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No. 17 Lions to Host Villanova Saturday on BTN

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Pat Manley

March 27, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 17th-ranked Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team will host its final non-conference game against Villanova on Saturday at Penn State Lacrosse Field. The 2 p.m. contest will air live on the Big Ten Network to a national audience. The game will stream on BTN2Go as well.

#17 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (4-4, 0-1 CAA) vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS (3-5, 2-0 Big East)
Game 9: March 29, 2014 • 2 p.m. • Penn State Lacrosse Field • University Park, Pa.
VENUEPenn State Lacrosse Field (Turf; 1,000)
TELEVISION COVERAGE & STATSBig Ten Network | BTN2Go | Live Stats
TELEVISION TALENTMike Wolf (pxp), Greg Bice (color analysis)
SERIES RECORDPenn State leads 16-3
LAST MEETING3/30/13, Penn State 7-6 (at Villanova)
NEXT TIME OUTSaturday, Apr. 5 at Drexel, 7 p.m
Penn State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Fans attending Saturday's game and sitting in the bleachers next to the Multi-Sport Complex will need to comply with Penn State's Limited Bag Policy. Contents in a clear, gallon-sized bag will be permitted in addition to coats and blankets. All bags and items will not be allowed. For exact permitted items: LIMITED BAG POLICY.

• Penn State hosts its fourth straight home game when Villanova visits Happy Valley
• The Nittany Lions will feature for the second straight season on the Big Ten Network
• Nittany Lions coming off a tough 17-10 loss to Albany last weekend
Dan Craig, Pat Manley tallied their first career hat tricks vs. Albany
• Villanova has won its past two games since dropping four straight
• Penn State looks to improve its 164-44-1 all-time record vs. Pennsylvania D-I teams
• Sturgis is T-8th all-time at Penn State with 143 points, needing 2 points to reach 7th
Austin Kaut is second in school history in saves (623), 71 behind Drew Adams (694
) • Penn State returns to CAA play at Drexel on Saturday, Apr. 5

Villanova (3-5, 2-0 Big East) snapped a four-game losing streak by taking each of its past two games against Big East foes Marquette (10-8) and Georgetown (13-8). The GU win came on Wednesday following a postponement Tuesday night due to snow at Villanova. The Wildcats broke a 4-4 game in the third quarter with seven straight goals to run away from the Hoyas. Leading the VU offense was midfielder Tim Mulrenan who tallied five points on four goals and an assist. The balanced offense featured seven different scorers and a trio of three-point representatives: attackman Devin McNamara (2g, 1a), long-stick midfielder John LoCascio (1g, 2a) and midfielder Austin Frederick (3a). LoCascio is a do-everything player for VU as he leads the team in caused turnovers (21) and is second on the team in ground balls (43). Freshman netminder Dan Willis saved six shots and has a 9.70 GAA this season against a .464 save percentage.

The Wildcats, beset by early season injuries to key offensive players, average 9.50 goals per game, whiel allowing 10.25 goals a game. Eight different players have tallied 10 or more points led by Kevin O'Neil's 13 goals. He's followed by Johnny Gallaway's 12 goals and Eric Gartner's 10. Mulrenan has nine tallies this season. At the faceoff X is 2013 Big East First Team honoree Thomas Croonquist who has a career 56.7 winning percentage. This year, Croonquist is winning 50.9 percent of the draws he's taken with a team-high 44 ground balls.

All-Time Series: 16-3
PSU Streak: 2 win
First Meeting: 3/17/90, PSU 13-6
Last Meeting: 3/30/13, PSU 7-6
Last PSU Win: 3/30/13, 7-6
Last NOVA Win: 3/8/11, 17-5
Largest PSU Win: 16-3, 3/9/96
Largest NOVA Win: 17-5, 3/8/11
At home vs. NOVA: 8-1
PSU Goals vs. NOVA: 209-139

3/30/2013: W, 7-6 - A
3/31/2012: W, 13-8 - H
3/8/2011: L, 5-17 - A
3/9/2010: L, 7-11 - H
3/10/2009: W, 10-8 - A
This will be the seventh straight season the two teams have met and the 20th overall. All 20 meetings have come in the past 25 seasons.

For the second straight season, a Penn State game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network as PSU hosts Villanova. Last year, the Nittany Lions defeated Towson, 10-8, on Senior Day. Next season, BTN will be the home of Big Ten lacrosse games for both men and women and the Big Ten Tournament.

Penn State has racked up a dominating 164-44-1 (.787) all-time record against the other Division I men's lacrosse teams in Pennsylvania. PSU is 16-3 against this week's opponent, Villanova, and is 27-5 all-time against Drexel, who the Nittany Lions play next week. Last season, Penn State went 4-1 against its Keystone State rivals.

Hat tricks from Pat Manley and Dan Craig weren't enough as No. 12 Penn State men's lacrosse fell to No. 18 Albany, 17-10, at wind-swept Penn State Lacrosse Field Saturday afternoon.

Albany (3-3), the nation's leading offense averaging 15.8 goals per game entering Saturday, used a 9-1 burst over 16:42 of game time to open a nine-goal lead in the fourth quarter. Albany was led by the Thompson trio of Miles (4 goals, 2 assists), Lyle (3 goals, 5 assists) and Ty (2 goals, 2 assists) in the victory.

