Recently in Men's Lacrosse Category

Nittany Lions Fall to UMass, Reflect On Season

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One year removed from a 2-11 season, the Penn State men's lacrosse team battled UMass Wednesday for a bid to the CAA Conference Championship game.  With a win against the Minutemen, the Nittany Lions would have hosted the championship game Saturday night against the Delaware Blue Hens.

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After leading 4-1 at halftime, the Nittany Lions gave up seven goals in the third quarter.  UMass capitalized on Penn State's violations at the face off and failed clearing attempts to secure an 8-6 lead heading in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, junior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) scored a man-up goal to bring Penn State within one goal of Umass.  Less than a minute later, Minuteman Art Kell scored his fourth goal of the game to extend the lead back to two goals.

Sophomore midfielder Kyle Van Thof (Penfield, N.Y.) and Forster each tallied their second goals of the game to tie the score 9-9.  Despite last minute efforts by UMass's Anthony Biscardi, the game remained tied at the end of regulation.

Penn State's Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) won the overtime draw, but the Nittany Lions generated only one shot and failed to score.

UMass' Biscardi scored the game-winning goal with 2:23 remaining in the overtime period to secure the Minutemen's bid to the CAA Conference Championship game.  UMass will return home to take on Delaware in Amherst, Mass. on Saturday.

Penn State finished the season 7-7 overall, including a win over No. 16 UMass earlier in the season.  The Nittany Lions finished 4-3 in the conference and earned a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament in only their second year competing in the CAA.

Penn State was led all season by a strong combination of veteran upperclassman and talented underclassman.  Freshman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) finished the season with 34 points, leading all Nittany Lions.  He scored 18 goals and tallied 16 assists on the year.

Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) led the Nittany Lions in goals with 20.  He added 10 assists for 20 points this season.

Henneghan led Penn State in ground balls, picking up 71 on the year.  Henneghan finished the season 139-266 for a .523 winning percentage at the face off.

Freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) finished the year with a 7.90 goals against average and a .635 save percentage.

The Nittany Lions will graduate 11 seniors this spring, but the team is poised to make another CAA Conference Championship run under the guidance of Mackrides, Ryan McGarvey (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.), Ryan Link (Englewood, Colo.) and David Baker (Havertown, Pa.).

Though this will be a small group of seniors, these players have already made significant contributions to the Penn State men's lacrosse program.

Coach Jeff Tambroni and his staff will also welcome their first recruiting class to campus next fall.  Expect the Nittany Lions to again rely on veteran upperclassman and talented underclassman as they try to earn a bid to the NCAA postseason tournament next year.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Tambroni and Staff Gameplan For Hofstra's Canadian-Born Scorers

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Canadian-born lacrosse players are popping up on college lacrosse rosters all over the country.  These players are not sitting idly on the sideline, either.  They are on the field making their mark on NCAA lacrosse.

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Every lacrosse fan is aware of the impact that Canadian-born lacrosse players are having on college lacrosse.  It seems that every team has a Canadian-born player - generally a pure goal scorer - leading the way.  This trend is not new to the 21st century.  These players have been scoring goals for college lacrosse teams for years.

The most famous Canadian-born duo must be Gary and Paul Gait.  This set of twins exploded onto the college lacrosse scene in 1897.  With confidence, bravado and a flair for the dramatic, the Gaits won three championships at Syracuse.  They continued their successes after college, winning championships - indoors and outdoors - and earning Hall of Fame inductions in 2005.

Delaware's John Grant, Jr. was not far behind the Gaits.  Entering NCAA lacrosse in 1998, Grant, Jr. only played two years for the Blue Hens.  He is, perhaps, the most decorated lacrosse player of all time.  With indoor and outdoor championships, as well as world championships, and individual player of the year awards, Grant, Jr. is one of the most recognizable Canadian-born lacrosse players.

There have been contemporary Canadian-born lacrosse players that have made their mark, as well.  Virginia's A.J. Shannon helped lead the Cavaliers to the NCAA Championship in 2003.  After spending time at Duke and Bryant, Zack Greer finished his college lacrosse career in 2009 as the NCAA's all-time leader in goals and in points.

Coach Tambroni and his staff are well aware of the potent scoring abilities of players with names like the Gait, Grant, Jr., Shannon and Greer.  This week, though, they are much more concerned about players with names like Card and Lincoln.

Jay Card (Caledon, Ontario) and Jamie Lincoln (St. Catharines, Ontario) are first and second, respectively, in scoring for Hofstra.  They are dynamic Canadian-born finishers that can score from anywhere on the field.

