Nittany Lion Lacrosse Team Ties No. 1 Johns Hopkins and Downs Robert Morris in Exhibition Games
State College, Pa. ¨C February 4, 2006 ¨C The Penn State Nittany Lion men¡¯s lacrosse team, under the guidance of veteran head coach Glenn Thiel, had an impressive debut to the 2006 season, going 1-0-1 in two exhibition games, highlighted by a hard-fought 9-9 tie with defending national champion and top-ranked Johns Hopkins. No. 11 Penn State also downed a young Robert Morris team 13-6
In the first exhibition, No. 11 Penn State and No. 1 Johns Hopkins battled to a 9-9 tie. The Blue Jays held a slim 6-5 lead at the half but, in the end, needed a goal with :30 left to avoid the loss. Penn State, playing without leading returning scorer Nate Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.), got an outstanding game in goal from freshman keeper Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) and solid offense from a number of individuals.
The two teams traded early goals with Johns Hopkins¡¯ Kevin Huntley scoring twice and Nittany Lion Brian Boyle (Bel Air, Md.) assisting on a Gil Pearsall (Carthage, N.Y) goal and adding a goal of his own. Tied 2-2 with 9:00 left, Huntley scored his third goal to put JHU up 3-2 only to have Boyle assist on a Matt Radecic (Mission Hills, Kan.) goal at the 8:13 mark to tie the game up again, 3-3.
The Blue Jays broke the tie at the 3:34 mark with a Greg Peyser goal against a short-handed Nittany Lion squad. Even up, Penn State quickly tied the score at 4-4 when Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) scored off another Boyle assist. Neither team would score again and the first period ended knotted at 4-4.
Radecic broke the tie early in the second period, scoring from the top of the circle off another Boyle assist at the 11:06 mark. The Penn State defense held firm, helping the Lions maintain the slim lead and force Johns Hopkins into a time-out at the 6:30 mark in the second period. The Blue Jays went a man up after a Lion penalty and answered with an extra-man goal from Huntley, tying the score at 5-5 with 5:30 left in the half. Peyser put Johns Hopkins up 6-5 with an unassisted goal at the 1:32 mark, which is how the first half would end.
The third period began was a defensive showcase, with each team¡¯s defenders setting the tone and not allowing a score throughout the period. Hopkins had the best chance with under a minute to go with a shot from Tom Duerr hitting the crossbar.
Trailing 6-5 entering the final period against the defending national champion and nation¡¯s top ranked team, the Nittany Lions tied the game at 6-6 when Forster scored at the 12:26 mark off an Andrew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) assist. But the tie was short lived as Drew Dabrowski put JHU up 7-6, scoring after coming from behind the goal. After a Johns Hopkins slash, Nittany Lion John Eremus (Rosemont, Pa.) took a Greg Gurenlian (Springfield, Pa.) assist to knot the game at 7-7 with a man-up goal with 9:40 left.
Continuing to keep the ball on their end of the field, the Nittany Lions took an 8-7 lead withy 7:22 left when freshman Ryan McAleenan (Grand Rapids, Mich.) scored an unassisted goal from the right side of the circle. Penn State fought off a quick thirty-second man-down situation to hold the slim lead. But Johns Hopkins answered after a fast break when Donegar scored unassisted at the 3:47 mark to tie the game at 8-8.
After Adams made another stellar save, his 15th of the game, Penn State called a time-out with possession on the Hopkins side of the field. Penn State maintained possession, working the ball around the circle and looking for the perfect opening. With exactly one minute to play, Radecic notched his third goal of the game, none bigger, to put Penn State up 9-8. Johns Hopkins won the face-off and answered quickly with Peyser tying the game with just :31 to play. Hopkins managed two more shots on goal but could not break the tie and the game ended in a 9-9 tie.
Adams had an outstanding game in the net for Penn State, collecting 15 saves while allowing only nine goals in the game. Boyle led Penn State with five points, scoring one goal and four assists. Radecic had three goals, including the critical ninth goal as time wound down. Forster also had a multiple goal game with two.
The second exhibition saw Penn State handle a young Robert Morris team 13-6. Thiel used the RMU exhibition as a chance to give his younger players plenty of playing time and rest many of the regulars after their outstanding performance vs. JHU.
Gurenlian got the scoring started early with a goal at the 12:01 mark but Robert Morris answered back with three goals to take a 3-1 lead with 3:43 left in the first quarter. Mike Toner (Geneva, N.Y.) and Chris Mulqueen (Downingtown, Pa.) would score before the period ended, however, to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the second period.
