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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s lacrosse team hosts Hobart in Holuba Hall at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, in nonconference action.
Penn State will be looking to redeem themselves following a 17-16 overtime loss in their season opener to Villanova, while Hobart will be taking the field for the first time in 2018.
Spectators for the Penn State Men’s Lacrosse game this Saturday in Holuba Hall (HLB) may park in available spots in Yellow Lots 2, 3, and 4. For overflow to these lots, Jordan East 10 is available. Eisenhower Parking Deck (EPD 5) will also be free of charge this Saturday.
Saturday will be the Lacrosse for Literacy Book Drive and fans are encouraged to bring their new and gently used books to donate
LAST TIME OUT
In the season opener, Penn State fell, 17-16, in overtime to Villanova. Ryan Keenan was the star of the day, scoring five goals and adding two assists for a career-best performance. He also added five ground balls. Junior Kevin Hill added a hat-trick, while Nick Spillane, who moved to attack on Saturday, added two goals and an assist.
Junior Matt Donnelly, who made the move to attack this season, dished out one assist and added one goal, while junior middie Robby Black added a goal of his own. Freshman Brian Townsend dished out his first career assist, and junior Dylan Foulds tacked on a dime of his own.
KEENAN, KELLY EARN B1G HONORS
Following the first week of action, the Penn State men’s lacrosse team saw senior midfielder Ryan Keenan and freshman midfielder Jack Kelly earn Big Ten weekly honors as Keenan was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Kelly took home the Freshman of the Week honor, as announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon.
Keenan, who was named a member of the USILA DI Team of the Week on Monday, earns his first career honor from the Big Ten after putting together a career performance against Villanova. The middie scored a career-high five goals and added two assists on the way to a personal best seven points. He also scooped up five ground balls in the game. His five goals put him in a four-way tie atop the NCAA goals per game leaderboard.
Kelly took home the Freshman of the Week honor after scoring two goals in his first collegiate game. His two goals came on his only two shots of the game. He also added two ground balls and a caused turnover.
IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
Senior Ryan Keenan and junior Chris Sabia stand atop the NCAA Standings for goals per game and caused turnovers per game, respectively, after the first weekend of action. Keenan is tied with three other players at the top after scoring five goals in the season opener. Sabia stands a lot after his four caused turnovers. Both stand alone atop the Big Ten rankings.
The trio of juniors Chris Sabia and Grant Ament and sophomore Gerard Arceri were named to the USILA Preseason DI Player of the Year Watch List. They were also named as Penn State’s Big Ten Players to Watch. Sabia was named an Inside Lacrosse Preseason Second Team All-America honoree, while Arceri was named to the Third Team and Ament earned Honorable Mention.
QUAD CORE OF CAPTAINS
The 2018 Nittany Lion squad will be led by senior middiesRyan Keenan, Tanner Peck, and Tripp Traynor, and redshirt junior defender Mike Aronow. When asked about their leadership skills, Head Coach Jeff Tambroni mentioned how each was different, and together they provided a well-rounded leadership core. The quartet has helped the Nittany Lions’ program come from a 5-9 record in their freshman season to an improved 12-4, and a No. 1 ranking in the national poll in their junior year, and will look to build upon in 2018.
The blue-collar work ethic of Penn State men’s lacrosse has been a mainstay under Coach Jeff Tambroni, and even using a brick to symbolize what that means has been in play for a few years, but following the 2017 season, the now-graduated seniors of 2017 gave Tambroni a brick with the engraving “Leave it better than you found it... Class of 2017.” “We wanted an identity piece,” Tambroni said. “We wanted our program to think about a symbol more visually instead of just conversations with our guys about what we want it to look like. Also, there is a second brick that is passed around by the team to the player with the “most brick mentality” every week. The player who holds the brick chooses who deserves the brick the following week, and they pass the actual brick on to the next deserving player.
PSU ON ESPNU
ESPN announced its spring lacrosse television schedule on Wednesday evening with Penn State men’s lacrosse receiving national coverage on ESPNU twice this season. The Nittany Lions will travel to Ohio State for their Big Ten season opener and will be featured on ESPNU on Saturday, March 31 at 3 p.m. ET. Penn State will also be featured on ESPNU on when they host Johns Hopkins on Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m.
Defense | 6’0” | 175 | Richland, N.J. | St. Augustine Prep
PSU TIES PROGRAM WIN RECORDS
With the Nittany Lions eclipsed the 12-win mark in the 2017 season with a victory over Michigan. Penn State matched the program record for wins in a season with 12, set by the 2013 team. The 2017 team was just the seventh to reach double-figure wins.
Faceoff man Gerard Arceri also returns after winning 61.8 percent of his faceoffs in 2017, the sixth-best mark in the country and second-most by a freshman. He won 196 of his 317 attempts and scooped up a team-best 103 ground balls.
NITTANY LIONS SET HISTORICAL STREAK
- Penn State began the 2017 season on a historical win streak, going 10-0 through the opening 10 games of the season.
• Following Penn State’s win over Ohio State, the Nittany Lions continued the best start in program history at 10-0. Prior to the 2017 season, the best record to begin a season at Penn State was 7-0, achieved by the 1992 team.
• With the win over OSU (4/2/17), Penn State remained one of two undefeated squads nationally at 10-0. Penn State’s 10-game win streak was the best in the country.
• With Penn State’s victory over Ohio State, the Nittany Lions matched the longest single-season win streak with 10-straight. The win also saw Penn State earn its seventh ever season with double-figure wins.
• With the win against Cleveland State (3/25/17), Penn State went undefeated in the non-conference slate for the first time in program history at a perfect 9-0 mark. Penn State first became a conference member in 2000 when the team joined the ECAC before transitioning to the CAA and eventually the Big Ten.
MAKING THE MARGIN
Despite a defense that ranked 38th in the country with 10.69 goals allowed per game in 2017, PSU still had the twelfth-best scoring margin last year, winning games by over two and a half goals per game. Its 13.31 goals per game were the sixth-highest in the nation.
Attackman Mac O’Keefe logged the freshman scoring record on April 30, scoring four goals to eclipse the 44 goal mark set by TJ Sanders in 2013. O’Keefe would earn the program record for single-season goals on with three goals against Towson (5/13/17). O’Keefe’s 51 goals are the most in a single season in Jeff Tambroni’s seven-season tenure at Penn State.