Whitaker and Boyle Pace No. 14 Penn State to 13-3 Rout of St. John¡¯s in ECAC Lacrosse Road Game
State College, Pa.; April 15, 2006 ¨C The Penn State Nittany Lion men¡¯s lacrosse team rode a superb defensive effort and the offensive fireworks of senior Nate Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.) and junior Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H.) to a 13-3 rout of St. John¡¯s in ECAC men¡¯s lacrosse action. Head coach Glenn Thiel¡¯s Nittany Lions, ranked No. 14 in the nation, have now won four straight games.
Whitaker scored four goals in the game while Boyle continued to establish himself as one of the ECAC¡¯s top set-up men with four assists and two goals for six points. While the high-powered twosome accounted for the bulk of Penn State¡¯s scoring, it was junior Pat Heim (Wayne, Pa.) who got Penn State on the board first. Heim scored an unassisted goal less than one minute into play that essentially set the tone for the entire contest.
Boyle assisted Whitaker on his first goal at the 8:33 mark to put Penn State up 2-0 and Matt Radecic (Mission Hills, Kan.) made it 3-0 before St. John¡¯s would get on the scoreboard. St. John¡¯s scored one of its three goals when Rob Gannon found the net with just :06 left in the first.
The Red Storm would score their other two goals in the second period, but not until Boyle helped put Penn State up 5-1. Boyle scored an unassisted goal just 1:15 into the second and then assisted on a Ryan McAleenan (Grand Rapids, Mich.) goal at the 10:05 mark. St. John¡¯s answered with their two goals to cut the lead to 5-3, but Nittany Lion Gil Pearsall (Carthage, N.Y.) scored off a Radecic assist with 4:47 left to help send Penn State into the halftime break with a 6-3 lead.
Any hopes that St. John¡¯s had of pulling off the upset were quickly dashed in the third quarter. With freshman goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) on his way to shutting SJU out over the final 30:00, John Eremus (Rosemont, Pa.) connected off a Greg Gurenlian (Springfield, Pa.) assist at the 13:12 mark to give the Lions a 7-3 lead. Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) notched an unassisted goal at the 8:39 mark before Whitaker went on a scoring frenzy that iced the game. The senior attacker scored three goals in the third period¡¯s final four and a half minutes. His first came off a Boyle assist with 4:26 to play. Just five seconds later, he scored off a Gurenlian assist and then capped the third period with another goal, with help from Boyle, with just :44 left to play in the period.
Leading 11-3 heading into the final period, Adams stayed steady in the net and the Nittany Lions picked up goals from Boyle (off a Radecic dish) and Tommy Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) to post the game¡¯s final score of 13-3.
Adding to Boyle and Whitaker¡¯s offensive outburst was Radecic with three points off a goal and two assists. Adams, fresh of being named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week, gave up the fewest goals of the season and collected eight saves. Freshman Greg Boyle (Bel Air, Md.) saw his first action of the season, playing the game¡¯s final 3:25 and notching a save as well. Adams has had a superb run over the last four games. He has allowed only 18 goals in four games, all ECAC wins, for a 4.5 per game mark during the span. He also has 48 saves for a 12.0 per game average.
The Nittany Lions took 33 shots, 20 of which were on goal. St. John¡¯s, on the other hand, managed only 19 shots, 10 on goal. Leading the Penn State defensive charger were key defenders John Stuckey (Summit, N.J.), Matt Mulqueen (Downingtown, Pa.) and Dan Saltsman (Concord, N.H.). Stuckey and Mulqueen each had three ground balls in the game as did Forster, second only to Gurenlian¡¯s nine. Gurenlian was also superb on face-offs, winning 12 of 19.
Penn State improves to 6-3 on the year, 4-1 in the ECAC. St. John¡¯s falls to 4-7, 0-5 ECAC. The Nittany Lions host two games next week. Penn State welcomes Bucknell to Jeffrey Field on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. game under the lights. The Lions then return to ECAC action, hosting Rutgers at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
GAME SUMMARY: No. 14 Penn State 13, St. John¡¯s 3 SCORING (Goal-Assist): 1st: PSU (Heim), PSU (Whitaker-Boyle), PSU (Radecic),