Nittany Lion Lacrosse Team Falls to Rutgers in Rugged ECAC Battle
April 20, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa; April 20, 2008 - The Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team dropped a rugged 8-4 battle to Rutgers in an ECAC Lacrosse League battle. The Nittany Lions cut a four-goal Rutgers lead in the third period to two, but the Scarlet Knights shut Penn State out in the fourth quarter to escape Jeffrey Field with the win.
Penn State goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) was outstanding in net once again, but the Nittany Lion offense was thwarted by an equally impressive performance by Rutgers goalie William Olin. Adams had 11 saves, seven in the first half, while Olin had 12, seven of which came in the crucial fourth quarter.
Rutgers got on the board early when Kory Kelly took an assist from Tad Stanwick and scored at the 13:56 mark. The Scarlet Knights added to that lead three minutes later when Taylor Bottar scored off a Hunter Burnard assist with 10:48 left in the opening period. Justin Pennington used a Jeff Rommel pass at the 7:47 mark to give RU a 3-0 lead, leading Penn State to take its first timeout. The timeout by head coach Glenn Thiel was effective as the Nittany Lion defense stiffened and allowed Penn State's offense to find the scoreboard. Freshman Colby Rhodes (La Jolla, Calif.) took a Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) assist from behind the net and scored Penn State's first goal at the 2:16 mark, cutting RU's lead to 3-1 heading into the second period.
Pennington put RU back up by three, scoring an unassisted goal at 9:30 in the second period. But Penn State's Andrew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) answered right back, scoring unassisted right after PSU killed a Rutgers man-up opportunity. The goal at the 7:31 mark cut Rutgers' lead to 4-2. A Penn State slashing penalty led to a one-minute Rutgers man-up chance, but goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) mad a stellar save on a blistering Rutgers shot and the Nittany Lion offense then played ball control long enough to kill the penalty. Rutgers then killed off a one-minute Penn State man-up chance as well, leading to a Rutgers time-out with 2:37 left in the half. The Nittany Lions maintained possession of the ball for the last minute-plus of the half, using a one-man advantage to work the clock down to :32 left. Another RU penalty, this one a minor, gave Penn State a man-up advantage for the final seconds of the half. While not managing to score, Penn State's ball control offense kept the Lions within two, 4-2, heading into intermission.
Stanwick scored the third period's first goal for Rutgers, taking an assist from Burnard at the 12:44 mark and giving the Scarlet Knights a three-goal lead again, 5-2. Burnard the scored unassisted a minute later, giving RU its biggest lead of the game, 6-2, with 11:26 to play. Penn State immediately took a quick timeout. Penn State killed a Rutgers penalty and then Matt Warner (Geneva, N.Y.) picked up a ground ball and led a fast break that ended in a goal. Warner found a streaking Forster who scored off the assist with 5:39 left to cut the Knight lead to 6-3 with 5:39 to play. Forster then scored three minutes later, this time off a Charley Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) assist at 2:41 to pull Penn State to within two, 6-4, heading into the fourth period.
Both defenses played outstanding ball for the majority of the fourth period, with Rutgers keeper William Olin stepping up and stopping a number of Penn State scoring chances. The Scarlet Knights then iced the game with two late unassisted goals from Burnard (3:08) and Rommel (2:33) to put RU up 8-4 with under three minutes to play.
Forster led Penn State with two goals and an assist. The junior was the only Nittany Lion to score more than one point. Rutgers was led by Burnard, who had two goals and two assists. Rutgers out-shot Penn State 34-31, including a 19-16 edge in shots on goal. The Nittany Lions had 43 ground balls to RU's 36 and the two teams split the 16 face-offs. Neither team could manage a man-up goal, with Rutgers going 0-6 and Penn State going 0-4.
Penn State is now 5-7 overall, 1-5 in the ECAC. Rutgers is 5-6, 3-2 in the league. The Nittany Lions will visit St. Joseph's next Saturday night at 7 p.m. in their final road and non-conference game of the year.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 4, Rutgers 8
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 43, RU 36 -- EMO: PSU 0-4, RU 0-6
RECORDS: Penn State 5-7, 1-5 ECAC; Rutgers 5-6, 3-2 ECAC -- ATTENDANCE: 523