No. 19 Penn State Suffers First Conference Loss, 14-13 to Drexel
April 9, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 19th ranked Penn State men's lacrosse team (5-5, 2-1 CAA) dropped a hard-fought conference decision to the Dragons of Drexel (6-5, 2-2 CAA) at Penn State's Jeffrey Field. The Lions scored the game's final five goals, including all four of the game's fourth quarter tallies, but came up just one goal short in the 14-13 loss. Junior captain Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.), led the Penn State offense with four goals, while sophomore midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) tallied three.
The game opened with a four-goal flurry from the Drexel offense, as the Dragons jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the game's first five minutes. Penn State gained its composure however, as an unassisted tally from Mackrides at 8:10 was followed by a Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) goal off a Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) assist at 7:44 to get the Lions within two. Drexel answered with a tally at 5:57, but the Lions stormed right back with two more goals, as Forster notched his second of the game off another Sturgis assist, and Mackrides score unassisted at 4:33. Drexel would score the final two goals of the quarter, striking twice in under a minute with goals at 2:55 and 2:09, and close out the first frame ahead 7-4.
Dolik notched his first of the game unassisted at the 13:34 mark of the second quarter to cut the Drexel lead to a deuce, but the Dragons scored the game's next three goals to move ahead 10-5. Senior midfielder Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.) scored off a Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, NY) assist at 7:54, but Drexel came right back to score the quarter's final two goals and head in to halftime up 12-6.
Drexel began the second half on the man-up, as Penn State's Bill Davis (Paoli, Pa.) had taken an unnecessary roughness penalty to end the first half. The Dragons capitalized just :19 seconds in, scoring with the extra man to move ahead 13-6. Penn State's Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) answered right back however, as the sophomore won the ensuing face-off forward and took the fast break himself, beating Drexel goalie Mark Manos from ten yards. The Lions would score again just over a minute later, as Dolik deposited a LaCrosse assist behind Manos to cut the Dragons' lead to five. Drexel scored again at the 5:40 mark to push the lead back to six, but Mackrides would close out the third quarter scoring with an unassisted tally at 4:24.
After over eight minutes of scoreless play in the fourth quarter, Vosburgh found a lane to bury his second goal of the game and cut the Drexel lead to four, 14-10. That is where the score would stand for over five minutes of gametime, until Dolik buried a Forster assist for his third goal of the game with Mackrides in the box for slashing. The game's final minute saw Penn State push for a comeback, as Mackrides scored on a Sturgis assist with 0:39 seconds on the clock, and Sturgis scored unassisted off the ensuing face-off to cut the lead to one. Manos shut the door in the game's final seconds however, as the Lions' late effort to push the game to overtime fell one goal short.
Henneghan set career highs in both face-off wins and ground balls, winning 17 of 29 face-offs for the Nittany Lions, and leading the squad with 13 ground balls. In addition to Mackrides' four and Dolik's three, Forster and Vosburgh had two goals apiece for the Lions, while Sturgis and Henneghan each scored one. Sturgis also chipped in three assists, while LaCrosse had two helpers and Forster had one. Penn State's man-up unit went scoreless on five attempts, while the Dragons bested the Lions' man-down four times on nine extra-man opportunities. The Nittany Lions had just ten turnovers to Drexel's 17.
Penn State is now 5-5 on the season with a 2-1 conference record while Drexel moves to 6-5, 2-2 in the CAA. The Nittany Lions will continue their conference home stand as they host Towson (2-8, 0-3 CAA) next Saturday, April 16 for a 7 p.m. face-off. Fans are advised that the game falls on Penn State's Blue-White weekend, and most area parking will be open for both the football and lacrosse games. It is suggested that lacrosse fans utilize the lots either south of Jeffrey Field or diagonally across Park Avenue.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 13, Drexel 14
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 38 DU 36
RECORDS: Penn State 5-5, 2-1 CAA; Drexel 6-5, 2-2 CAA