Penn State Lacrosse Team Drops Hard-Fought 7-4 Decision at No. 15 Loyola in ECAC Opener
March 1, 2008
BALTIMORE, Md., - The Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team battled No. 15 Loyola evenly but dropped a hard-fought 7-4 decision in ECAC Lacrosse League opener for both teams. Played in Baltimore in front of a MASN-TV audience, Penn State could not come back from a brief but hot Greyhound burst in the game's third quarter.
The Nittany Lions and Greyhounds were tied 3-3 with just seven minutes to play in the third quarter, but four straight Loyola goals were too much for Penn State to overcome and the Greyhounds escaped with the conference win.
The two teams relied on stellar defense throughout the game, with each team netting two first period goals and Loyola scoring the lone goal in the second quarter. The Greyhounds got out in front early with a Cooper MacDonnell goal at the 13:57 mark. But Penn State answered right back as Chris Mulqueen (Downingtown, Pa.) scored an unassisted goal exactly two minutes later.
Sophomore Matt Loy (Somerset, N.J.) then gave Penn State its first lead of the game, taking a Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) pass and scoring a man-up goal at the 8:38 mark of the first period. But Loyola answered with a man-up goal of its own just before the period ended with Chris Basler knotting the score at 2-2 with just :28 left in the opening stanza. Loyola's Jake Wilcox scored the second period's only goal, giving the Greyhounds a 3-2 lead at the 6:51 mark, a lead they would carry into intermission.
Nittany Lion goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) was superb in the first half, grabbing six saves against 21 Loyola shots. Greyhound goalie Jake Hagelin had four saves against Penn State's 18 first half shots.
Penn State wasted little time in getting even, however, as sophomore Chris Hogan (Wyckoff, N.J.) took a Forster pass and scored three minutes into the third period. The game remained tied for the bulk of the quarter, but Loyola reeled off three goals in the quarter's last seven minutes. Shane Koppens (6:25), Matt Langan (3:24) and MacDonnell (1:40) each netted unassisted goals to help the Greyhounds turn a dead-locked game into a three-point Loyola lead (6-3) heading into the final period.
Both defenses stiffened early in the fourth quarter, with neither team cracking the net until Loyola's Joe Landry scored an unassisted goal at the 4:28 mark to put the Greyhounds up 7-3. The Nittany Lions battled throughout the remainder of the contest, but could not break through the tough LC defense. The Nittany Lions scored the last goal of the game, an unassisted shot from Forster with just :08 left. Still, Loyola escaped with a hard-fought 7-4 win.
Forster led Penn State with three points in the game, netting a goal and dishing off two assists. He was the only Nittany Lion with more than one point. Koppens led Loyola with three points as well with a goal and two assists. Penn State goalie Adams was outstanding, collecting 15 saves in the game, including six in the fourth quarter. Hagelin had seven saves for Loyola. The Nittany Lions got five ground balls from sophomore middie Brian Shea (Gaithersburg, Md.) while Joe Britt (Fairfax, Va.) had four and won six of 14 face-offs for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions were out-shot by Loyola 31-19, including a 22-11 shot on goal advantage. Greyhound Tim McDermott won seven of 12 face-offs to help LC to a nine to six edge in that category as well. Each team scored one-man-up goal.
Penn State falls to 1-2 overall, 0-1 in the ECAC Lacrosse League, while Loyola improves to 2-1, 1-0 in the loop. The Nittany Lions will visit Ohio State on Saturday, March 8, in a 12 p.m. game. The Lions then return home to host Villanova on Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 4, Loyola 7
1st: LC 13:57 (MacDonnell, Koppens); PSU 11:57 (Mulqueen); PSU 8:38 (Loy, Forster); LC 0:28 (Basler, Koppens)
2nd: LC 6:51 (Willcox, Basler)
3rd: PSU 11:41 (Hogan, Forster); LC 6:25 (Koppens); LC 3:24 (Langan); LC 1:40 (MacDonnell)
4th: LC 4:38 (Landry); PSU 0:08 (Forster)
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 30, LC 33
RECORDS: Penn State 1-2, 0-1 ECAC; Loyola 2-1, 1-0 ECAC