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Penn State's Season Ends at Big Ten Tournament

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Thursday, April 30 (5:30 p.m.)
Byrd Stadium | College Park, Md.


Box Score (HTML) | Box Score (PDF)


COLLEGE PARK, Md.; April 30, 2015 - Connor Darcey (Wellesley, Mass.) put up one of the best games of his career but was unable to carry the Penn State men’s lacrosse team to victory, as the Nittany Lions fell to Johns Hopkins, 14-9, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal game on Thursday.

Penn State ends its season with a 5-9 record, posting a 2-3 mark in Big Ten play as the tournament’s No. 4 seed.

Darcey, a redshirt-sophomore, made 17 saves, just one shy of his career-high of 18 at Harvard earlier this season (3/8). He turned away 11 shots in the first half alone, nearly four times more than his counterpart, Eric Schneider.

Matt Florence (Greenwood Village, Colo.) led Penn State with two goals and two assists. TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ontario) also scored a pair of goals for the Nittany Lions, adding an assist to his ledger. Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ontario) recorded a goal and an assist. Brian Prestreau (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), James Burke (Duxbury, Mass.), Ryan Keenan (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Matt Sexton (Niskayuna, N.Y.) netted a goal each, and Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.) assisted on a goal to round out Penn State’s scoring.

Drake Kreinz (Delafield, Wis.) narrowly edged out Johns Hopkins (8-6) at the face-off ‘X’, 13-25.The Blue Jays out-shot the Nittany Lions, 40-33, with Penn State led by Florence’s nine. Johns Hopkins also won the ground ball battle, 30-24. Penn State went 3-for-4 with the extra man, a season-best, and the Blue Jays were 2-for-3.

The Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless until just nine seconds remained in the opening frame. Sanders carried the ball from ‘X’, got to the top of the crease and finished with a right-handed wraparound for Penn State’s first of the game. His 28th of the season sparked a six-goal Nittany Lion run, allowing the Blue and White to take its first lead of the contest.

A flurry of goals midway through the second quarter put Penn State on top. With 8:34 left in the stanza, Keenan received a nearside pass from Aponte at the goal line extended for his first collegiate tally.

Thirty-eight seconds later, Sanders’ second of the game, a high-to-low shot, put the game within two at 5-3.

Just over a minute later at 6:48 while on the man-up, Sanders sent a horizontal feed to Florence, who stepped into a shot just below the crossbar.

After the ensuing face-off was wiped out due to a conduct foul on the Blue Jays’ head coach, Florence threw an overhand shot into the far right top corner four seconds after his first of the game and the 5-5 game-tying goal.

The Nittany Lions didn’t let up and with 4:22 remaining in the quarter, Aponte traveled from ‘X’ and threw it on Schneider. Craig was able to pick up the rebound to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 6-5.

But Johns Hopkins responded to the Nittany Lions’ offensive outburst ferociously, outscoring Penn State 9-3 in the game’s final 34 minutes for the final 14-9 score.

“I love our kids,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “It’s a challenging time, knowing that you just didn’t do enough to move on, so we’re just going to gather our thoughts and move on.

“Hopefully, we can take this experience, move forward, learn from it, and do a better job next year of putting ourselves in a similar position and taking advantage of it.”




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