another top-ten team.
Throughout the entirety of Saturday's game, it was clear the two were evenly
matched. Any time the Cavaliers took the lead, Penn State would fire back and
vice versa. There was never more than a two-goal lead on either side.
Unfortunately for the Blue and White, a Virginia (2-2, 0-1 ACC) goal with four
seconds left in second half proved to be the difference maker. The Nittany Lions
(3-1, 0-0 B1G) suffered their first loss of the season, falling 16-15.
Virginia is always just like this," head coach Missy Doherty said. "I mean, I
don't know how many games since I've been here it's been a one-point game, but
I think it's been a lot. We always know it's going to be super competitive, and
I think it really was two teams playing well. It was unfortunate to come out
with the loss, but we had a chance to win it there in the last couple seconds.
All you can ask for is those chances."
Despite the competitive nature, Doherty was not expecting such a high-scoring
game. Both teams were in the double digits after the first thirty minutes.
The Lions and Cavaliers were tied at 10 after Penn State scored in the final
seconds of the first half. The determination to score showed the Lions would
not easily give up. They would fight until the end.
"I think it was really important," said Doherty of heading into halftime tied.
"Our team fights for 60 minutes, and that's a good example of you know, it
doesn't matter if there's still time on the clock. We're going to go hard. That
was just a good example of going hard and finishing strong."
Throughout the game, the Lions saw goals from seven different student-athletes,
continuing their strong offensive trend. Madison Cyr, Tatum Coffey, Kelly
Lechner, Abby Smucker, Steph Lazo, Katie O'Donnell and Maggie Gallagher all
found the back of the cage.
Cyr led the way with a game-high five goals. The junior now has eight on the
season, which is not at all surprising to her coach.
"She's a clutch player," Doherty said of Cyr. "She always comes up big in big
games. It's no different than any other game that we've been in that she comes
in with a really good game."
With mere minutes left, it looked as though the Lions may edge out Virginia.
Penn State evened the scoring once again with 2:26 remaining. The team got the
ball back shortly thereafter and was able to work its offense.
However, a foul with 13 seconds left gave Virginia possession. The Cavaliers'
final shot resulted in the go-ahead goal. With such little time, the Nittany
Lions were unable to force yet another tie.
"It was a tough game defensively," Doherty said. "I take full responsibility
for that. We had a game plan, and it didn't work. That's my fault. We want to
come back for the next game and make sure that we give the players the best
opportunity to win."
Although the outcome was not what Penn State was hoping for, the Blue and White
battled and played for a full sixty minutes. The team was competitive and
The Nittany Lions will take the field again next Saturday as look to return to
their winning ways against Loyal Maryland.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the Penn State men's hockey team prepared for
its final regular-season series against Ohio State, it knew the importance the
outcome would have on the overall season. With two weekends left before the Big
Ten Tournament, winning conference matchups is crucial.
Every team is looking for points. Every team is hungry for victories.
However, the results of the weekend were not what the Nittany Lions had hoped
for, as the team was swept on the road for the second time this month. Both
Friday and Saturday nights, the Buckeyes (11-17-2, 6-10-0 B1G) downed the Blue
and White (16-12-4, 8-7-1 B1G), 5-3.
think our biggest problem this weekend is we kind of got away from our game,"
said sophomore Mike Williamson. "We started off having pretty good first and
second periods but then ended up leaving the game we've been having success
with. That ended up coming back to haunt us toward the end of the games and
cost us two wins."
Although the Nittany Lions went up early Friday night with a Tommy Olczyk goal
30 seconds into the game, the team struggled to maintain a lead as Ohio State notched
three unanswered tallies. Dylan Richard scored Penn State's second goal, cutting
the deficit to one, but the Buckeyes answered with two more in the third
period. Penn State was unable to recover.
