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Lions to Honor Seniors Saturday vs. No. 12 Hofstra

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April 24, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team will host 12th-ranked Hofstra for a Saturday showdown at Penn State Lacrosse Field. A Senior Day ceremony will take place at 11:40 a.m. before the teams square off for a Noon faceoff.

Game 13: April 26, 2014 • Noon • Penn State Lacrosse Field • University Park, Pa.
VENUEPenn State Lacrosse Field (Turf; 1,000)
SERIES RECORDHofstra leads 10-7
LAST MEETING4/27/13, PSU 16-7 (at Hofstra)
Penn State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

• Penn State celebrates the careers of 14 Nittany Lions for a Senior Day game vs. Hofstra
• Saturday's game is Penn State's final contest in the CAA before Big Ten lacrosse in 2015
• Hofstra represents PSU's 8th ranked opponent of the year; PSU is 3-4 in 2014
• The Nittany Lions and the Pride will meet for the 18th time
• PSU handled Delaware, 10-6, last week to win its second straight game
Austin Kaut had 14 saves and has allowed just 3 goals per game in his last two games
• Kaut is second in school history in saves (678), 16 behind Drew Adams (694)
Shane Sturgis led all scorers with 4 goals, 2 assists against the Blue Hens
• Sturgis is 5th all-time at Penn State with 155 points, needing 1 point to reach 4th
• Freshman duo Dan Craig and Mike Sutton have tallied 21 points in past 5 games
• PSU ranks 8th nationally in faceoff winning percentage led by Drake Kreinz (10th)
• Hofstra has won 10 of 11 games and clinched a share of the CAA regular season title

One of the hottest teams in the nation, No. 12 Hofstra (10-3, 4-0 CAA) has won 10 of its last 11 games, and already clinched a share of the CAA regular season title. Hofstra is on a six-game winning streak following an 11-6 away win over UMass. Reliant on strong goaltending, powerful defense and ball protection, the Pride have carved out four one-goal victories, while suffering only a single one-goal loss this season. In the past 10 games, Hofstra has conceded 10 goals or more just twice. Moreover, the Pride are 8-1 at home, winning its past eight games at Shuart Stadium, while the win at UMass evened Hofstra's away record at 2-2.

Hostra allows 8.46 goals per game anchored by goalkeeper Chris Selva (10-3), who has a .513 save percentage and 8.36 GAA. Senior starting defender Corey Caputo has 12 ground balls and six caused turnovers and he's helped by sophomore Finn Sullivan (21 GB, 13 CT), and freshman Stephen Satterthwaite (4 GB, 3 CT).

On offense, balance is Hofstra's strength with six scorers with 14 or more goals. Sam Llinares orchestrates the attach with his team leading 28 assists, which ranks fourth nationally on average (2.33). Fellow attackman Torin Varn has a team-high 26 goals and 30 points this season. The first midfield is one of the strongest in the country led by two-time reigning CAA Player of the Week Mike Malave (22 goals) who scored five times at UMass. Drew Coholan (19 goals) and Korey Hendrickson (15) round out a veteran six-man offense that includes senior Lance Yapor (14 goals).

At the X, freshman Kris Clarke has won 54.5 percent of the draws on 152 wins in 279 attempts. Clarke has taken all but three faceoffs this season, earning 68 ground balls to pace the Pride.

All-Time Series: 7-10
PSU Streak: 2 wins
First Meeting: 4/11/55, HOF 13-3
Last Meeting: 4/27/13, PSU 16-7
Last PSU Win: 4/28/12, 9-8 (2OT)
Last HOF Win: 4/30/11, 9-4
Largest PSU Win: 16-7 (4/27/13)
Largest HOF Win: 13-2 (4/7/58), 20-9 (4/26/80), 17-6 (3/10/90)
PSU at home vs. HOF: 3-3
PSU Goals vs. HOF: 133-177

4/27/13: W, 16-7 - A
4/28/12: W, 9-8 (2OT) - H
4/30/11: L, 4-9 - A
4/17/10: W, 11-10 (OT)- H
3/10/90: L, 6-17 - A

Four goals and two assists by senior Shane Sturgis helped the Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team defeat Delaware, 10-6, in front of a facility record of 1,425 fans on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Penn State Lacrosse Field.

Crisp passing and a 6-1 over the course of three quarters allowed Penn State (6-7, 2-2 CAA) to win back-to-back games for the first time since March 1. Eight of the 10 Nittany Lion goals were accompanied by assists as Sturgis notched his first six-point game since March 10 against Denver. Sturgis moved into fifth place all-time at Penn State with his six points (155) and is just one shy of fourth (156, Will Driscoll, 1999-2002).

