No. 16 Lions to Close Road Slate at Towson Saturday
April 13, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 16 Penn State men's lacrosse will close out its road schedule on Saturday (April 14) when it faces Towson in a pivotal CAA matchup at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Opening faceoff is slated at 7:30 p.m.
With only four teams advancing to the league playoffs, Penn State (6-5 overall) and Towson (7-4) are locked in a tie for third place with identical 2-1 conference records. If the Nittany Lions defeat the Tigers, they will secure sole possession of second place with two CAA games remaining.
Penn State improved to 2-1 in conference play with a 10-9 come-from-behind victory against Drexel. CAA Player of the Week Jack Forster (Jenkintown) erupted for seven points (4g, 3a) against the Dragons as Penn State erased a 7-3 third-quarter deficit. The senior has recorded 18 markers during his seven-game goal-scoring streak and leads the team in goals (23), assists (11) and points (34).
Along with Forster, senior Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square) has helped solidify the Nittany Lion attack. The Newtown Square, Pa., native ranks 15th in the country in career goals (90) and is just 10 tallies away from becoming the fifth Nittany Lion to reach the century mark.
In addition to the seniors, Penn State has received significant contributions from junior midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who has tallied 12 points (10g, 2a) during his seven-game point-scoring streak. Sophomore attackman Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) has doubled his goal total in the past three games with four strikes.
On the defensive side, senior midfielder Ryan Link (Englewood, Colo.) and freshman defenseman Jack Donnelly (Toronto, Ont.), both of whom have registered at least 10 ground balls and caused turnovers, help anchor a defense that ranks 11th in the country in scoring defense (8.09). Sophomore goalkeeper Austin Kaut (Morton) ranks sixth in the nation in save percentage (.592) and 12th in goals-against average (7.90).
Towson, which had its five-game winning streak snapped against second-ranked Massachusetts, will enter the contest ranked third in the NCAA in shot percentage (.351). Sophomore Thomas DeNapoli leads the Tigers with 27 points (15g, 12a), while senior Sean Maguire, who has recorded at least one point in 14 straight games, paces the squad with 18 goals. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage ranks fifth in the CAA with 9.18 saves per game.
The Tigers have scored at least 10 goals in each of their seven wins but have tallied no more than six markers in their four losses. In their all-time series, Penn State holds a 5-12 record against Towson.