Nittany Lion Lacrosse Team Downs No. 12 Fairfield for Key ECAC Lacrosse Win
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; ¨C March 24, 2007 ¨C The Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team, under the guidance of veteran head coach Glenn Thiel, used a hat trick from senior Gil Pearsall (Carthage, N.Y.) and outstanding goalie play from sophomore Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) to post an impressive 10-7 ECAC Lacrosse League win over No. 12 Fairfield.
Pearsall accounted for five points with three goals and two assists while Adams collected 13 saves in a game that featured a combined 19 man-up opportunities. Penn State, which fell behind early, used a 6-0 burst in the second period to take the lead for good.
Fairfield got on the board first when Chris Manley scored at the 13:41 mark, moving to the right of the circle and finding the back of the net to put the Stags up 1-0. After each team survived a man-down situation, Pearsall tied the game up with an unassisted goal at the 8:34 mark. The Stags, however, wasted little time in regaining the lead. Michael Bocklet took a pass from Dan Boudreau from behind the net and scored. The goal, at the 7:00 mark, put Fairfield back up by a 2-1 score.
Each defense stiffened and the score remained the same as the first period wound down, but Fairfield got a key goal with just :03 left when Travis Nelson took a pass from Brian Stanton to give Fairfield a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period.
The Nittany Lions, however, did not let the last second goal affect them. In fact, the Lions came alive offensively early in the second stanza. Penn State cut into the lead quickly in the second period when Pearsall scored his second goal of the game, taking an assist from Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H.) right in front of the net and scoring at the 13:38 mark. Boyle then tied the game with a sizzling shot to the back of the net, getting a nice assist from Adam Kenney (Royal Oak, Mich.). The goal, which tied the game at 3-3, came with 8:49 left in the half. Pearsall then gave Penn State its first lead, scoring a man-up goal at the 7:00 mark (off an assist from Boyle).
Freshman Chris Hogan (Wyckoff, N.J.) put Penn State up less than a minute later, taking a pass from Pearsall and scoring from outside the circle. The goal put the Nittany Lions up 5-3 with 6:14 left in the first half. Boyle kept the onslaught going with an unassisted goal at the 4:18 mark, weaving in through the Stag defense and scoring from just right of the Fairfield goal. After Fairfield successfully killed a 1:00 penalty, Fairfield regained possession and worked the clock down to :31.
A Penn State penalty gave Fairfield a man-up situation for the rest of the half, but Nittany Lion goalie Adams helped the Lions kill the first part of the penalty. After an Adams save, the sophomore keeper found sophomore Max Van Arsdale (Rochester, N.Y.) streaking down the right side of the field, clearing the ball to Van Arsdale. The Lion sophomore then quickly found Boyle right in front of the net and the Penn State senior scored a man-down goal as the period ended, giving the Nittany Lions a 7-3 lead at the half. In all, Penn State outscored Fairfield 6-0 in the second period.
Fairfield maintained a man-up advantage to begin the third period, but another Adams saved helped Penn State successfully kill the Fairfield effort. Brandon Finnerty helped Fairfield get closer, however, with an unassisted goal at the 11:06 mark, weaving his way from behind the net and scoring to cut the Penn State lead to 7-4. The goal came as Penn State was hit for a penalty, giving Fairfield an immediate man-up opportunity. But Penn State¡¯s defense held firm and the Lion offense maintained possession for last of the penalty to help Penn State keep its three goal lead. In a penalty filled quarter, each team¡¯s defense was outstanding in its penalty killing, keeping the score at 7-4 until the third period¡¯s waning seconds. Penn State reclaimed its four goal lead when Van Arsdale scored off a Pearsall assist with just 0:13 left in the quarter. The goal gave Penn State an 8-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Fairfield was hit with an unnecessary roughness penalty after the third period ended, giving Penn State a 1:00 man-up opportunity to begin the fourth period. But the Stag defense deftly killed the penalty, evening up the sides. Fairfield goalie Michael Kruger kept the Stags close as Penn State got off a series of close shots in the fourth quarter¡¯s first three minutes. But the senior keeper helped Fairfield stay within striking distance as the Nittany Lion offense continued to click. Fairfield inched closer with a man-up goal from Brain Stanton at the 11:19 mark (off an assist from Boudreau). The goal cut Penn State¡¯s lead to 8-5. The Stags cut the lead to two with their second straight man-up goal, the one a Greg Downing from Stanton connection at the 8:01 mark. The score cut Penn State¡¯s lead to 8-6.
Hogan helped Penn State hold the Stags off, however, scoring a man-up goal from well outside the circle with 5:24 left to play. The goal, off a Van Arsdale assist, put Penn State up 9-6. Another Nittany Lion freshman, Andrew Stimmel (Murrysville, Pa.), scored less than a minute later, taking an outstanding Boyle pass in front of the net and finding the back of the goal to put Penn State up 10-6 with 4:25 left to play. Fairfield had two one-minute man-up chances in the game¡¯s final minutes, however, getting the chance to cut into Penn State¡¯s lead. The Nittany Lion defense killed the first with an outstanding Adams save. The second, however, was a two-man advantage situation. Fairfield got the man-up goal with 1:26 left when Downing scored off a Matt Scanlon assist to cut Penn State¡¯s lead to 10-7. Fairfield maintained a single man advantage for another :30, but Penn State regained possession and then the Nittany Lion offense killed the advantage. Fairfield then got hit with a penalty, giving Penn State a man-up opportunity for the remainder of the game. Penn State effectively killed the clock and posted the impressive 10-7 win.
Penn State outshot Fairfield 36-27 and won 10 of the 19 face-offs. The Nittany Loins connected on two of their 11 man-up chances while the Stags were three for eight. Adams had 13 saves for Penn State while Fairfield¡¯s Kruger had 10.
Penn State is now 2-4 overall, 1-1 in the ECAC. Fairfield is 5-1, 1-1 ECAC. The Nittany Lions will hit the road for an ECAC road game at Massachusetts on Saturday, March 31, at 12 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 10, Fairfield 7
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 37, FFD 37 ¨C EMO: PSU 2-11, FFD x3-8
SCORE BY QUARTERS: 1 2 3 4 F PENN STATE 1 6 1 2 10 FAIRFIELD 3 0 1 3 7
RECORDS: Penn State 2-4, 1-1 ECAC, Fairfield 5-1, 1-1 ECAC
UP NEXT FOR PSU: Penn State at Massachusetts, Saturday, March 31, 12 p.m.