Working to put Friday night behind them, the Nittany Lions took the ice
Saturday ready to get to work. Surprisingly, much of the crowd was on their
side, as the Roar Zone made the trip from Hockey Valley to Ohio. The presence
of Penn State's student body in enemy territory helped the Blue and White
"The Roar Zone coming all the way to Ohio to watch us play on the road is
another reason why they're the best student section in college hockey,"
Williamson said. "They allow us to gain some energy in an opponent's building,
which is a pretty rare thing. They're always loud and rowdy. It really helps us
light a fire in our game."
Penn State started strong, scoring twice in the first period. Casey Bailey put
away his 21st goal of the season, and Taylor Holstrom nabbed his seventh. At
the end of the opening 20 minutes, the Nittany Lions had a 2-1 lead over the
Ohio State tied the game on a power play goal in the second, but less than three
minutes later, Williamson grabbed his first goal of the season to put the Lions
on top once again.
"Obviously, that's an exciting time, scoring a goal," Williamson said.
"Basically, I was just putting the puck on net and there was a lot of traffic
in front. Our forwards did a great job getting in the goalie's way, and it
ended up going in."
Things were looking up for the team as it sustained the lead. Unfortunately,
that positivity abruptly came to an end.
Holstrom, who has been a major leader for this Penn State team, left the ice
with an injury. His absence was very noticeable, as the Blue and White seemed
to break down without the senior in the game.
"He's obviously a key asset to our team's success," Williamson said of Holstrom.
"He's a great player who really brings an aggressive attitude that rubs off on
the whole team. So, losing a guy like that has a big impact, but we can't let
it affect us in the sense that we've got playoffs coming up. We need to be
mentally tough and make sure that we maintain a high level of play without him
if he's not able to go."
Following Holstrom's departure, the Buckeyes tacked on three goals in just over
four minutes, sealing the Lions' fate.
Leaving Ohio with two losses in hand was the exact opposite of what the Nittany
Lions wanted. Nevertheless, the team knows staying positive at this point in
the season is a must.
Penn State needs to leave the series behind and focus on the two upcoming
"It's something that as a hockey player you kind of learn to do," Williamson
said. "You're going to have bad weekends, bad games, bad shifts, whatever the
case is. It's just about being able to cancel out the past. You have to use it
as a learning tool as opposed to a negative influence.
"We're just going to look toward Michigan and Minnesota to finish off the
season as a good stepping-stone to playoffs. It's going to be two good weekends
of hockey, which will prepare us for the level of hockey that we need to have
going into the Big Ten Tournament."
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Pa. - Thanks to the veteran leadership of outside hitter Aaron Russell and
opposite Nick Goodell, the Nittany Lions (6-9, 4-0 EIVA) earned their first two
conference road wins of the season over the weekend at Sacred Heart and
After a long bus
trip from University Park to Sacred Heart, the Blue and White defeated the
Pioneers (4-8, 1-4 EIVA) Friday night in straight sets (25-16, 25-11, 25-21).
Then the team continued their journey to Cambridge where the Nittany Lions
topped Harvard (9-5, 3-2) in four sets (21-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22) in a heated
match Saturday evening.
it's the first two of many," said Goodell. "It feels good finally to see the
hard work pay off."
Being on the road
is not as easy as it looks. It is imperative to maintain a certain standard of balance.
For Penn State men's volleyball, the preparation for an extended trip away from
Rec Hall starts at the beginning of the week.
in the week we tell them what the deal is," said Russell on mentoring the
underclassmen. "For this trip, we know it's a long bus ride, tough gyms to play
in and Harvard is a good team, so we just lay that out first and foremost. I
just tell them how to cope with such a long trip: sleep when you can, take
naps, get as much sleep at night whenever you can, and try to make yourself
feel at home as possible."
According to head coach Mark Pavlik, the success that his
program has achieved over the course of his 21-year regime is why his team is
always ready for the road.
"It's become such an ingrained expectation with this program
that we will be on long road trips," said Pavlik. "It's now the day-to-day
grind. You talk about recovery. You talk about sleep. You talk about taking
care of classes and making sure you spend your time wisely at those things so
you can recover and get ready for the next trip."
