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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior defenseman Ryan McGarvey (Lower Gwynedd) tallied his first career goal to tie the game in the second quarter, but the No. 18 Penn State men's lacrosse team fell to No. 16 Bucknell, 9-6, at the Penn State Lacrosse Field on Tuesday evening. The Nittany Lions, who played their seventh ranked opponent of the season, fell to 4-5 overall while Bucknell won its seventh straight game to improve to 7-3.
The Bison grabbed a 4-2 lead midway through the second quarter before the Nittany Lions battled back to tie the game at 4-4 in the second. Bucknell then tallied four straight markers en route to an 8-4 fourth-quarter lead before the Nittany Lions and Bison exchanged goals to account for the final.
Senior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown) recorded his sixth multi-goal game of the season with two markers, while sophomore Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) added a pair of tallies. Junior midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./1g, 1a) and senior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square/2a) also registered multi-point games. Sophomore goalkeeper Austin Kaut (Morton) made nine saves.
Both Penn State and Bucknell controlled 30 ground balls each, while the Bison out shot Penn State by a 30-29 margin. The Nittany Lions controlled 10-of-17 faceoffs and finished 0-for-3 with the extra man, while Bucknell was 1-for-1 on extra-man opportunities. The Nittany Lions were also 14-for-17 on clears.
The game remained scoreless for the opening 5:17 before Billy Eisenreich gave the Bison a 1-0 lead. Bucknell's Todd Heritage doubled the advantage before Ahern finished a Mackrides feed with 1:03 remaining to bring the Nittany Lions within one. Bucknell retook the two-goal lead with Peter Burke's marker with four seconds left.
After being outscored by a 3-1 margin in the first, Penn State returned the favor in the second stanza to tie the game at 4-4. Forster made it a 3-2 game at 1:47 before Nick Gantsoudes scored for the Bison. After junior midfielder Danny Henneghan(Beverly Hills, Mich.) won the ensuing faceoff, he raced down the field and fed Ahern, who scored his second of the game six seconds later. With 4:17 left in the half, McGarvey, who was standing at his own restraining line, noticed Bucknell goalkeeper Kyle Feeney leaving his crease, and fired a shot down the field and into the net.
With the game tied at 4-4, the Bison controlled the second half as they outscored Penn State by a 5-2 margin. The Bison's Chase Bailey scored twice and Heritage added his second of the game in third before Burke tallied 57 seconds into the final stanza to give Bucknell an 8-4 lead.
After a great individual effort by Mackrides to force a turnover on a Bucknell clear, he fed Forster, who rifled his second marker of the game with 10:29 left. Eisenreich tallied for the Bison with 4:28 remaining before Dolik rounded out the scoring with 1:41 on the clock to account for the 9-6 final.
Penn State will return to action on Saturday (March 31) when it hosts No. 12/13 Villanova for its final non-conference game at 1 p.m.