Aiding the Nittany Lion onslaught was that of Dan Craig with four points on two goals and two assists. Senior goalkeeper Austin Kaut flashed some nifty stickwork en route to a 14-save game, placing him only 16 saves from the Penn State career record of 694 (Drew Adams, 2006-09). Kaut made seven saves in the final quarter to ward off a Delaware (6-8, 0-4 CAA) comeback.

Kaut's shutout streak came to an end 2:38 into the contest as Beau Jones put the Blue Hens up 1-0 early. Kaut held Towson scoreless over 58:47 last week and his shutout streak ended at 61:25.

The Nittany Lions would fight back 70 seconds later on a Mike Sutton fast-break goal assisted by Craig. Sutton was set up by Craig following a terrific play by Tyler Travis, who forced a turnover on the defensive end and sent an outlet pass to Craig. Travis finished the day with career highs in ground balls (7) and caused turnovers (4).

Redshirt-freshman Drake Kreinz would win the ensuing faceoff and race down the field to score his third of the year just six seconds later as Penn State doubled its lead to a pair, 3-1. Kreinz went 8-for-16 at the faceoff X against Delaware's Tyler Barbarich (11-for-20 overall), who came into the game ranked fourth nationally in win percentage.

Delaware went on a 3-1 run of its own to knot the score at four with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Travis would force a turnover of Keane as the Nittany Lions wound down the clock for a final shot. Craig tallied his eighth of the year on a Sutton offering to give Penn State a 5-4 lead into the break.

The Nittany Lions would open the third with four straight goals in the first six minutes. Craig streaked down the middle to put away a pass from Sturgis with 11:41 to go before Craig returned the favor and Sturgis registered his 12th career hat trick 13 seconds later for a 7-4 Penn State lead.

Senior Tom LaCrosse found his way onto the score sheet with a workmanlike effort, driving through traffic and bouncing one in past Conor Peaks (12 saves) for an 8-4 Penn State lead with 9:04 to play in the third.

After a UD goal, TJ Sanders would score on a Sturgis pass with the timer-on for a 9-4 lead entering the fourth quarter. Penn State's final tally of the day came from Sturgis with an underhanded rip assisted by Nick Aponte 2:29 into the final quarter.

Prior to Saturday's game against No. 12 Hofstra, Penn State will honor 14 Nittany Lions as part of Senior Day ceremonies. Twelve rostered members including senior tri-captains Gavin Ahern, Tom LaCrosse and Tyler Travis will be joined by graduate student Cole Yeager, will be joined by Steve Aitken, Steven Bogert, Kessler Brown, Austin Kaut, Ryan Mullen, Ryne Sternberg, Shane Sturgis and Kyle VanThof. Two student assistants Tim Golder and Brendan Nave will also take part of the presentation as those honorees will be joined by family members 20 minutes before the contest.

Penn State and Hofstra are two of the top defenses in the CAA, which coincides with two of the most disciplined teams in the conference. Overall, Hofstra is first in goals-against average (8.40), while Penn State is second (8.94). The teams are the two least penalized sqauds in the conference with the Nittany Lions earning 3.25 penalties per contest, while Hofstra commits 3.46 a game. Where the Pride have Penn State beat is in turnovers per game. Hofsra commits only 11.85 per game, which ranks fourth in the nation. On the flipside, Penn State causes the most turnovers (7.83 per game) in the conference.

Last season's Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award winner as the nation's top collegiate goalie, senior Austin Kaut, has caught fire over his past two gaems. In 118 minutes, 49 seconds, Kaut has conceded just six goals and saved 25 shots including a perfect 11-for-11 at Towson on April 12. Kaut's GAA is 3.03 in wins over Towson and Delaware, while his save percentage is .806. Currently, Kaut is the nation's active career leader in saves with 678 and during CAA play tops the charts in GAA (6.48), save percentage (.658) and tied for first in saves per game (13.0).

Austin Kaut will try to make history on Saturday in what could be his final collegiate contest. In net, Kaut ranks in second place all-time in saves with 678, needing 16 saves to catch Drew Adams (2006-09), who is the all-time saves leader with 694.

Offensively, Shane Sturgis holds onto sole possession of fifth all-time at Penn State in points scored with 155, just one off fourth place's Will Driscoll (1999-2002). If Sturgis can register two points on Saturday he'll have posted the most points by a Nittany Lion since Greg Jackson (1994-97). On the PSU career assists list, Sturgis is three assists behind Luke Oglesby (64, 2000-03) for ninth place. For goals, Sturgis is tied for 11th all-time with 94, needing one tally to catch John Chescavage (95, 1995-99), two goals to match Gary Alex (96, 1974-77) and Gary Martin (96, 1981-84) and three markers to reach seventh place and Jim Laverty (97, 1988-91).

