FEATURE: Nittany Lions To Honor Seniors In Must-win Conference Game
April 15, 2011
By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Ranked the No. 10 overall recruiting class in 2007 by Inside Lacrosse Magazine, this senior class featured a handful of top-ranked recruits. Though the group has never made the NCAA postseason tournament, the team is poised to make a postseason run this spring with a win against Towson.
Traditionally a slow starting team, the Nittany Lions annually make late-season pushes. As expected, Penn State has faired well on senior night over the last 11 seasons.
Since 2000, the Nittany Lions are 8-3 on senior night, including two victories, in 2003 and 2005, that helped secure Penn State's bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.
Behind senior captains Marshall Feldman, Chris Garrity and Matt Zappia, Penn State was 6-6 heading into its final home game in 2003. The Nittany Lions upset No. 17 Ohio State 13-4 to secure a bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.
Penn State won five games in a row late in the year, including victories over three top-ranked opponents, to earn the program's first postseason bid. The team lost to Towson in the first round of the tournament.
In 2005, the Nittany Lions won their final seven regular season games. They defeated Villanova 10-5 in the final home game of the season, honoring their three senior captains Marc Young, Will Jones and Mike Jacober.
The Nittany Lions lost to No. 4 Maryland 14-10 in the first round of the tournament. Maryland went on to lose to Duke in the semifinals on Memorial Day Weekend.
If Penn State wants to keep its postseason hopes alive, the team needs a victory Saturday night. With a win over Towson, the Nittany Lions will be 3-1 in the conference and in position to earn a bid to the CAA tournament.
With five losses already, it will be difficult for Penn State to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason tournament. That means that the Nittany Lions may have to win the CAA tournament to have any chance of earning a bid to the NCAA tournament.
With rain in the forecast, expect it to be a gritty match Saturday night. Come out and support the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. on Jeffrey Field.
Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com