Card, a senior attackman, leads the Pride with 40 points.  He has tallied 27 goals and added 13 assists.  Card is a two-time honorable mention All American.

Lincoln, also a senior attackman, has scored 27 goals and added eight assists for 35 points this spring.  He also earned honorable mention All American laurels last year.  Lincoln transferred to Hofstra last year after playing two seasons for Denver.  There, he scored 53 goals and added six assists in only 26 games.

In the fashion of most Canadian-born players, Card and Lincoln only play with their dominant hands.  Because Card is right-handed and Lincoln is left-handed, however, they provide a balance to Hofstra's offense.

Defenses must content with Card on the right-handed wing and Lincoln on the left-handed wing.  If either player is neglected, he is savvy enough to get himself open to catch the ball and score.

When given the opportunity to work together, either on or off the ball, they are as deadly a combination as any in NCAA lacrosse.  Five of Lincoln's eight assists have come on Card goals.  Card has assisted Lincoln three times this season, as well.

 

The Nittany Lion defense must smother this potent duo must with tough on-ball defense and team-defense fundamentals.  If Penn State's short stick defensive midfielders can stifle Hofstra's initiators, then the Nittany Lion defense will not have to slide and will be able to cover the Pride's off-ball players like Card and Lincoln.  When they do have to slide to Hofstra's initiators, the Penn State defense will have to rotate quickly to cover Card and Lincoln, who both have the ability to find shooting space.

Card and Lincoln are crafty players, though.  Regardless of how well the Nittany Lions play on defense, these two Canadian-born players will get open for scoring opportunities.  When that happens, Penn State's freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) will have to contend with their quick releases.  Kaut will have to anticipate their shots.  Otherwise, the ball may be in the back of the net before he has the chance to react.

Penn State has its own Canadian-born player to compete with Hofstra.  This Nittany Lion does not score goals like Card and Lincoln, though.  He defends them.

Freshman defenseman Ryne Sternberg (Toronto, Ontario) has started four games for the Nittany Lions.  He has seen significant time in all of Penn State's games this spring, either at close defense or as a long stick defensive midfielder.  Sternberg is a tremendous athlete that can run with any player in the country.

Sternberg and the rest of the Nittany Lions take on the Pride this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y.  With a No. 1 seed for the CAA tournament on the line, expect added physicality and intensity throughout the game.  Too, Hofstra will be looking for revenge after Penn State defeated the pride last season in overtime.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Nittany Lions Put Together Complete Game, Defeat Delaware

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It is easy to tell when a lacrosse ball hits one of the three posts of the lacrosse goal.  That gut-wrenching sound pangs the hearts of the offensive team that barely missed a goal.  But as the sound resonates throughout the stadium, it sends a wave of relief over the team on defense.

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The Delaware Blue Hens hit six posts Saturday night.  Even though these six shots, if scored, would not have changed to final outcome of the game as it stands - Penn State defeating Delaware 13-3 - even one goal may have changed the dynamics of the game as it was being played.

The Nittany Lions used a little luck and a little momentum to get out to a three-goal lead at the end of the first quarter.

Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) scored two of his four goals in the first quarter.  He added a third-quarter assist to lead all scorers with five points on the night.

Freshman attackman Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) recorded his first career hat trick against the Blue Hens.

The Nittany Lion extra-man unit improved upon its meager numbers.  Going into the game against Delaware, Penn State was 8-40 on man-up opportunities this spring.  Against the Blue Hens, the Nittany Lions were 2-4 on man-up chances.

Sophomore attackman Billy Gribbin (Rockville, Md.) scored a man-up goal off of a Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) assist in the third quarter.  Sturgis' assist extended his point-scoring streak to 10 games.  He leads all Nittany Lion scorers with 32 points off of 16 goals and 16 assists.

Mackrides tallied a man-up goal in the fourth quarter to extend Penn State's lead to 13-3.

Defensively, the Nittany Lions put up their best numbers of the season.  The defensive unit gave up 39 shots, many of which were contested and off target.  Freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) recorded 11 saves and only three goals against.  He continues to lead all Division I goalies with a .642 save percentage.

Penn State's success on defense transitioned into the offensive end of the field.  Senior defensive midfielder Matt Shankoff (Flemington, N.J.) scored his first goal of the season against the Blue Hens.  The third quarter goal was Shankoff's third career goal.

