Home Struggles Continue for Men's Lacrosse
March 28, 2012
By Jackson Thibodeau, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
The Nittany Lions went into the game fresh off of their first conference victory of 2012, but the fifth overall loss of the season drops the team below .500.
"It hurts to go down like this," said senior defenseman Ryan McGarvey (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.). "We have been in almost every game we've lost. We gave it our all today but we just came up a little bit short."
McGarvey tallied his first collegiate goal during the game, and did so in breathtaking fashion.
As Bucknell pulled their goalie to create more defensive pressure on the ball, McGarvey came up with possession and launched a shot nearly the length of the field into the empty net near the end of the first half.
The game was tied entering halftime, but quick scoring and possession control from Bucknell in the third quarter put the game in the visitor's favor.
"We made a choice to limit their looks by playing zone," said head coach Jeff Tambroni. "It certainly took the air out of our sails offensively because we didn't have the ball at all."
Penn State was limited to only two shots during the third period, and also found difficulty in clearing the ball throughout the second half.
"It wasn't a case of playing selfish as much as it was not being as aware as we should be offensively," said Tambroni.
Tambroni also attributed his team's setback to the fact that they were forced to play with too much urgency after falling behind quickly in the second half.
As the need to score became more pressing for the Nittany Lions, Bucknell was able to take advantage of the urgency and force six-second half turnovers.
The team will try to move past this loss just like any other, as they have to start preparing for a weekend home game against Villanova.
Next weekend's game against the Wildcats will serve as the final non-conference matchup for the Nittany Lions, followed by four straight CAA games.
As the team tries to shake off their fourth-straight home loss, coaches and players are looking for ways to improve and get some much-needed wins.
"It's the same as always," said sophomore attack Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.). "Hard work, paying attention to details, and teamwork. If we get those three things done, then we have a chance."
Saturday's game against the 12th-ranked Wildcats will serve as the eighth contest of the season against a ranked opponent for Penn State.
Villanova is coming into the contest hot off of an upset victory over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.
"Next weekend's game is a must-win," said freshman midfielder Michael Richards (Skaneateles, N.Y.). "If we can beat them it will set us on the right track for conference play."
Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.