UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fifteenth-ranked Penn State (1-0) travels to Jacksonville, Fla. for the Moe's Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic on Sunday, facing No. 9 Denver (1-0). The Nittany Lions and Pioneers will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 1 p.m.
#15 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (1-0) vs. #9 DENVER PIONEERS (1-0)
Game 2: Feb. 17, 2013 // 1 p.m. // EverBank Field // Jacksonville, Fla.
EVENT: Moe's Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic
VENUE: Everbank Field (grass, 67,164)
TV COVERAGE: NBC Sports Network
TV TALENT: Mike Corey (pxp), Evan Washburn (color), Mark Dixon (side)
SERIES RECORD: 1-3
LAST MEETING: Mar. 10, #11 Denver 14-6 (at University Park, Pa.)
NEXT GAME: Feb. 24 vs. #3 Notre Dame
Penn State faces the Denver Pioneers in the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic
Denver defeated Penn State last year in Happy Valley
Penn State defeated Michigan, 11-6, last Saturday
TJ Sanders named CAA Rookie of the Week for scoring five points at Michigan
Shane Sturgis scored four goals and Jack Forster added three points for PSU
Goalkeeper Austin Kaut made 12 saves for PSU with a .667 save percentage
Denver won at No. 6 Duke, 14-12, last week
PSU's Jeff Tambroni & DU's Bill Tierney face of as two of lacrosse's best coaches
Tambroni and Tierney are 5-5 all-time against each other
Sunday is Penn State's third trip to Florida and first nationally televised game
Nick Dolik and Jack Forster are riding 12- and 13-game point streaks, respectively
Next week Penn State plays host to No. 3 Notre Dame in Happy Valley
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Ninth-ranked Denver (1-0) lost two of its best attackers from last season but blitzed No. 6 Duke in Durham, N.C. on Saturday, Feb. 9 en route to a 14-12 victory, a score not indicative of Denver's dominance. The Pioneers out-scored Duke 7-0 in the third period and led 14-8 behind a five-goal game from Erik Adamson, who had six points last Saturday. Denver also received key contributions from Erik Law's four points on three assists and a goal as well as Gordie Koerber's three-goal day. In net, Ryan LaPlante stopped 18 Blue Devil shots as Denver was out-shot 47-37.
The Denver midfield is led by Chase Carraro, a USILA All-American and ECAC Specialist of the Year and Jeremy Noble, a third-team USILA All-American. Drew Babb, Kyle Hercher and Cannon anchor a veteran defense. Penn State could face LaPlante or 2011 ECAC Rookie of the Year Jamie Faus between the pipes.
LAST TIME VS. DENVER (Mar. 10, 2012)
Denver raced past Penn State with a 10-2 halftime advantage, winning 14-6 at Penn State Lacrosse Field. Eric Law, Wes Berg and Cameron Flint had two goals apiece for the Pioneers, while Jack Forster and Nick Dolik had two goals each. Shots were even at 33-33 as Austin Kaut saved eight Denver chances and Jamie Faus had 13 saves for DU.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. DENVER
All-Time Series 1-3
PSU Streak 2 losses
First Meeting 3/8/00, Denver 8-5
Last Meeting 3/10/12, Denver 14-6
Last PSU Win 3/21/04, 11-10
Last DU Win 3/10/12, 14-6
Largest PSU Win 11-10, 3/21/04
Largest DU Win 14-6, 3/10/12
PSU Goals vs. DU 27-42
BATTLE OF SUCCESSFUL COACHES
Penn State's Jeff Tambroni and Denver's Bill Tierney hold two of the top 5 winning percentages in Division I men's lacrosse. Tambroni is 126-53 (.704) all-time, good for fifth on that list while Tierney is 309-108 (.741) in second. Tierney (Princeton) and Tambroni (Cornell) faced off at Ivy League coaches nine times with Tambroni holding a 5-4 edge. The record between the two teams is 5-5 after Denver's win at PSU last year.
Penn State's potent attack has three Nittany Lions riding point streaks from last season. Leading the way is Jack Forster whose 13-game streak started on March 3 against Ohio State. Nick Dolik has a 12-game streak, while Shane Sturgis is at seven games.
