March 14, 2013
Game Notes | Live Stats | Live Video | 2013 Yearbook
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 18 Penn State men's lacrosse team faces its fifth straight USILA Top 20 opponent on Saturday at No. 19 Massachusetts in the teams' Colonial Athletic Association opener. The opening faceoff is set for 12 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on UMassAthletics.com All-Access.
#18 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (2-3, 0-0 CAA) vs. #19 UMASS MINUTEMEN (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
Game 6: March 16, 2013 // Noon // Garber Field // Amherst, Mass.
VENUE: Garber Field (astroturf; 5,000)
STREAMING COVERAGE: UMassAthletics.com All-Access
SERIES RECORD: 4-10
LAST MEETING: March 17, 2012; UM 9-8 (University Park, Pa.)
NEXT GAME March 19 at Binghamton, 4 p.m.
Penn State travels to Massachusetts for CAA opener
PSU fell to UMass last season in University Park, 9-8, in overtime
Penn State dropped a hard-fought 12-10 game to No. 19 Lehigh on Saturday
UMass and Penn State are both on three-game losing streaks
Massachusetts will be PSU's fifth straight ranked foe
TJ Sanders picked up his third CAA Rookie of the Week award on Monday
Sanders scored five goals vs. Lehigh and has 11 points in past two games
Sanders has four hat tricks in five appearances. Jack Forster has nine career hat tricks
Shane Sturgis and Forster are riding 11- and 17-game point streaks, respectively
Faceoff specialist Danny Henneghan is on a career pace at the X
The Lions have seen an uptick in offensive prowess this season from last year, upping totals in goals, assists, points, shots and ground balls from 2012
Penn State travels to Binghamton on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. non-conference game
SCOUTING THE MINUTEMEN
After a 3-0 start and reaching a national ranking of No. 5, UMass (3-3) has dropped three straight to Brown (9-8), Albany (15-9) and Bucknell (7-4). The Minutemen are without 2012 USILA All-American and CAA Player of the Year Will Manny, who suffered a broken thumb in the season opening win over North Carolina. Manny, a senior who has been the life of the UMass attack, has 94 goals, 74 assists and 168 points in his three-plus seasons in Amherst.
In his absence, five Minutmen have double-digit points: Kyle Smith (15), Connor Mooney (14), Matt Whippen (13), Andrew Sokol (13) and Grant Whiteway (11). Joe Calvello is UM's faceoff specialist with a .578 winning percentage. In net, freshman Zach Oliveri is one of the top young netminders with an 8.91 goals-against average and a .579 save percentage.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. UMASS
All-Time Series: 4-10
PSU Streak: 2 losses (both OT)
First Meeting: 4/1/00, PSU 11-8
Last Meeting: 3/17/12, UM 9-8 (OT)
Last PSU Win: 3/19/11, 8-7
Last UM Win: 3/17/12, 9-8 (OT)
Largest PSU Win: 11-8, 4/1/00
Largest UM Win: 18-8, 4/2/05
PSU at UM: 2-4
PSU Goals vs. UM: 117-139
In 14 previous meetings, just two was decided by more than three goals. Eleven games were decided by two goals or less, while eight were one-goal games. Three games, all since 2007, have gone to overtime including the past two meetings.
LAST TIME VS. UMASS (March 17, 2012)
Matthew Mackrides tied the game with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter, but Penn State fell to Massachusetts, 9-8, in overtime. Mackrides netted a hat trick, while Tom LaCrosse scored twice and Gavin Ahern tallied two points. Both teams took 35 shots, while UM's Will Manny scored a hat trick to lead the Minutemen. Mike Fetterly scored the game-winner 1:08 into overtime to seal the comeback UMass victory, who trailed 7-5 entering the fourth quarter.
LIONS RALLY, FALL TO LEHIGH
Penn State dug itself a four-goal halftime deficit, went on a big 8-2 run, but eventually lost to Lehigh, 12-10, on Saturday night (Mar. 9) in front of 5,212 at PPL Park. TJ Sanders scored five goals during the 8-2 spurt to take a 9-7 lead. Lehigh used a 5-0 run to win their second straight contest over the Nittany Lions. Jack Forster and Shane Sturgis had matching score lines of two goals and an assist.