After their win over the Blue Hens, the Nittany Lions have moved into the top 20 of the USILA Division I Coaches Poll.  They take on the 8th-ranked Hofstra Pride this Saturday in Hempstead, N.Y.  The Pride are 12-1 on the season, including their a recent 14-5 win over UMass.

The winner of next weekend's game will earn a No. 1 seed in the CAA conference tournament.  In order to defeat the Pride, the Nittany Lions will have to put together another complete game on Saturday night.  Expect Penn State's upperclassman to continue to step up and lead the team into the CAA tournament.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Nittany Lions Look To Improve Their Luck In Conference Play

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the Nittany Lions, the road to the NCAA postseason tournament first makes a pit stop at the CAA championship.  Wouldn't it be nice if that road also travelled through Happy Valley?

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The Colonial Athletic Association conference championship is held at the home venue of the highest seeded team.  Tied for second in the CAA, Penn State is in position to take over the CAA standings with a win against Delaware this Saturday.  The Nittany Lions can then control their fate with one game remaining on the regular season schedule - a conference showdown against Hofstra that may decide the location of the conference championship.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.  Let's take it one game at a time.  Without a win Saturday night against Delaware, none of this is possible.

The Nittany Lions do not exactly have a great history of conference success.  Last spring, in the team's first season competing in the CAA, Penn State was 1-4 in the conference.  The Nittany Lions' only win came in overtime against Hofstra.

Prior to joining the CAA, Penn State competed in the East Coast Athletic Association (ECAC).  The ECAC consisted of talented teams like Loyola, Georgetown, UMass and Rutgers.

A founding member of the ECAC lacrosse league in 2000, the Nittany Lions experienced mixed success in 10 years of competition.  Penn State finished 28-31 all time in ECAC conference play.  The Nittany Lions only topped the league once in 2005 when it shared the title with UMass.

But, this is the CAA we are talking about.  The game is a little bit faster.  The players are a little bit more athletic.  The game plans are a little bit savvier.

The winner of the CAA receives an automatic bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.  Last season's champion, Delaware, played North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  The Blue Hens lost 14-13.

Villanova won the CAA in 2009.  The Wildcats lost to the Virginia Cavaliers 18-6 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The last CAA champion to make it past the first round of the NCAA tournament was Delaware in 2007.  That year, the Blue Hens made it all the way to the NCAA semifinals before losing to Johns Hopkins.  Along the way, Delaware upset teams like UMBC and Virginia.

This season, there are two CAA teams ranked in the USILA Division I Coaches Poll. Delaware is ranked No. 19, and Hofstra is sitting at No. 8 in the poll. 

Hofstra is in position to make the NCAA tournament without winning the conference title.  The Pride are 11-1 on the season.

Delaware, like Penn State, needs a conference title in order to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.  That makes Saturday's game even more important.  The Blue Hens are playing at home, under the lights, on senior night and in the university's football stadium.  They should have no trouble getting excited for this one.

The Nittany Lions must weather the storm early.  If Penn State can withstand Delaware's fury through the first 10 minutes of play, the Nittany Lions will be in position to defeat the Blue Hens late in the game.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Penn State Must Capitalize On Delaware's Over-aggressiveness

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The biggest.  The strongest.  The most penalized?  This is the life of a college lacrosse defensemen.  These players are generally the strongest and most athletic individuals on the field.  Sometimes, that athleticism works against them, as their size often draws the attention of the officials.

Penn State takes on Delaware this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Newark, Del.  With a rangy and aggressive defense, the Blue Hens are one of the most penalized teams in Division I college lacrosse.  Because the team gives up so many extra-man opportunities, Delaware allows 9.00 goals per game - good for 30th overall in the nation.

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The Blue Hens have been penalized 66 times this spring.  Their penalty minutes amount to 53 minutes.  Delaware's opponents have been penalized only 43 times.  Combined, their penalty minutes amount to more than 37 minutes.

Senior defenseman Matt Stefurak (Smithtown, N.Y.) leads the Blue Hens with seven penalties for six minutes.

Three other Delaware defensemen have been penalized five times this season.  Redshirt-freshman Will Wojciechowski (Columbus, N.J.), junior John Bastone (Plainview, N.Y.) and sophomore Connor Fitzgerald (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) have spent more than 13 minutes in the penalty box, combined.

Senior Andrew Rohacik (Washington, D.C.) is the only Blue Hen midfielder that has been penalized five times.  A defensive midfielder with face off capabilities, Rohacik spends much of his time at the defensive end of the field.