A scheduled itinerary helps keep the team on the same page.
From when breakfast is, to serve and pass, to the scouting report and film
session, all the way to the pregame meal, an organized plan maintains order.
More importantly, the close quarters on the bus allows the
team to come together and build a tightknit rapport.
"Cooped up with your teammates in a relatively small space
on the bus, because we are so tall, we just use it to our advantage," said
Russell. "We get to know each other better and are able to build team
chemistry. We're having fun, and we're building relationships, too."
After both wins this weekend, the Nittany Lions stand alone
atop the EIVA standings, a conference that the Blue and White has dominated
over the years.
Penn State rolled past the Pioneers on Friday night. Eleven
kills apiece from Russell and Chris Nugent and six digs from Connor Curry and
Russell led the charge. The Blue and White hitting percentage was .403, while
the Lions held Sacred Heart to just .125.
Saturday was a different story, as the Nittany Lions went
into the match against Harvard knowing it would be a war. Goodell took charge though,
compiling a match-high 25 kills to pace Penn State. Curry added 12 more digs to
keep Penn State on its toes defensively.
According to Pavlik, his team's level-headedness led to this
past weekend's stellar play.
"Level-headed is very accurate because it seemed like on
Friday night Sacred Heart just folded the tents, but we didn't let up," said
Pavlik. "We didn't follow their lead and say 'well, if they don't want to play,
we're not going to play hard.' We kept playing hard. [Against Harvard], we hit
that stretch at the end of game one where we made a couple of errors, let it
get away from us, but we didn't change mentality, and we played hard through
the rest of the match. It just seemed like we outplayed Harvard from about 17
or 18 on for the next three games. We had a very purposeful mindset. Nobody was
getting upset at getting punched back in the nose from a good team. That's a
good thing to see. We maximized some of our strengths with our serving, and we
were pretty efficient with our attacking. More than anything else, we are still
on an upward climb with this journey of a season. We will see where we wind up
in the next couple of weeks."
Upcoming for Penn State is a bye week. The next EIVA
conference match will not be played until March 27 at home against Princeton. During
spring break, the Nittany Lions will be headed to the west coast for a few
matches, starting with USC on Tuesday, March 10.
"We're proving that we are getting better," said Pavlik. "A
season is simply an evolution of change where you hope, at the end of the year
when everything matters; your change has been one of maximization and
By Anita Nham, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 4 men's gymnastics team finished their final
home meet of the regular season with a 440.800-435.750 win over No. 7 Iowa on
Friday evening on Senior Night.
"It's bittersweet," said senior Tristan Duverglas. "I knew this day
would come, but you can't really prepare for it, but it definitely means a lot
to me, just being my last regular meet in Rec Hall. I'm just glad we got to see
the crowd, something to really end it on a big note."
The Nittany Lions won five out of the six events and earned four
individual titles. Junior Alexis Torres placed first in all around and still
rings, freshman Thad Lawson finished first in floor exercise with a score of
15.700 and senior Craig Hernandez secured the title for pommel horse with a
score of 15.250. Freshman Quest Hayden also tied for first with Iowa on vault.
"We had five misses tonight and our goal was a 100 percent, so we were
85 percent," said head coach Randy Jepson. "We also wanted to hit a lot more
sticks than five. We wanted to get a minimum of 10, so we didn't do what we
wanted to do. Pommel horse was a little bit of a problem; we had two breaks
there. We're just going to have to be better as we go here...Overall, not too
Senior Matthew Felleman started the meet off for Penn State in the
first rotation, the floor exercise. He finished with a score of 15.050 and
helped energize the team to grab four of the top five spots in the event.
"It's definitely a hit routine in the beginning," said Felleman. "It
gets the energy going and it's what Randy's looking for."
Though Felleman loves to bring liveliness to his teammates, he loves
the enthusiasm that the crowd at Rec Hall brings to the meets even more.