Freshmen Dan Craig and Mike Sutton were largely silent during the first seven games of the year. In fact, the duo combined to score just five points on three goals and two assists through March 18. The offensive output has changed in the past five games, as the freshman pair have combined for 21 points on 15 goals and six assists. Craig has seven goals, five assists during the past five games, while Sutton has eight goals and an assist. Last weekend against Delaware, Craig matched his career high of four points with a two-goal, two-assist showing. Sutton had a goal and an assist vs. the Blue Hens.

Penn State once again features one of the toughest schedules in Division I lacrosse and No. 12 Hofstra will represent PSU's eighth ranked foe. Penn State is 3-4 this season against ranked teams according to the USILA Coaches Poll. In all, eight of Penn State's 13 opponents played were ranked when the game was played. PSU has faced No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 9 Denver, No. 11 Loyola, No. 14 UMass, No. 18 Albany, No. 19 Ohio State and No. 19 Towson. Currently, Loyola (No. 1), Denver (No. 5) and Notre Dame (No. 9) still rank in the top 10.

Penn State played its 215th game against a ranked opponent when No. 12 Hofstra visits this week. Following an 8-1 dismantling of Towson on April 12, Penn State now holds a 70-144 record against ranked teams. During Jeff Tambroni's tenure at Penn State the Nittany Lions have gone 9-13 with a 3-5 campaign in 2012, 4-4 showing in 2013 and 3-4 thus far in 2014. The Nittany Lions are 6-9 all-time against 12th-ranked teams.

Saturday's contest against Hofstra will represent Penn State's final game in the Colonial Athletic Association. Penn State can depart on a high note with a win, which would secure a fourth-straight winning season in the CAA.

The Nittany Lions, along with Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, Ohio State and Johns Hopkins, comprise the Big Ten's first foray into men's lacrosse for the 2015 season. Due to the Big Ten's formation in men's lacrosse, the CAA presidents voted to bar Penn State from its conference tournament, the first time an associate member has suffered from a conference by-law punishing league members for joining another conference. PSU's first season in the CAA was 2010 and 2014 is the fifth and final season.

Penn State's success last year revolved around the number 10: as in goals scored and goals allowed. When Penn State tallied 10 or more goals the Nittany Lions were 10-2. More importantly, when PSU allowed less than 10 goals, Penn State went an unblemished 11-0. All five losses came when allowing at least 10 goals and only once did Penn State yield more than 10 goals and earn victory (15-12 vs. Denver on Feb. 19). So far this year, Penn State is 6-2 when conceding less than 10 goals. Moreover, PSU is 0-4 this season when allowing more than 10 goals. PSU is 1-14 under Jeff Tambroni when allowing 10 or more goals.

A new face joined the ranks of Penn State's hat trick corps as Mike Sutton tallied a five-goal game at Drexel on April 5. His performance comes on the heels of two other Nittany Lions to join the list as Pat Manley and Dan Craig tallied their first career hat tricks against Albany three weeks ago. TJ Sanders and Shane Sturgis top the PSU list with 12 hat tricks apiece, followed by Tom LaCrosse (3), Kyle VanThof (2), Gavin Ahern (2), Kyle Baier (1), Steve Aitken (1), Craig, Manley and Sutton.

TJ Sanders 12
Shane Sturgis 12
Tom LaCrosse 3
Gavin Ahern 2
Kyle VanThof 2
Mike Sutton 1
Kyle Baier 1
Dan Craig 1
Pat Manley 1
Steve Aitken 1

The faceoff tandem of redshirt-freshman Drake Kreinz and graduate student Cole Yeager has been an effective combination against some of the top faceoff specialists in the country. Three weekends ago, Kreinz and Yeager teamed up to take 19 of 30 draws against Drexel, who featured Nick Saputo, who came into the weekend as CAA Player of the Week and fourth nationally in faceoff win percentage. Saputo sputtered to a season-low 33 percent, winning just 6 of 18 faceoffs, against PSU.

As a team Penn State ranks eighth nationally in faceoff winning percentage (60.6) with Kreinz checking in 10th (131-212, 61.8 percent). Yeager has won 59.3 percent (35-59) of his draw attempts with 16 ground balls, while Kreinz has 68 pickups, which is good for 27th nationally (5.67 per game).




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