Penn State (4-4) put up 10 goals or more for the sixth time in eight games, but the goalkeeping of Blaze Riorden (19 saves) kept the Nittany Lions at bay. Penn State out-shot Albany, 50-36. The Great Danes shot 47.2 percent, while the Nittany Lions shot just 20 percent.

Albany raced out to a 5-1 lead with 11:40 left in the second quarter on goals from Lyle Thompson (2), Miles Thompson, Eli Lasda and Ryan Feuerstein. Sandwiched in that Albany barrage was TJ Sanders who scored twice on Saturday. His first goal was assisted by Shane Sturgis. Sturgis was kept off the board for a second consecutive game.

Penn State fought back with a 4-1 run on goals from Manley, Michael Richards, Sanders and Kyle VanThof to cut the lead to just one, 6-5, with 56 remaining in the second quarter. Sanders had his goal assisted by Brian Prestreau, while VanThof's man-up tally was helped by Gavin Ahern.

The Nittany Lion momentum would be stopped there, however, as Lasda's second of the day with only six seconds remaining gave Albany a 7-5 halftime lead to kick off the decisive 9-1 run.

Penn State won the ground ball battle, 50-32, with Drake Kreinz earning 10 pickups, his third game of double-digit ground balls. Kreinz was effective at the X as well, winning 20-of-31 faceoffs, his second 20-win game of the season. Steven Bogert notched six ground balls and two caused turnovers, while James Burke and Tom LaCrosse each collected four pickups.

Penn State went 1-for-4 on the man-up, while Albany was 1-for-3. Clears were 20-23 for Albany and 16-19 for PSU. Albany committed 17 turnovers to Penn State's 12.

Austin Kaut has made his stamp in the Penn State record books with the majority of the 2014 season remaining. In net, Kaut ranks in second place all-time in saves with 623, needing 71 saves to catch Drew Adams (2006-09), who is the all-time saves leader with 694. Offensively, Shane Sturgis moved into a tie for eighth all-time at Penn State in points scored with 143 following Tuesday's two-point outing. Sturgis is one point back of former teammate Matthew Mackrides (2009-12). Last year's running mate Jack Forster (2008-13) is five points ahead of Sturgis with 148.

A pair of new faces joined the ranks of Penn State's hat trick corps as Pat Manley and Dan Craig tallied their first career hat tricks against Albany. TJ Sanders tops the PSU list with 12 hat tricks followed by Shane Sturgis (11), Tom LaCrosse (3), Kyle VanThof (2), Gavin Ahern (2), Kyle Baier (1), Steve Aitken (1), Craig and Manley.

TJ Sanders 12
Shane Sturgis 11
Tom LaCrosse 3
Gavin Ahern 2
Kyle VanThof 2
Kyle Baier 1
Dan Craig 1
Pat Manley 1
Steve Aitken 1

Penn State's success last year revolved around the number 10: as in goals scored and goals allowed. When Penn State tallied 10 or more goals the Nittany Lions were 10-2. More importantly, when PSU allowed less than 10 goals, Penn State went an unblemished 11-0. All five losses came when allowing at least 10 goals and only once did Penn State yield a victory (15-12 vs. Denver on Feb. 19). So far this year, Penn State is 4-1 when conceding less than 10 goals. Moreover, PSU is 0-3 after Albany's 17-goal outburst. PSU is 1-13under Jeff Tambroni when allowing 10 or more goals.

Penn State's offensive output improved mightily from 2012 to 2013, nearly a two-goal increase. With 80 percent of the starting lineup still intact from last season, most of those numbers continue to improve during the 2014 season. Penn State has had a bump in scoring from 2013 to 2014 (10.47-11.12), assists (4.89-5.38), points (15.35-16.50) and shooting percentage (.294-.303).

Penn State once again features one of the toughest schedules in Division I lacrosse. Albany represented Penn State's sixth ranked foe from the USILA coaches poll in the past seven games. Thus far, Penn State is 2-4 against ranked teams following a three tough losses to Denver, UMass and Albany. In all, seven of Penn State's 13 opponents are ranked. PSU has faced No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 9 Denver, No. 11 Loyola, No. 14 UMass, No. 18 Albany and No. 19 Ohio State. Currently, Loyola is No. 1 followed by No. 6 Denver, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 13 Albany and No. 14 UMass. Future opponents Drexel, Towson and Hofstra all receiving votes this week.

Penn State played its 213th game against a ranked opponent this past Saturday vs. No. 18 Albany. PSU is 69-144 all-time against ranked teams. During Jeff Tambroni's tenure at Penn State the Nittany Lions have gone 9-13 with a 3-5 campaign in 2012, 4-4 showing in 2013 and 2-4 thus far in 2014. The potential exists for future games against ranked foes as CAA opponents Drexel, Towson and Hofstra are receiving votes in the USILA poll.

Penn State hits the road for the first of its last four CAA games at Drexel on Saturday at 2 PM. The Nittany Lions will try to win back-to-back games against the Dragons for the first time since 1995-96.




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