Matt Mulqueen (Downingtown, Pa.) put Penn State up 4-3 with a goal at the 7:42 mark of the second period but Robert Morris tied the game quickly with an answering goal at 7:24. Senior Kevin Hershner (Bel Air, Md.) put the Lions up 5-4 with 2:48 to play in the half. Radecic put Penn State up 6-4 with a man-up goal with just :08 left and the Lions rode that lead into the intermission.
Penn State would flex its muscle in the third, outscoring RMU 7-0 in the period. Chris Mulqueen scored the first goal of the third period unassisted at the 12:57 mark to put Penn State up 7-4. The Lions would add another goal, Bubba Scott (Rockville, Md.) scoring just over a minute later, to go up 8-4 and force RMU into a time out. From there, however, the flood gates would open. Penn State would tack on goals from Rob Shrader (Thonrton, Pa.), Scott, Hershner, Toner, and Adam Kenney (Royal Oak, Mich.) to lead 13-4 heading into the final period.
The fourth period was less productive for the Nittany Lions. Robert Morris scored the only goals of the fourth period, including a short-handed one at 3:08. Still, the dominant second and third periods helped spur Penn State on to the easy 13-6 win.
The Nittany Lions out-shot Robert Morris 31-29 and was helped by 14 combined goalie saves. Chris Mulqueen and Scott each had two goals and an assist in the game while goalie Greg Boyle (Derry, N.H.) played the entire first half and had six saves.
Penn State will continue its exhibition slate next Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest vs. Lehigh in Holuba Hall. The Lions then host their annual Alumni Game on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. before opening up the regular season at Notre Dame on Sunday, Feb. 26.
GAME ONE SUMMARY: Penn State 9, Johns Hopkins 9 SCORING (Goal - Assist): 1st: JHU (Huntley); PSU (Pearsall-Boyle); PSU (Boyle); JHU (Huntley); JHU (Huntley); PSU (Radecic-Boyle); JHU (Peyser-Doneger); PSU (Forster-Boyle) 2nd: PSU (Radecic-Boyle); JHU (Huntley); JHU (Peyser) 3rd: No scoring 4th: PSU (Forster-Mackrides); JHU (Dabrowski); PSU (Eremus-Gurenlian); PSU (McAleenan); JHU (Doneger); PSU (Radecic); JHU (Peyser) KEEPER STATS: PSU (Drew Adams 60:00, 9 GA, 15 SV); JHU (Jesse Schwartzman 32:17, 5 GA, 8 SV; Scott Smith 27:43, 4 GA, 2 SV) GROUNDBALLS: PSU 23; JHU 28 ¨C EMO: PSU 1-3; JHU 1-5 SHOTS (SH-SOG): PSU 36-19; JHU 44-24 FACE-OFFS: PSU 8-22; JHU 14-22 SCORE BY QUARTERS: 1 2 3 4 F PENN STATE: 4 1 0 4 9 JOHNS HOPKINS 4 2 0 3 9 RECORDS: Both teams 0-0, exhibition games UP NEXT FOR PSU: Hosts Lehigh, Sat. Feb. 11, 1 p.m. in Holuba Hall GAME TWO SUMMARY: Penn State 13, Robert Morris 6 SCORING (Goal - Assist): 1st: PSU (Gurenlian-Boyle); RMU (Watt-Flemming); RMU (Watt); RMU (Greenhalgh-Watt); PSU (Toner-Kenney); PSU (C. Mulqueen) 2nd: PSU (M.Mulqueen-Kenney); RMU (DeSalvatore-Watt); PSU (Hershner-Scott); PSU (Radecic-Boyle) 3rd: PSU (C. Mulqueen); PSU (Scott); PSU (Shrader); PSU (Scott); PSU (Hershner-Kenney); PSU (Toner); PSU (Kenney-C. Mulqueen) 4th: RMU (Sunseri); RMU (Flemming) KEEPER STATS: PSU (Boyle 30:00, 4 GA, 6 SV; Flannery 15:00, 2 GA, 6 SV; Curtin 15:00, 0 GA, 2 SV); RMU (Dockum 30:00, 3 GA, 4 SV; Riley 15:00, 3 GA; 3 SV; Kennedy 15:00, 7 GA, 1 SV) GROUNDBALLS: PSU 46; RMU 41 ¨C EMO: PSU 3-5; RMU 3-3 SHOTS (SH-SOG): PSU 29-21; RMU 31-20 FACE-OFFS: PSU 8-23; RMU 15-23 SCORE BY QUARTERS: 1 2 3 4 F PENN STATE: 3 3 7 0 13 ROBERT MORRIS: 3 1 0 2 6 RECORDS: Both teams 0-0, exhibition games UP NEXT FOR PSU: Hosts Lehigh, Sat. Feb. 11, 1 p.m. in Holuba Hall