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Nittany Lions Travel to Loyola Saturday

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Feb. 13, 2015


1-0-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten

0-1-0, 0-0-0 Patriot
Saturday, February 14 (12 p.m.)
Ridley Athletic Complex | Baltimore, Md.


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Season Statistics: Penn State | Loyola
Game Notes: Penn State | Loyola


15.00 Goals per Game 12.00
9 Assists 6
40.0 Shots per Game 38.0
.375 Shot Percentage .553
8.00 Goals Against Average 13.00
33 Ground Balls 38
2 Caused Turnovers 5
.500 Man-Up % .000
1.000 Man-Down % 1.000
1.000 Clearing % .938
.519 Faceoff % .679

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Feb. 13, 2015 - The Nittany Lions embark on their first road trip this season when they head to Baltimore, Md., for a noon game at Loyola on Sat., Feb. 14.

No. 7 Loyola is coming off of a heartbreaking 13-12 overtime loss at the hands of No. 9 Virginia after bringing the score within one twice in the fourth quarter. Romar Dennis and Zach Herreweyers each had a hat trick, two of four players to record three-or-more points, and Graham Savio won 67.9 percent of his attempts at the `X'. In 2014, the Greyhounds were top-ranked through the final seven weeks of the regular season, winning the Patriot League before falling to Albany in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Nikko Pontrello, Pat Frazier, Brian Sherlock and Ryan Fournier will lead the squad after earning USILA Preseason All-America recognition. The Nittany Lions and the Greyhounds are meeting for the 52nd time in program history. Penn State leads the head-to-head, 27-23-1. In the teams' meeting last season on Feb. 15, the Greyhounds won 12-11 in overtime. The Nittany Lions scored four unanswered goals to tie the game with just over a minute left before falling three minutes into the frame.

Two Nittany Lions recorded hat tricks and Connor Darcey (Wellesley, Mass.) earned the first win in the first start of his collegiate career, leading the No. 14/17 Penn State men's lacrosse team to a season-opening 15-8 win over Vermont on Feb. 7. Penn State's offensive output was evenly distributed throughout the game. In both the third and fourth quarters, the Blue and White put up four goals and put five past the Catamounts in the opening 15 minutes.

In Penn State's 15-8 win over Vermont, eight different Nittany Lions (1-0-0) found the back of the net, led by Matt Florence (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and junior TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ontario). Alongside two assists, Florence, a redshirt sophomore, opened scoring 2:22 into the game and added a pair of markers on the man-up. Sanders posted the 19th multi-goal game of his career with his trio of goals and he dished out an assist. Mike Sutton (Sewell, N.J.) turned out a three-point performance with two goals scored and an assist. Pat Manley (Arnold, Md.) and Kyle Baier (Auburn, N.Y.) each had two-goal outings, while Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.) recorded a goal and an assist.

The Nittany Lions wasted no time making a statement in the cage. In his first collegiate start, Connor Darcey (Wellesley, Mass.) made 15 saves, the most of any Big Ten goalie in action during the day en route to his first collegiate win against Vermont. His efforts earned him the first-ever Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award.

Matt Florence
(Greenwood Village, Colo.) has made an immediate impact since transferring to Penn State this year. In the season opener, Florence scored a hat trick and added two assists, the first three-goal performance in a Penn State debut since 2002.

For the inaugural season of Big Ten Lacrosse, the Nittany Lions will be faced with a huge test. Just four of Penn State's games will be played in Happy Valley, the fewest of any Big Ten team. Penn State also plays a pair of neutral site games against Marist (at Babson College) and Denver (at Hofstra).

Penn State has been picked to finish third in the inaugural season of Big Ten Lacrosse by the conference's coaches, as announced in the preseason poll. Additionally, 2014 Academic All-Big Ten honorees JP Burnside (Garden City, N.Y.), Drake Kreinz (Delafield, Wisconsin) and TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ontario) were named Penn State's Players to Watch. Sitting atop the preseason list was No. 5 Johns Hopkins, which made its record 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance last season. Earning berths to the second-most NCAA postseasons at 37, No. 8 Maryland came in second. Ohio State, Rutgers and Michigan rounded out the poll.

Senior Michael Richards (Skaneateles, N.Y.) was tabbed 45th overall in the 2015 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft by the Denver Outlaws on Friday night in Baltimore. Richards joins Shane Sturgis (New York Lizards) and Tom LaCrosse (Ohio Machine), both of whom exhausted eligibility in 2014 and were picked in the 2015 Supplemental Draft, as selections by one of MLL's eight teams in the U.S.A. and Canada. Richards appeared in all of the Nittany Lions' contests last season, making 10 starts in the midfield. The 2014 Academic All-Big Ten honoree recorded six points, collected 20 ground balls and caused four turnovers.

The Nittany Lions earned a No. 14 ranking in the 2015 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division I Preseason Coaches Poll after being picked 15th in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top-20. The inaugural season of Big Ten lacrosse features six regular season opponents listed in the top-20. Both of Penn State's preseason scrimmages were against top-20 teams, No. 20 Army and No. 18 Lehigh. In the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top-20, the Nittany Lions hold the third-highest ranking among Big Ten teams. In total, four of the conference's six squads appear on the list. The Blue and White will face eight teams ranked in the Top-20: top-ranked Denver, No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 8 Maryland, No. 9 Loyola (Md.), No. 11 Penn, No. 12 Harvard, No. 14 Lehigh and No. 20 Ohio State.

Senior Kyle Zittel (Eden, N.Y.) was named the 2015 Penn State's men's lacrosse team captain, the program's first solo team captain since 1978. "Our staff is thrilled to announce that Kyle Zittel will lead our program into the inaugural Big Ten season as our captain," head coach Jeff Tambroni said. "He has assumed the lead role immediately after the season ended last spring and has, in doing so, earned the respect of his teammates and our staff. Kyle's effort, selflessness, integrity and character made him an obvious choice." A defensive midfielder, Zittel played in all 13 games for the Nittany Lions, picking up a career-best 11 ground balls and causing four turnovers. Zittel also excels in the classroom. The science major has a cumulative 3.5 grade point average and earned a 4.0 grade point average during the fall 2013 semester.

The Penn State men's lacrosse team finalized its roster for the 2014-15 academic year as head coach Jeff Tambroni announced 11 newcomers. The recruiting class is ranked 11th by Inside Lacrosse. The 11-member class features a transfer from Virginia, Matt Florence (Greenwood Hills, Colo.) as well as three Under Armour All-Americans: Ryan Keenan (Smithtown, N.Y.), Tanner Peck (Lincoln University, Pa.) and Will Schreiner (Kemblesville, Pa.). Keenan, Peck and Schreiner are ranked 6th, 36th and 47th, respectively by Inside Lacrosse in their freshman rankings. Joining them on that list are Mike Aronow (Holbrook, N.Y.) at No. 66 and Tyler Butler (Doylestown, Pa.) at No. 96. Chris Isenberg (Glen Mills, Pa.), Hunter Pearl (Reisterstown, Md.), Tripp Traynor (Downingtown, Pa.), Josh Wellman (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) and Chris Young (Oakville, Ontario) complete Tambroni's incoming crew.

Guiding the Nittany Lions through the inaugural season of Big Ten Lacrosse, Jeff Tambroni is in his fifth season as Penn State's head coach in 2015. With a 35-24 record, Tambroni has guided his Nittany Lion teams to winning seasons each of his four seasons at the helm.




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