"[I'm going to remember] the meets at Rec Hall the most because the
crowd's awesome, especially when we get a nice and loud "We Are...Penn State"
from the crowd. That's what shakes me," said Felleman.
After the meet, the five seniors were recognized with individual video montages
of their gymnastics careers, from the early childhood years to their time at
"It was crazy [to see myself on the screen]," said Duverglas. "I didn't even
know my parents had some of those videos, but it's just odd to see how hard
we've come from the middle competition that we did as kids to competing for a
university, like Penn State. The transition is just insane."
Four years may seem like a long time, but it goes by quicker than one would
"[The videos] made me realize how fast it went by, especially when I went up to
Randy and shook his hand and he goes, 'I told you it would go by fast,'" said
Felleman. "I remember when I was a freshman and our seniors were doing this and
now it's real."
The men's gymnastics team finished their regular home meet with a win and coach
Jepson had only high praise for the five seniors and everything they've
"They're just great guys," said coach Jepson. "These guys come in and they get
to know what our program is all about and they get to know our staff and we get
to know them. It's really a bond that's made between all of us to get them to
be the best they can everywhere. You know, it's tough to say goodbye, they've
got a couple more seasons, so we're not going to say goodbye fully yet, but
it's great to see the videos of when they're youngsters in their first couple
of meets when they're kids. They're just hardworking young guys and they/re great
people, so that's what keeps me ticking in this job - I love what I do because
I love my guys and they're just wonderful young men."
By Sean Donnelly, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the final two weeks of the regular season on its
mind, the Penn State women's hockey team knew it was important to get off to a
hot start in the postseason.
And the Nittany Lions knew they needed to play their best game if they wanted
to advance to the CHA semifinals.
The Nittany Lions (15-15-4, 9-9-2 CHA) hosted Lindenwood (10-19-2, 7-11-2 CHA)
for a best-of-three set at Pegula Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday.
Fortunately, the Nittany Lions squad rewarded themselves with some extra rest
by not allowing the series to go all three games thanks to a 2-0 sweep.
The victory on Friday night was a seesaw battle, as the Lions shutout
Lindenwood 1-0. The Lions came out fast and strong, establishing a strong
forecheck and putting pressure on anyone who touched the puck. Lindenwood was
never able to get into a rhythm on offense.
The Nittany Lions struck first when junior captain Shannon Yoxheimer scored on
the power play with a great pass from Kelly Seward. Yoxheimer, who is the
program's career goals, assists and points leader, was able to get in front of
the net for the tip-in. It was the only goal Penn State would need to get the
"It feels really awesome because it's what we have been working for," said
Yoxheimer. "It just shows that we are getting so much better every single year.
It's a big step for the program."
The story of the game was goaltender Celine Whitlinger's absolutely stellar play
in net, stopping all 23 shots she faced for her third shutout of the season.
Following the game, Whitlinger did not shy away from praising the Nittany Lions
playing front of her.
"We've been working hard in practice," said Whitlinger. "It's definitely a team
effort and we've got each others backs."
"It was a total team effort this evening," said head coach Josh Brandwene.
"Great physical effort, tremendous patience and really good decision-making. It
was just a really good playoff atmosphere at Pegula Arena.
The celebration of Penn State's first CHA playoff win didn't last long, as
focus was already on to Saturday's game.
"We want to come off strong tomorrow like we did today," said Brandwene. "It's
important to get better as a team tomorrow. Improve, get better, play focused,
play disciplined and the result will take care of itself."
"I think there were a couple moments where we needed to tell ourselves we're
okay and calm down," said Yoxheimer. "Going into tomorrow is just battling hard
and keeping control of your sticks and moving your feet."
On Saturday, a little luck went a long way for the Nittany Lions. Two minutes
into the game, freshman defenseman Bella Sutton cleared the puck from Penn
State's own zone. Lindenwood goaltender Nicole Hensley, who boasts a .947 save
percentage in all playoff appearances, was caught off guard by the shot. What
should have been a routine save squeaked through five-hole to kick off the
It was exactly the start the Lions needed, and they never looked back from
"I had no idea it went in," said
Sutton. "We saw the fans cheering behind the net, and thought 'wait did that go
in?' I was very surprised."
