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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sophomore attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown) scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime period to lift the No. 14/15 Penn State men's lacrosse team to a 9-8 victory against Hofstra at the Penn State Lacrosse Field on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions improved to 9-5 overall (5-1 CAA) and closed out the regular season with their fifth straight win.
Penn State trailed 8-5 midway through the fourth quarter before it struck for three goals in the frame's final 3:18. After a scoreless first overtime, Sturgis took a pass from senior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square) and fired a shot past Hofstra goalkeeper Andrew Gvozden for the game-winner. Penn State netminder Austin Kaut (Morton), who turned aside 14 shots, made two saves in the second overtime frame before Sturgis' heroics.
Mackrides, who added a pair of assists, registered his fifth straight three-goal game and is just one marker away from becoming the fifth Nittany Lion in program history with 100 career goals. Senior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown) extended his goal-scoring streak to 10 games en route to a three-point contest (2g, 1a).
Penn State out shot Hofstra by a 40-39 margin, and junior faceoff specialist Danny Henneghan(Beverly Hills, Mich.) finished 11-for-21 on draws. The Nittany Lions were 17-for-17 on clears and 0-for-3 with the extra man, while the Pride (6-8, 2-4 CAA) ended 16-for-20 and 1-for-3, respectively.
Hofstra controlled the game during the first quarter as it took a 4-2 lead. After junior midfielder Nick Dolik(Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) opened the scoring for Penn State 1:04 into the game, the Pride tallied four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead. Mackrides, who assisted on Dolik's strike, ended the frame's scoring with his 26th goal of the year with 1:53 remaining.
In a tightly-contested second frame, Sturgis brought Penn State to within one goal when he connected on his 16th tally of the year with 12:14 remaining.
Hofstra responded in the third quarter with the frame's only goals to take a 7-3 advantage. Mike DeNapoli tallied his game-high fourth goal of the game with 3:35 left to give the Pride the four-goal lead.
The Nittany Lions then dominated the fourth stanza, outscoring the Pride by a 5-1 margin to tie the game. Mackrides and Forster scored in a 1:02 span to make it a 7-5 game before Hofstra extended its lead to 8-5 with 8:29 remaining.
With 3:18 left, Forster fired Sturgis' pass to the back of the net before Mackrides tallied 31 seconds later to make it an 8-7 game. With time winding down, Forster passed to sophomore attackman Gavin Ahern(Rockville Centre, N.Y.), who bounced a shot past Gvozden with 18 seconds left to the tie game at 8-8.
Following a scoreless first overtime, Sturgis completed the comeback with 1:07 left. After taking the ball around the left side of the cage, Sturgis quickly turned and rocketed a shot for the game-winner.
The Nittany Lions, who improved to 4-4 at home, will return to action on Wednesday (May 2) when they host Drexel in the CAA semifinals. Opening faceoff is set at 7 p.m.