No. 14/16 Lions, No. 3/4 UMass Set for Saturday Showdown
March 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 14/16 Penn State men's lacrosse team will open its conference slate against No. 3/4 Massachusetts on Saturday (March 17) at the Penn State Lacrosse Field. Opening faceoff is set at noon.
At the game, Penn State Lacrosse camouflage t-shirts will be on sale for $15 each with all proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-0 CAA), who are opening their CAA schedule for the third straight year against UMass, went 1-1 against UMass a season ago. After defeating the Minutemen during the regular season, Penn State suffered a heartbreaking 10-9 overtime loss in the CAA semifinals at Jeffrey Field.
Penn State, which is 3-2 to start the season for the first time since 2002, will play its fifth ranked opponent of the season, including its second top-five foe. The Nittany Lions defeated then-No.2/4 Notre Dame, 4-3 in overtime, back on Feb. 26.
Penn State will also look to rebound from last week's 14-6 loss to then-No. 11/13 Denver that broke the Nittany Lions' three-game win streak. Senior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown) and junior midfielder Nick Dolik(Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) paced Penn State with two goals each. Forster, who missed both the 2008 and 2010 seasons due to injury, is just one point away from matching his 2011 total.
Classmate Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square) continues to pace the squad in goals (8), while midfielder Ryan Link (Englewood, Colo.) leads the team in both ground balls (19) and caused turnovers (8). Sophomore Austin Kaut (Morton) has been the goalie of record for each game this season and carries an 8.00 goals-against average and .610 save percentage.
Massachusetts will enter the game at 6-0 overall (0-0 CAA) and is one of five teams in the country with an unblemished record. Junior attackman Will Manny leads the team in goals (18), assists (12) and points (30), while redshirt senior goalkeeper Tim McCormack is 6-0 with a 6.65 goals-against average and .618 save percentage.
A victory will give Penn State or Massachusetts an early lead in the highly-competitive conference standings. Last season, no team went undefeated and five of the seven conference members won at least half its league games.