Nittany Lions Outscore Dragons In Second Half, Lose First Conference Game
April 11, 2011
By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
The Nittany Lions struggled early on in the game. However, the team outscored the Dragons 7-2 in the second half. For only the second time this season, the motto that has governed the Nittany Lions this spring - win the second half, win the game - did not hold true.
In 10 games this season, Penn State has scored 81 goals. Forty-five of those goals have come in the first halves of the games. Only 36 of those goals were scored in the second halves and overtime periods.
The Nittany Lions' opponents have scored 84 goals this spring. Forty-eight of those goals were scored in the first halves of the games. Due to Penn State's in-game defensive adjustments, the Nittany Lions' opponents have scored significantly fewer goals in the second halves and overtime periods: 36.
Penn State has been outscored by its opponents in the second half in six games this spring. The team has won only two of those games - an important conference win against UMass and a thrilling overtime victory over Lehigh.
In the four games this season that Penn State has outscored its opponents in the second half the Nittany Lions are 3-1.
As noted previously, the Nittany Lions have lived and died by the motto - win the second half, win the game.
This weekend's loss to Drexel was the first time that the Nittany Lions have failed to pull out a victory despite outscoring their opponent in the second half.
Truthfully, Penn State dug itself too deep of a hole in the first half to climb out. Drexel scored the game's first four goals before Penn State even had an offensive possession. The Dragons went on to score 12 goals on 24 shots in the first half. The Nittany Lions were only able to muster 18 shots in the first half, scoring only six goals.
Penn State shut down Drexel's offense in the second half, allowing only six shots and two goals. The Nittany Lions scored seven goals in the second half, including four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, to bring Penn State within one goal of Drexel with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion offense with four goals on the day. Sophomore midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) added three goals to lead all midfielders.
Freshman attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) continued to contribute offensively, scoring one goal and tallying three assists. Junior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) added two goals and one assist of his own. Senior midfielder Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.) scored two goals, including the goal that triggered Penn State's four-goal run in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore midfielder Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) won .586 percent of the face offs. Henneghan won 17 of 29 draws, and he added a third quarter goal, as well.
After giving up 12 goals in the first half, freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) settled in to make seven saves.
The Nittany Lions were inches away from completing the second-half comeback Saturday. Freshman attackman Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) took a shot with seconds remaining that was smothered by Drexel's goalie Mark Manos. Had that shot gone in, Penn State, with momentum on its side, would have put itself in position to win the game in overtime.
Having proven that they have the ability to score in the second half, the Nittany Lions are poised to make a run as the team heads into its final three conference games.
Now is the time to put it all together.
Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com