Freshmen Lead Penn State to 12-11 Overtime Win Over Visiting St. John's in ECAC Lacrosse League Battle
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; April 11, 2009 - Freshman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) exploded for six goals and classmate Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) had five points to lead the Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team to a 12-11 overtime win over St. John's in an ECAC Lacrosse League battle on Saturday.
After winning two straight games on the back of senior goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.), Penn State's offense exploded for five first period goals, including three from freshman Jack Forster. Forster ended the game with six goals while Mackrides had two goals and three assists for his five points. Adams ended the game with 15 saves.
St. John's got on the board first, getting an unassisted goal from Dom DeNapoli at the 12:27 mark as the Red Storm forward finished off a fast break by sending the ball past Adams. But freshman Jack Forster quickly answered, taking an assist from classmate Mackrides just :20 later to tie the score at 1-1. Ryan McAleenan (Grand Rapids, Mich.) put Penn State up by one at the 10:58 mark, taking an assist from John Stuckey (Summit, N.J.) on a fast break after an SJU turnover.
Jack Forster added to Penn State's lead at the 8:21 mark, picking up a loose ball in front of St. John's goalie Gavin Buckley and swiftly sending the ball past the Red Storm junior to give the Lions a 3-1 lead. St. John's would tie the game before the period ended, however, getting two unassisted goals from Carl Iacona. The first came at the 4:45 mark and the second came at the 1:39 mark. But Jack Forster would notch his third goal of the opening period, scoring unassisted with 1:01 left, and Mackrides would take a Charley Henneghan (Royal Oak, Mich.) pass off a won face off just six seconds later and the Nittany Lions quickly regained their two goal lead (5-3) heading into the second period.
Mackrides began the second period by setting up two quick Penn State goals, feeding senior Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) at the 13:12 mark and then assisting Brian Shea (Gaithersburg, Md.) with 12:24 left to give the Nittany Lions a 7-3 lead. Freshman Ryan Link (Englewood, Colo.) scored Penn State fifth straight goal, scoring unassisted at the 6:58 mark. Another Jack Forster goal, this one unassisted with 6:09 left, allowed Penn State to pull out to a 9-3 lead. St. John's would snap the string of six straight goals with a Drew Schanen score off a Harry Kutner assist with 4:40 left in the half. The Forster brothers would add one more goal before the end of the half, with Rob feeding Jack with just :40 left to give Penn State a 10-4 lead at intermission.
Adams stepped up to start the third period, shutting down consistent St. John's pressure over the period's first seven-plus minutes with a number of point blank saves. But St. John's finally broke past Adams, getting an unassisted goal from Trevor Michaelsen at the 7:21 mark to cut Penn State's lead to 10-5. But Jack Forster's sixth goal of the game, off a Shea assist, less than a minute later put the Lions back up by six, 11-5, with 6:30 left in the third period. But St. John's took advantage of a man-up opportunity, getting a Schanen goal with 3:58 left in the period. The Red Storm cut the Lion lead to 11-7 heading into the fourth with a Michaelsen from Jamal Jones effort with just :39 left in the period.
Kutner continued the Red Storm's second half rally, scoring unassisted less than a minute into the fourth period to cut Penn State's once six goal lead to just three, 11-8. Just a minute later, at the 13:09 mark, SJU scored again when Bobby Fitton took a Garrett Mitchell pass and blazed the ball past Adams to bring the Red Storm to within two, 11-9. Schanen brought SJU to within one at the 10:06 mark, taking a Jones pass to make the score 11-10 and forcing a Penn state time-out. But the Red Storm would complete the comeback, scoring their sixth straight goal with 4:50 left in the game as another Schanen from Jones score tied the game at 11-11.
The Nittany Lion offense was dealt a blow with just 1:45 left in the game when Jack Forster left the game with an injury, giving the ball over to St. John's. The Red Storm maintained possession, working the ball down to the Nittany Lion side of the field before calling a timeout with :53 left. Penn State's defense was able to hold firm and send the game into overtime.
Jack Forster returned to the field for Penn State in the overtime period, but St. John's won the opening face off and had the first chance to win the game. The Red Storm worked the ball down to Penn State's side of the field and called its only time out of the extra period with 3:33 left in the first sudden death overtime. But Adams came up with a big save and gave possession back to Penn State. After working the ball down to the Red Storm half of the field, it was Penn State's turn to take its time out, this time with 2:58 left. The Nittany Lions were able to take advantage of the opportunity as Mackrides picked up a loose ball in front of Buckley to notch the game winner at the 2:17 mark.
Penn State outshot St. John's 52-44 and had a 44-31 edge in ground balls. The Nittany Lions also won 18 of 27 face-offs and held SJU to only one man-up goal in five attempts. Forster's six points and Mackrides' five points were bolstered by two points each from Rob Forster and Shea. St. John's was led by Schanen's four goals.
Penn State is 6-5, 2-3 in the ECAC while St. John's is 5-5, 1-4 in the league. The Nittany Lions return to action next Saturday when they visit conference rival Rutgers. Penn State and the Scarlet Knights will battle at 11:30 a.m., prior to RU's annual spring football scrimmage.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 12, St. John's 11 (OT)
1st: SJU 12:37 (DeNapoli), PSU 12:18 (J. Forster, Mackrides), PSU 10:58 (McAleenan, Stuckey), PSU 8:21 (J. Forster), SJU 4:45 (Iacona), SJU 1:39 (Iacona), PSU 1:01 (J. Forster), PSU 0:55 (Mackrides, Henneghan)
2nd: PSU 13:12 (R. Forster, Mackrides), PSU 12:24 (Shea, Mackrides), PSU 6:58 (Link), PSU 6:09 (J. Forster), SJU 4:40 (Schanen, Kutner), PSU 0:40 (J. Forster, R. Forster)
3rd: SJU 7:21 (Michaelsen), PSU 6:30 (J. Forster, Shea), SJU 3:58 (Schanen, Bagnasco), SJU :39 (Michaelsen, Jones)
4th: SJU 14:02 (Kutner), SJU 13:09 (Fitton, Mitchell), SJU 10:06 (Schanen, Jones), SJU 4:50 (Schanen, Jones)
OT: PSU 2:17 (Mackrides)
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 44, SJU 31 MAN-UP OPPS: PSU 0-3, SJU 1-5
SHOTS (SH-SOG): PSU 52-31, SJU 44-26 -- FACE-OFFS: PSU 18-27, SJU 9-27
GOALIE SUMMARY: PSU Drew Adams (62:17, 15 SV, 11 GA), SJU Gavin Buckley (62:17, 19 SV, 12 GA)
RECORDS: Penn State 6-5, 2-3 ECAC; St. John's 5-5, 1-4 ECAC