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Nittany Lions Host No. 16/11 Penn Saturday

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NO. 16/11 PENN
VS. PENN STATE


1-2-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten

2-1-0, 0-0-0 Ivy League
Saturday, February 28 (12 p.m.)
Holuba Hall | University Park, Pa.

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First 400 fans receive gray rally towel

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

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

PSU
PENN
9.33 Goals Per Game 9.33
16 Assists 12
32.0 Shots Per Game 30.7
.292 Shot Percentage .304
9.00 Goals Against Average 9.25
91 Ground Balls 75
12 Caused Turnovers 18
.364 Man-Up % .500
.778 Man-Down % .750
.872 Clearing % .784
.569 Faceoff % .536

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Feb. 27, 2015 - One of the oldest rivalries in collegiate lacrosse is underway this weekend, when Penn State men’s lacrosse (1-2) welcomes No. 16/11 Penn (2-1) to Holuba Hall on Feb. 28 at noon.

ADMISSION AND PARKING INFORMATION
Admission and parking for all men’s lacrosse contests is free of charge at the Orange-C lot beside the former Greenberg Ice Pavilion, Jordan East beside the Bryce Jordan Center and Penn State Lacrosse Field, or Stadium West next to Beaver Stadium. Inform the parking attendant that you are attending the lacrosse game to park for free. The Eisenhower and East Deck parking garages are also available for $1 per hour. See the attached map for more detailed instructions.

SCOUTING THE QUAKERS
No. 16 Penn comes to Happy Valley after an 11-7 loss to No. 11 Maryland on Tuesday. Against the Terps, the Quakers were 3-for-6 with the extra man, with the goals netted by Joe McCallion, who leads the team with eight tallies this season. Penn’s two wins to open the season have been nail-biters, with the team out-scoring its opponent 21-18 in those victories. In all of the Quakers’ 2015 contests, Jimmy Sestilio started the game and John Lopes played the final 30 minutes. The duo has a combined 9.25 goals against average and .500 save percentage.

SERIES HISTORY vs. PENN
The Nittany Lions and the Quakers face each other for the 37th time with Penn State holding a 22-13-1 series record. The teams haven’t battled since May 7, 1977, when Penn State fell to Penn, 24-10. The Nittany Lions’ first game in program history was against Penn on May 24, 1913, a 4-3 Nittany Lion win.

MORE THAN JUST IN-STATE FOES
The lacrosse community is tight-knit, but Penn State’s 101-year relationship with Penn has produced even more connections. The Nittany Lions’ first collegiate game in 1913 was a 4-3 win over the Quakers. Redshirt sophomore Drake Kreinz (Delafield, Wis.) is playing against his younger brother Austin, a sophomore at Penn, for the first time in their careers. Penn’s volunteer assistant Austin Kaut is one of the most decorated goalies in Penn State history, the program’s only three-time All-American.

AROUND THE HORN
To start the season, nine-or-more Nittany Lions have scored at least one goal. TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ontario) and Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.) have netted six goals. Middies Matt Florence (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and Mike Sutton (Sewell, N.J.) are posting four tallies, Pat Manley (Arnold, Md.) has a trio of markers, Kyle Baier (Auburn, N.Y.) recorded a pair of goals against Vermont and Tripp Traynor (Downingtown, Pa.), Matt Sexton (Niskayuna, N.Y.) and Brian Prestreau (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) each scored a goal.

CONN MAN
Connor Darcey (Wellesley, Mass.) wasted no time making a statement in the cage this season, his first as a starter. The redshirt sophomore’s 42 saves in the opening three games of the season are the most to kick off a Penn State campaign since 2006. His 14.00 saves per game are the most in the Big Ten and rank eighth in the nation, while his 0.609 save percentage is the 11th-best in the NCAA. In his first collegiate start, against Vermont, Darcey made 15 saves, the most of any Big Ten goalie in action during the day en route to his first collegiate win. His efforts earned him the first-ever Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award.

SWEET FLO
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. He also scored the game’s first goal at Loyola and added assists against the Greyhounds and at Villanova.

CLEAR VISIBILITY
For the first year of Big Ten Lacrosse, the Nittany Lions will be available to more people than ever before. All of Penn State’s Big Ten games will be broadcast live on television. The Ohio State and Johns Hopkins games will air on ESPNU, and the Maryland, Rutgers and Michigan games are slated for the Big Ten Network. The Big Ten Network will also show every contest of the Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.

ROAD WARRIORS
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), alongside seven true road games.

PENN STATE OPENS 2015 WITH 15-8 WIN
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 scored four goals, and put five past the Catamounts in the opening 15 minutes.

PSU VOTED THIRD IN BIG TEN POLL
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, Wisc.) and TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ontario) were named Penn State’s Players to Watch. Sitting atop the preseason list was preseason No. 5 Johns Hopkins, which made its record 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014. Earning berths to the second-most NCAA postseasons at 37, preseason No. 8 Maryland came in second. Ohio State, Rutgers and Michigan rounded out the poll.

RICHARDS DRAFTED IN MLL
Senior Michael Richards (Skaneateles, N.Y.) was tabbed 45th overall in the 2015 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft by the Denver Outlaws on Jan. 23 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 the 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.

LIONS TABBED IN PRESEASON POLLS
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 held the third-highest ranking among Big Ten teams. In total, four of the conference’s six squads appeared 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.

ZITTEL NAMED TEAM CAPTAIN
Senior Kyle Zittel (Eden, N.Y.) was named the 2015 Penn State 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.

11TH-RANKED CLASS JOINS PSU
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 were 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.

TAMBRONI IN HIS FIFTH SEASON
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 .500-or-better records in each of his four seasons at the helm.


 

 

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