The Blue Hen defense extends all over the field in order to put pressure on opposing offenses.  By getting these offenses out of their rhythm, Delaware strives to dictate the tempo of the game.

The Nittany Lions must maintain their composure of offense.  Penn State can use Delaware's over-aggressiveness to its advantage by protecting the ball and running by the Blue Hen defensemen.  This will create unsettled situations that - assuming the Nittany Lions can slickly handle the ball - will result in goal-scoring opportunities.

Penn State, however, will have to stay out of the penalty box Saturday night.  The Nittany Lions have peen penalized 48 times this season.  The Penn State players have spent more than 37 minutes in the penalty box.

Because of these low numbers, The Nittany Lions are ranked 18th in the nation, giving up only 8.18 goals per game.

Penn State's opponents have been penalized 41 times this season.  Combined, the Nittany Lions' opponents have racked up over 30 penalty minutes.

Senior defensemen Billy Davis leads Penn State in penalties and penalty minutes with 10 penalties and nine penalty minutes.

Junior defenseman Ryan McGarvey (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and senior defensive midfielder Matt Shankoff (Flemington, N.J.) each have been penalized five times.  They combine for eight penalty minutes this spring.

Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) has also been penalized five times.  Due to the nature of his penalties, though, Mackrides has only spent three and a half minutes in the penalty box.

Each of these players is extremely important to the success of the Penn State men's lacrosse team.  The more time they spend on the field, the better it is for the Nittany Lions.  If these key players are able to stay out of the penalty box Saturday night at Delaware, Penn State has an opportunity to overtake the Blue Hens for first place in the CAA.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Underclassmen Shine On Senior Night

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions have played in seven games this spring that have been decided by two goals or fewer.  In front of an alumni-laden crowd Saturday night, Penn State earned a 7-6 conference win over Towson and sent the team's 11 seniors off with a win on Jeffrey Field.

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Penn State trailed Towson throughout the first three quarters of Saturday's game.  Trailing 4-2 at halftime and 5-2 with 13:05 left to go in the third quarter, the Nittany Lions amounted three third quarter goals to tie the game.

Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) scored his second goal of the game 16 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Penn State a one-goal lead.  That lead did not last, however.  Towson's Alec Jernstedt, (Wilsonville, Ore.) tied the game with just over eight minutes left in regulation.

Having played in so many close games, the Nittany Lions were aware of what it was going to take to win: a gutsy play at the face off, an athletic play in transition or a confident shot on goal.

Who would have thought it would all happen in one play and by one player?

After struggling at the face off in the first half, sophomore Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) won 7-8 face offs in the second half, including the face off following Jernstedt's goal with 8:10 to go.

Rather than substituting off of the field for an offensive midfielder, Henneghan dodged in transition and scored the eventual game-winning goal.  The Nittany Lions ran the remaining eight minutes off of the clock to secure the conference win.

Henneghan finished the day 10-16 at the face off for a .625 winning percentage.

Henneghan and Mackrides were not the only two underclassmen to shine on senior night.

Sophomore Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) scored the Nittany Lions' first goal of the game.  Freshman attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) extended his point-scoring streak to nine games with a goal against the Tigers.

Senior midfielders Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Billy Lloyd (West Chester, Pa.) each scored a goal.  They were the only two seniors to tally a point against Towson.

Freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) recorded 13 saves - the 9th time he has recorded a double-digit save total.

With two regular season games remaining, the Nittany Lions are in a three-way tie for second place in the CAA.  Penn State plays Delaware this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Newark, Del.  The team finishes its regular season against Hofstra at 7 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Nittany Lions To Honor Seniors In Must-win Conference Game

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As tradition dictates, the Nittany Lion lacrosse team will honor the 11 seniors who are playing in their final home game against Towson Saturday night.  In the fall of 2007, these seniors walked onto the University Park campus poised to make an impact on the Penn State lacrosse program.  Fast-forward four years, the seniors boast a 23-28 record heading into their final three regular season games.

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Ranked the No. 10 overall recruiting class in 2007 by Inside Lacrosse Magazine, this senior class featured a handful of top-ranked recruits.  Though the group has never made the NCAA postseason tournament, the team is poised to make a postseason run this spring with a win against Towson.

Traditionally a slow starting team, the Nittany Lions annually make late-season pushes.  As expected, Penn State has faired well on senior night over the last 11 seasons.

Since 2000, the Nittany Lions are 8-3 on senior night, including two victories, in 2003 and 2005, that helped secure Penn State's bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.