Yoxheimer continued her phenomenal
play by notching her second goal of the series. Yoxheimer's play on both ends
of the ice has paid big dividends for the squad.
"Huge weekend for Shannon Yoxheimer,
on both sides of the ice," said Brandwene. "Excellent shot selection, good
decisions with the puck and I'm really proud of her."
"I think it was just for the most part just sticking to the game plan the
coaches gave us," said Yoxheimer. "Just really putting a lot of faith in it and
also stepping on the ice and playing to win."
Lindenwood was unable to find a groove on offense, finally registering their first
shot seven minutes into the game. For the second straight game, the Nittany
Lions exhibited great special teams play allowing only one goal out of 11 power
play opportunities. From both ends of the ice, it was a total team effort.
"I feel like our special teams has come a long way throughout the season, said
Sutton. "Just trusting the game plan and trusting each other to do our jobs.
Just throwing it on net and hoping they go in."
The Nittany Lions were finally able to capitalize on a power play opportunity
when Bella Sutton's slap shot found the back of the net for her second goal of
the game. It was all Penn State needed to put away Lindenwood 3-1, advancing to
the CHA Tournament semifinal game for the first time in program history.
"Special teams is a big part of the
game and credit to the members of the team who play on the penalty kill and
power play," said Brandwene. "They have done just a tremendous job of
continually improving their performance all year."
"I'm just so proud of the process,
sticking to the game plan and keeping things even keel," said Brandwene. "Just
a great, great performance today by this hockey team."
The Nittany Lions will look to continue their run for the
CHA title when they play No. 2 Syracuse in Erie on Friday.
By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a hard fought game, the Nittany Lions were
able to hold back Penn's relentless offense, earning a much-needed 14-11 victory
inside Holuba Hall on Saturday.
Penn State (2-2), once again found itself in an early hole trailing its
in-state rival by two goals to start the game. After their early struggles, a
strong performance from both the offense and defense kept the game close. The
Nittany Lions never trailed by more than two goals. At the start of the fourth
period, the Nittany Lion's offense found its stride, and launched into a final
offensive flurry to finish off their opponent.
After two tough road losses to Loyola and Villanova, a win was just what
the Nittany Lions needed to boost morale and give the team momentum going into
their upcoming games over spring break.
"That was much needed," said head coach Jeff Tambroni. "You could see
the relief on our guys' faces when the game ended. I think the key was that it
was such a hard fought game and they had to work for everything. If we didn't
come out with this kind of effort today it certainly wasn't going to work out."
Coach Tambroni was pleased with his players' performance, and effort, to
control possession, win face-offs, and score goals. Tambroni noted the heart
was back in the game for his players.
"I just felt like our guys played with a whole lot more heart today than
they have in the last two weeks, I thought it showed on the scoreboard today," said
The Nittany Lions' gained momentum with every goal; kick-started by a
rocket shot by sophomore Matt Florence in the first period. Florence would find
the back of the net a total of four times against Penn, all of which were
"After these past two weeks I think the team's a little stressed out. We
really just wanted to come out off to a good start today and just play as a
team," said Florence.
During halftime, the crowd welcomed the Royer family to the center of
the field to be honored as official members of the Penn State lacrosse family
with a rousing standing ovation. Gavin Royer was diagnosed with a brain tumor
just ten days after his fifth birthday last March and has since become a symbol
of hope and determination for the Nittany Lions. Gavin and his family were
matched with Penn State lacrosse through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
At the start of the second half
Penn State led Penn 8-7. The game remained close, with each Penn State goal being
answered by the Quakers. The momentum and team unity that fueled the Nittany
Lions overflowed as the Penn State sidelines got more vocal toward the end of
the second half.
