No. 13 Nittany Lion Men¡¯s Lacrosse Team Suffers 11-10 Upset Loss to Visiting Bucknell
State College, Pa. ¨C April 19, 2006 ¨C The Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team, ranked No. 13 nationally, ran into a superb effort from Bucknell Bison goalie Matt Baran and dropped a hard-fought 11-10 decision to the visiting team from Lewisburg. The Bison got five points from John Togneri to help offset a four goal game from Nittany Lion junior Pat Heim (Wayne, Pa.).
Penn State got on the board early when junior Heim scored off a Gil Pearsall (Carthage, N.Y.) assist at the 13:26 mark. Bucknell had a solid scoring chance a minute later, only to be turned away by freshman goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.). Bucknell broke into the scoring column when John Togneri scored off a Joe Mele assist to tie the game with 4:27 to play in the first period. The Bison duo would switch rolls, with Mele scoring off a Togneri assist with only :44 seconds left in the first to give the Bison a surprising 2-1 lead as the first period wound down. But junior Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H.), utilizing some fancy footwork around the Bison goal, tied the game with just :02 left to tie the game at 2-2 after one period.
Bucknell took the lead at the 11:15 mark of the second period when Togneri scored an unassisted goal, putting the Bison up 3-2. Bucknell upped their lead to 4-2 when Matt Castele scored a man-up goal using a Nick Marks assist at the 9:07 mark. Marks would notch an unassisted goal with 4:32 to play in the half and Bucknell had a 5-2 lead.
The goal appeared to rally Penn State as the Nittany Lions responded with aggressive defense and midfield play and a Boyle goal, from Eremus, at the 4:08 mark. The goal cut the Bison lead to 5-3. Penn State would keep the ball on the Bucknell side of the field for most of the remainder of the half, but could not find the back of the net. Bucknell carried a 5-3 lead into intermission, despite being out shot 23-15 by Penn State. Nittany Lion senior Greg Gurenlian (Springfield, Pa.) won nine of ten face-offs in the first half alone as well.
Bucknell got the second half¡¯s first goal when Mele scored off a Mike Thon assist with 9:54 on the clock, putting BU up 6-3. Eremus answered back for Penn State at the 7:15 mark with a goal to inch the Nittany Lions to within two, 6-4. But Bucknell continued to hold Penn State off as Marks scored another unassisted goal at the 3:58 mark to put the Bison up by three again, 7-4. Nate Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.) took a nice pass from Boyle in front of the net to score for Penn State, making the score 7-5 with 3:07 to play in the third period.
Again, Bucknell would answer as Kirk Klett scored with an assist from Steve Case with just 1:22 to play. This time, however, Penn State answered quickly when Heim scored unassisted with 1:04 to play, cutting the Bison lead to 8-6, which is how the third period ended.
Penn State began the fourth period a man-up and quickly capitalized when Heim scored off a Gurenlian assist just :14 into the final period, cutting the Bucknell lead to 8-7. Whitaker would tie the game with an unassisted goal at the 12:31 mark, giving Penn State an 8-8 tie and all the momentum in the contest. Gurenlian would continue the Nittany Lion flurry with an unassisted goal at the 12:16 mark, taking the ball down the field after yet another won face-off and giving Penn State its first lead, 9-8, since scoring the game¡¯s first goal.
Heim scored Penn State¡¯s fifth straight goal, unassisted at the 11:22 mark, to give the Nittany Lions a 10-8 lead. After a Penn State penalty, Bucknell scored a man-up goal when Perry Menzies scored off a pass from Togneri, cutting the Lion lead to 10-9 with 9:53 to play in the game. Klett tied the game for Bucknell with 9:20 to play, scoring unassisted on another man-up opportunity.
After a time out, Penn State had a chance to take the lead, but turned the ball over with a turnover in the crease. Bucknell took over possession and with 2:49 left, took an 11-10 lead when Togneri scored unassisted from point-blank range. Trailing by one, Gurenlian won yet another face-off only to have Penn State turn the ball over. But a Tommy Zichelli (Severna Park, Pa.) gave Penn State possession with 1:36 left to play. After a timeout, Bucknell goalie Matt Baran stopped a hard Eremus shot to keep the Bison in front and give Bucknell possession. Bucknell kept possession for nearly the rest of the game, sealing the 11-10 upset win over the Nittany Lions.
Heim led Penn State with four goals while Boyle added two goals and one assist. Adams let 11 goals by, snapping a streak of four games giving up six goals or less. He had nine saves in the contest. Togneri ended the game with three goals and two assists. Baran ended the contest with 18 saves and nine ground balls, keeping Bucknell in the game and in the lead despite being out shot 44-28 by the Nittany Lions. Gurenlian ended the game with 15 ground balls and won an outstanding 19 of 24 face-offs.
Penn State falls to 6-4 overall (4-1 and co-leader in the ECAC). Bucknell improves to 6-7 overall (2-3 in the Patriot). The Nittany Lions will host Rutgers on Saturday in a critical ECAC Lacrosse League tilt. Action on Jeffrey Field begins at 12 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 10, Bucknell 11
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 47, BU 33 ¨C EMO: PSU 2-4, BU 3-4
SCORE BY QUARTERS: 1 2 3 4 F PENN STATE 2 1 3 4 10 BUCKNELL 2 3 3 3 11
RECORDS: Penn State 6-4 (4-1 ECAC), Bucknell 6-7 (2-3 Patriot)