Behind senior captains Marshall Feldman, Chris Garrity and Matt Zappia, Penn State was 6-6 heading into its final home game in 2003.  The Nittany Lions upset No. 17 Ohio State 13-4 to secure a bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.

Penn State won five games in a row late in the year, including victories over three top-ranked opponents, to earn the program's first postseason bid.  The team lost to Towson in the first round of the tournament.

In 2005, the Nittany Lions won their final seven regular season games.  They defeated Villanova 10-5 in the final home game of the season, honoring their three senior captains Marc Young, Will Jones and Mike Jacober.

The Nittany Lions lost to No. 4 Maryland 14-10 in the first round of the tournament.  Maryland went on to lose to Duke in the semifinals on Memorial Day Weekend.

If Penn State wants to keep its postseason hopes alive, the team needs a victory Saturday night.  With a win over Towson, the Nittany Lions will be 3-1 in the conference and in position to earn a bid to the CAA tournament.

With five losses already, it will be difficult for Penn State to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.  That means that the Nittany Lions may have to win the CAA tournament to have any chance of earning a bid to the NCAA tournament.

With rain in the forecast, expect it to be a gritty match Saturday night.  Come out and support the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. on Jeffrey Field.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Balanced Attackmen Lead Penn State, Towson

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Some players are pure goal scorers.  They have a knack beating their defensemen to the goal, or they are creative enough to find off-ball seams to receive feeds.  Some players are pure set-up men.  They always seem to be able to get their hands free to feed their teammates the perfect pass.

Then, there are some players like Nittany Lion Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) who can do it all.

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The freshman attackman leads the Penn State offense with 30 points.  Scoring 15 goals and adding 15 assists, Sturgis is as balanced as it gets.

Sturgis got off to a quick start this season, scoring one goal and tallying an assist in the Nittany Lions' first game this season against Binghamton.  He truly burst onto the scene in a game against Rutgers, scoring four goals and adding one assist to lead the Nittany Lions past the Scarlet Knights.

Sturgis' ability to set-up his teammates has allowed players like junior attackmen Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) and Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) to rack up goals.

Even as a freshman, Sturgis has shown the ability to score important goals.  He scored Penn State's 13th goal against Drexel to bring the Nittany Lions within one goal with less than 30 seconds remaining.

This Saturday, the Nittany Lions will be facing another balanced attackman in Towson's Tim Stratton (Lititz, Pa.).  Stratton is third on the team with 14 points.  He has scored seven goals and added seven assists in ten games this spring.

Primarily a left-handed goal scorer early in his career, the senior attackman scored 18 and 16 goals in his freshman and sophomore campaigns, respectively.  He has since added a balance to his game.  Last spring, Stratton finished the season with 15 goals and 18 assists.

Stratton's balance on offense has allowed players like sophomore attackman Matt Hughes (Doylestown, Pa.) to emerge.  Hughes leads the Tigers in points with 19.  He has scored 14 goals and tallied 5 assists this spring.

The Nittany Lions have shown that they have the ability to put up points in conference games.  Scoring eight goals against UMass, 14 goals against St. Joe's and 13 goals against Drexel, Penn State's offence has come alive when it matters this spring.

With scoring ability all over the field, Towson is more than capable of matching Penn State's offensive output.  Both offenses will be able to create open looks, and it may come down to the goalies to decide this game.

Nittany Lion freshman Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) has been stellar all season.  He has a .629 save percentage - good for first overall in Division I lacrosse.

Junior Travis Love (Westminster, Md.) has tended Towson's net all season.  He has earned a .525 save percentage.

With the game scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Saturday during Penn State's Blue/White Weekend, the stage is set to showcase the drama of an important CAA game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Towson Tigers.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Nittany Lions Outscore Dragons In Second Half, Lose First Conference Game

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSTIY PARK, Pa. - Despite an offensive flurry that jumpstarted a significant second-half comeback, Penn State fell to Drexel 14-13 Saturday on Jeffrey Field.  The Dragons gave the Nittany Lions their first conference loss of the season, leaving Penn State 2-1 in the conference and 5-5 overall.

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The Nittany Lions struggled early on in the game.  However, the team outscored the Dragons 7-2 in the second half.  For only the second time this season, the motto that has governed the Nittany Lions this spring - win the second half, win the game - did not hold true.

In 10 games this season, Penn State has scored 81 goals.  Forty-five of those goals have come in the first halves of the games.  Only 36 of those goals were scored in the second halves and overtime periods.