"I just feel like a lot of momentum built up throughout the game," said
Florence. "Everyone just wanted to cross the finish line and honestly we were
all giving it everything we had until the last whistle."
With a boisterous team on the sidelines cheering fellow teammates on
during the final minutes of the game, Penn State opened up a three-goal lead.
While Saturday's win was much needed for the Nittany Lions, the team
already has their sights set on the next matchup. The Nittany Lions will go
into spring break matchups against Harvard, Marist, and UMass with a heightened
level of confidence brought about after their victory over Penn.
"It's great now but I think we're all ready for next week, we're already
wanting to compete a little more. I think that this will just help us carry
that momentum," said Florence.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - It was the definition of a gut-check moment for the Penn State
men's basketball team.
battling Iowa throughout the second half of Saturday night's game and sending
it to overtime, the Nittany Lions found themselves down six just 1:39 into the
extra period after a pair of Hawkeye 3-pointers. With the game about to slip
away, the Lions showed the same resolve they have all year, scoring six
straight points to knot the score at 74-74.
was a stretch that epitomized the effort that Penn State gave all evening, yet
it proved to not be enough, as Iowa outlasted the Lions 81-77 in a heartbreaking
feel bad for these kids that played their hearts out today," Chambers said.
"And they worked really hard all week. It's unfortunate. When you make 10
threes and you've got four guys in double figures (scoring). We need to win
that game. But these kids battled all week and they battled today against a
really good basketball team. I'm proud of the way we competed today. We fought
and we continued to fight in that overtime."
was another game in which the Lions absorbed blow after blow from their
opponent yet refused to back down. The effort was once again led by D.J.
Newbill, who came up big despite the game's outcome.
Penn State down two with 18 seconds remaining, Newbill drained a pair of huge
free throws that sent the game to overtime. With the team then down six, the
6-foot-4 guard followed up a Geno Thorpe basket with two straight buckets of
his own to reignite the Bryce Jordan Center crowd.
he struggled in the first half with two points on 1-7 shooting, Newbill kept
attacking and finished the night with 19 points, five rebounds and five
we ran that [play at the end of the second], and D.J. made those two free
throws, I felt like we were due, we were ready, we finally got over the hump,"
Chambers said. "Give Iowa credit, they've been there before and they hit some
big shots in that overtime."
Newbill wasn't asked to face Iowa alone, as three of his teammates reached
double-digits in points in guard Shep Garner (17), forward Ross Travis (10) and
tandem Garner and Thorpe, who start alongside Newbill in the Lions' small-ball
lineup, shined during a 12-3 second half run in which Penn State turned a 61-54
deficit into a 66-64 lead with 3:33 remaining. Thorpe converted a fast-break
layup that cut the Hawkeyes' lead to three before his freshman counterpart tied
it up with a three-point play less than a minute later.
was one of a handful of big plays from Garner, who also hit four 3-pointers and
went 3-3 from behind his arc in the first half. Less than two weeks after he
didn't register a point against Wisconsin, the first year point guard looked
back on track, reaching double figures for the first time since Jan. 31 against
disappointed as he was, Chambers was still able to find solace in the gritty play
of his young guards, who both will be a huge part of the Penn State backcourt
for the next two years.
getting extra shots up, they're working harder and they're definitely playing
well together," Chambers said. "If there's any positives, watching those two
play...that's our future. You can't fault their effort. They're doing everything
they can to help us win games."
surprisingly, the player that seemed to exert as much effort as anybody was
Travis, who scored his third highest total of the season and like usual,
protected the glass like a madman, finishing the game with nine rebounds.
third-highest rebounder in Penn State history, Travis rarely gets acclaim, but
his play as of late has certainly deserved it. The 6-foot-7 forward grabbed
four boards on offense alone, including two in the same possession late in the
second half with his team down two.
thought Ross Travis had one of his best games," Chambers said. "Guys definitely
stepped up today. Again, four guys in double figures that's nice. We've got to
continue working and start preparing for Ohio State."