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Feb. 18, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's lacrosse achieved a new milestone on Monday morning when the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches Poll ranked the Nittany Lions eighth, which matches the highest ranking in school history. Additionally, the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Poll ranked Penn State ninth heading into Sunday's Noon showdown with No. 3 Notre Dame.
The last time Penn State was ranked so high was on Apr. 1, 1996 when the Nittany Lions were tabbed eighth. Previously, PSU was eighth on Apr. 13, 1992 as well.
Penn State is 2-0 for the first time since 2002 when the Nittany Lions started the season 3-0. PSU defeated No. 9 Denver, 15-12, in Jacksonville, Fla. with an impressive display of offense on national television. The diverse attack produced four goals from Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) and Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) and three goals from TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.) on Sunday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions enter the top 10 of the USILA rankings for just the fourth time. PSU was 10th on March 5, 2012 following road wins over then-No. 2 Notre Dame and then-No. 16 Ohio State. With its win over Denver, Penn State improved to 6-7 all-time against ninth-ranked teams.
During head coach Jeff Tambroni's two-plus years in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions have a 7-8 record against USILA ranked squads with three top 10 wins.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame is ranked third in both the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse polls when they visit Penn State on Sunday. The top 10 matchup is Penn State's CODE BLUE Blast with prizes to students in attendance. The Nittany Lions and Fighting Irish played a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory last season in South Bend as both goalkeepers Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) and ND's John Kemp made 18 saves.
PSU is in the midst of a five-game stretch against ranked foes. After this week's battle against No. 3, Penn State takes on No. 19 Ohio State, No. 12 Lehigh and No. 5 Massachusetts.