The Nittany Lions' opponents have scored 84 goals this spring.  Forty-eight of those goals were scored in the first halves of the games.  Due to Penn State's in-game defensive adjustments, the Nittany Lions' opponents have scored significantly fewer goals in the second halves and overtime periods: 36.

Penn State has been outscored by its opponents in the second half in six games this spring.  The team has won only two of those games - an important conference win against UMass and a thrilling overtime victory over Lehigh.

In the four games this season that Penn State has outscored its opponents in the second half the Nittany Lions are 3-1.

As noted previously, the Nittany Lions have lived and died by the motto - win the second half, win the game.

This weekend's loss to Drexel was the first time that the Nittany Lions have failed to pull out a victory despite outscoring their opponent in the second half.

Truthfully, Penn State dug itself too deep of a hole in the first half to climb out.  Drexel scored the game's first four goals before Penn State even had an offensive possession.  The Dragons went on to score 12 goals on 24 shots in the first half.  The Nittany Lions were only able to muster 18 shots in the first half, scoring only six goals.

Penn State shut down Drexel's offense in the second half, allowing only six shots and two goals.  The Nittany Lions scored seven goals in the second half, including four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, to bring Penn State within one goal of Drexel with 25 seconds remaining in the game.

Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion offense with four goals on the day.  Sophomore midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) added three goals to lead all midfielders.

Freshman attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) continued to contribute offensively, scoring one goal and tallying three assists.  Junior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) added two goals and one assist of his own.  Senior midfielder Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.) scored two goals, including the goal that triggered Penn State's four-goal run in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore midfielder Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) won .586 percent of the face offs.  Henneghan won 17 of 29 draws, and he added a third quarter goal, as well.

After giving up 12 goals in the first half, freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) settled in to make seven saves.

The Nittany Lions were inches away from completing the second-half comeback Saturday.  Freshman attackman Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) took a shot with seconds remaining that was smothered by Drexel's goalie Mark Manos.  Had that shot gone in, Penn State, with momentum on its side, would have put itself in position to win the game in overtime.

Having proven that they have the ability to score in the second half, the Nittany Lions are poised to make a run as the team heads into its final three conference games.

Now is the time to put it all together.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com

Penn State Lacrosse Finally At Home On Jeffrey Field

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By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's athletic facilities are second to none.  Beaver Stadium, Rec Hall, the Bryce Jordan Center and Holuba Hall have been staples of the University Park, Pa. campus for years.  Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, Beard Field at the Nittany Lion Softball Park and the Pegula Ice Arena are new or future facilities that are sure to become the envy of all other university athletic departments.

None of these facilities on campus, however, are as near and dear to the hearts of the seniors on the Penn State men's lacrosse team as Jeffrey Field.

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Located alongside Park Avenue, Jeffrey Field is a picturesque stadium that serves the Penn State soccer and lacrosse teams.  The stadium offers great views of the campus and the surrounding community.  The grass playing surface is impeccable.  In 2006, it was named the Collegiate Soccer Field of the Year by the SportsTurf Managers Association.

The facility serves its purpose, too.  The Penn State men's lacrosse team is 7-4 on the grass surface since this year's seniors arrived on campus.

In 2008, Penn State was 2-1 on Jeffrey Field, including a 12-11 overtime win over Georgetown in the final game of the year.

In 2009, Penn State won every game it played on Jeffrey Field.  The Nittany Lions finished the year 9-5, 3-0 on Jeffrey Field.

Last spring, the snow cleared quickly, the field thawed early and the Nittany Lions were able to play five games on Jeffrey Field.  Penn State finished 2-11 on the season, and the team's record on Jeffrey Field reflected its struggles.  The Nittany Lions were 2-3 on Jeffrey Field, including an 11-10 overtime victory over Hofstra.

Sunshine, rain or snow, this Saturday's game against Drexel is scheduled to be played on Jeffrey Field at 1 p.m.  In their first game on Jeffrey Field this spring, the Nittany Lions look to continue their CAA winning streak.

Expect the game to play out similarly to the Nittany Lions' 2008 overtime victory against Georgetown.  In a game that matched two quality and athletic opponents, Penn State won the match-up behind strong play at the face off and late-game goals.

Penn State and Drexel are evenly matched all over the field.  The Nittany Lions cannot be afraid to make mistakes and play timidly in the fourth quarter.  The outcome of the game is going to come down to the team that is willing to make plays at the end of regulation.


Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com