Down 5-1 after two periods, Penn State out-scored Lehigh 5-1 in the third period and stretched the run to 8-2, giving Penn State a 9-7 lead. Nevertheless, Lehigh shot back with five straight goals en route to the 12-10 win. Dante Fantoni and Patrick Corbett each had hat tricks for the Mountain Hawks.
MAKE IT THREE CAA ROOKIE AWARDS
For the third time this season, Penn State men's lacrosse freshman TJ Sanders was named Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week on March 11. Sanders notched six points, a league best among freshmen, in a loss to Lehigh. Sanders has scored 10 goals and an assist in his past two outings, earning top rookie honors in both occasions.
TOP FRESHMAN SCORER
TJ Sanders has a team high 18 goals and 21 points, registering an average of 3.6 goals per game and 4.2 points per game. Sanders ranks tied for second in the nation for goals per game with Brandon Benn of Johns Hopkins. Those two are behind Virginia's Mark Cockerton who has 3.67 goals per game. Sanders leads the nation in freshman scoring. In the CAA, Sanders leads the league in goals and points per game.
Sanders has been steady in each game, scoring at least two points in every contest and registering three or more goals in four of his first five contests. Sanders has scored at least four goals on three occasions.
HENNEGHAN DOMINATING AT THE X
Senior Danny Henneghan won 16-of-20 faceoffs to start the Lehgih game en route to a 17-for-24 day. Henneghan has a career best .598 winning percentage this season. His previous best was .524 in 2011, which earned him All-CAA Second Team honors. Last season he won a career-high 149 faceoffs, which translated to 9.73 wins per game. This season he has 70 wins in five games for an average of 14 wins per game.
DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Penn State's offense has improved mightily in 2013 with the emergence of its attacking trio of TJ Sanders (21 points), Jack Forster (18) and Shane Sturgis (14). Penn State is averaging nearly 11 goals per game this season with a shooting percentage of .280. Last season, the Nittany Lions scored just 8.73 goals per game and post a percentage of .258. Also, assists, points, shots and ground balls per game are up from 2012.
Stat: 2012 / 2013 - Margin
Goals/gm.: 8.73 / 10.80 - +2.07
Assists/gm.: 4.20 / 5.40 - +1.20
Points/gm.: 12.93 / 16.20 - +3.27
Shots/gm.: 33.80 / 38.60 - +4.80
Shot Pct.: .258 / .280 - +.022
Ground Balls/gm.: 27.20 / 32.80 - +5.60
HAT TRICK HEROS
TJ Sanders scored five goals in Saturday's loss to Lehigh, giving him his fourth hat trick in five games. Jack Forster leads the way with nine career high tricks, while Shane Sturgis has five.
Jack Forster: 9
Shane Sturgis: 5
TJ Sanders: 4
Gavin Ahern: 2
Nick Dolik: 2
Tom LaCrosse: 2
Kyle VanThof: 1
Penn State's attack has a pair of Nittany Lions riding point streaks from last season. Leading the way is Jack Forster whose 17-game streak started on March 3, 2012 against Ohio State, while Shane Sturgis is at 11 games. TJ Sanders has scored in every game to start his collegiate career.
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
Penn State is currently in a stretch of five games against USILA ranked opponents. So far, PSU is 1-3. Saturday's game against No. 19 Massachusetts will cap the string of games. Two other Penn State opponents, No. 13 Drexel (Apr. 6) and No. 10 Hofstra (Apr. 27) are also ranked. Bucknell (March 26) is the first team out of the poll and recently defeated UMass (7-4) and Drexel (17-8) in its last two outings.
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. Penn State looks to improve to 3-1 away from Happy Valley on Saturday vs. Massachusetts. In the past two seasons, Penn State is 6-0 in true road games and 7-2 away from Happy Valley.
NEXT TIME OUT
Penn State completes its three-game road stretch with a Tuesday contest at Binghamton. The game's opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m. The Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley for a 1 p.m. contest on March 23 against Saint Joseph's in CAA play.