LIONS OVERWHELM WOLVERINES
Led by four-goal performances from TJ Sanders and Shane Sturgis, No. 15 Penn State men's lacrosse defeated Michigan, 11-6, at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. In all, Sanders had a five-point afternoon in his collegiate debut, while goaltender Austin Kaut made 12 saves for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State (1-0) ran away from Michigan (0-1) after a tied first period, holding a 5-3 lead at halftime and upping it to 10-3 in the third. The Nittany Lions outscored the Wolverines 5-0 to open the second half to open the seven-goal advantage.
Penn State received key contributions from Jack Forster (2 goals, 1 assist) and Tommy O'Neill (two assists) as well. Penn State out-shot Michigan 57-30 for the game, the most shots attempted since March 6, 2009 vs. Ohio State (55).
SANDERS NAMED CAA'S TOP ROOKIE
Freshman attackman TJ Sanders earned CAA Rookie of the Week for his five-point showing at Michigan on Saturday. Sanders led all rookies in goals (4) and points (5) and was just one point shy of the league lead, which two UMass players had last weekend.
CELEBRATING THE 100TH SEASON
The Penn State men's lacrosse program is celebrating its 100th season in 2013, one of just a handful of teams to reach the milestone. The team started its program on May 24, 1913 with a 4-3 win over Penn under Walter Farley. Since then, the Nittany Lions have won 476 games in program history. Penn State will hold its 100th season celebration on April 6 vs. Drexel, where alumni of all teams are welcomed back to Happy Valley to honor the proud history of Penn State lacrosse.
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
Over the next five games, Penn State faces off against five straight ranked foes including two in the top 10 in No. 3 Notre Dame (Feb. 24) and No. 9 Denver (Feb. 17). Two other teams, No. 11 Lehigh (March 9) and No. 12 Massachusetts (March 16) are ranked just outside the top 10, while No. 19 Ohio State visits Happy Valley on March 2.
Two other Penn State opponents, No. 18 Bucknell (March 28) and No. 20 Hofstra (April 27) are also ranked. Drexel (April 6) and Villanova (March 31) are the next two teams out of the poll.
Of the 14 regular-season contests, Penn State will be home for just five of them, making the Nittany Lions one of the most road tested teams in the country. In total, seven games are true road contests along with two neutral site games. So far this season, Penn State is 1-0 away from Happy Valley.
FLORIDA FRAME OF MIND
Penn State visits the State of Florida for the third time in program history. The previous two times saw the Nittany Lions play Yale in Boca Raton, Fla. PSU defeated the Bulldogs 11-6 in 1997 before falling to Yale, 17-15, in 2003.
Jacksonville's EverBank Field will be the largest venue Penn State has ever played in. Seating 67,164, the stadium is home to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, the Gator Bowl and the annual Florida-Georgia college football game.
MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL CLASSIC
Penn State and Denver play as a part of a doubleheader in the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic. After PSU and Denver, Jacksonville plays host to Ohio State at 3:15 p.m.
NITTANY LIONS ON TV
Penn State is slated to play two games on television this season: Feb. 17 against Denver at Jacksonville, Fla. on NBC Sports Network and March 9 vs. Lehigh in Chester, Pa. on Comcast SportsNet. The Lehigh game is also scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
Penn State's appearance on NBC Sports Network is believed to be the first nationally televised men's lacrosse game in program history. The last time Penn State was on television was in 2010 vs. Towson on WMAR in Baltimore.
Penn State won the inaugural Creator's Trophy, a men's lacrosse competition started in 2012 by the Big Ten schools Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. The Nittany Lions went 2-0 in the round-robin format, while the Buckeyes went 1-1 and the Wolverines went 0-2.
This season, Penn State is 1-0 and can clinch the trophy on March 2 when it meets Ohio State in Happy Valley.
2012 Creator's Trophy Schedule
Feb. 9: Penn State 11, Michigan 6
Mar. 2: Ohio State at Penn State, 1 p.m.
Apr. 13: Ohio State at Michigan, 1 p.m.
NEXT TIME OUT
Penn State returns home for the first of its five home games in the 2013 season by hosting No. 3 Notre Dame on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Noon. The game is PSU's CODE BLUE Blast for students, earning triple swipe points. Free pizza will be served and the first 100 fans will receive Penn State lacrosse pinneys. All Penn State regular-season home games are free of charge and parking is available in Lot 44 near the Multi-Sport Complex.