Penn State Nittany Lions Drop 8-7 Heartbreaker to No.16 Loyola in ECAC Lacrosse League Opener
Feb. 28, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
In its final year of play in the ECAC Lacrosse League, the Penn State Nittany Lions dropped an 8-7 heartbreaker to No. 16 Loyola in the conference opener for both squads. Penn State put forth a furious fourth quarter rally but fell one goal shy in its upset bid. Sophomore Chris Hogan (Wyckoff, N.J.) led Penn State with three goals and an assist.
Loyola notched the game's first goal early when Shane Koppens scored unassisted at the 13:15 mark to give the Greyhounds a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, Loyola got a goal on a fast break from Cooper MacDonnell to go up 2-0. Nittany Lion goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) kept Penn State close with a number of saves until MacDonnell scored his second goal with 2:53 left in the first period to give LC a 3-0 lead after one period.
Each team's defense stiffened during the first portion of the second period, with neither squad scoring for more than half the period. Loyola nearly scored on a man-up situation with 6:00 left in the half, but a crease violation negated the goal. Penn State had its own man-up chance with under 4:00 remaining but could not score as well and the second period remained scoreless until the half, allowing Loyola to head to the break with a 3-0 lead.
Penn State withstood an early penalty in the third period, keeping Loyola from getting a shot off. Sophomore Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.) then scored an unassisted goal seconds after the Nittany Lions killed the penalty, cutting Loyola's lead to 3-1. But the Greyhounds answered back immediately when Jake Wilcox scored unassisted half a minute later to put LC back up by three, 4-1, with 12:56 left in the third period. Greyhound Jimmy Daly scored an unassisted goal off a rebound at the 5:38 mark before Hogan answered with an unassisted goal with just 2:19 left in the period. Still, the Greyhounds maintained their three goal lead after three periods, 5-2.
Hogan pulled Penn State to within two with an unassisted goal just a minute into the period, breaking right and firing a shot past Loyola goalie Jake Hagelin from 15 yards out. But MacDonnell answered again for the Greyhounds, sending the ball past Adams from close range to put LC up 6-3 with 11:39 left in the game.
Penn State freshman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) scored with 10:19 on a play that also saw Loyola hit with a slashing penalty. The goal cut the Greyhound lead to 6-4 and gave Penn State a one minute man-up opportunity. Loyola was able to kill the entire period by maintaining possession for the bulk of the penalty and hold on to its two goal lead with just over 9:00 left to play.
Loyola forced Penn State into three straight failed clears and then added a goal at the 6:25 mark when Koppens took a pass from Matt Langan on a fast break to take a 7-4 lead with 6:25 to play. Sophomore Will Donley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) took a Billy Lloyd (West Chester, Pa.) and scored with 5:11 left, pulling Penn State to within two again and then Hogan notched his third goal of the game off the ensuing face-off and the Nittany Lions trailed by only one, 7-6, with 4:36 left to play.
But Loyola's Koppens scored less than a minute later and the Greyhounds led by two once more, 8-6, with 3:55 left in the game. Another Loyola slash with 1:31 left gave Penn State a one minute extra man opportunity and Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) took advantage, taking a nice pass from Hogan and scoring with just :37 left to pull Penn State to within one, 8-7. Loyola was able to get possession on the face-off following the goal and then a Penn State penalty allowed the Greyhounds to win down the clock with a man-up and kill the clock.
Loyola outshot Penn State 37-32 and won 11 of the 18 face-offs in the game. The Greyhounds held a 32-26 edge in ground balls and forced Penn State into a 13 for 19 showing on clears. Adams ended the game with 12 saves for Penn State while Hagelin had ten for Loyola.
Penn State is 0-3, 0-1 in the ECAC on the year while Loyola is 2-1, 1-0 in the ECAC. The Nittany Lions conclude an early three-game home stand next Saturday, March 7, when they welcome No. 18 Ohio State into Holuba Hall for a 1 p.m. game.
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 26, LC 32 MAN-UP OPPS: PSU 1-3, LC 0-4
SCORE BY QUARTERS: 1 2 3 4 F