FEATURE: Nittany Lions Fall to UMass, Reflect On Season
May 6, 2011
By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
After leading 4-1 at halftime, the Nittany Lions gave up seven goals in the third quarter. UMass capitalized on Penn State's violations at the face off and failed clearing attempts to secure an 8-6 lead heading in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, junior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) scored a man-up goal to bring Penn State within one goal of Umass. Less than a minute later, Minuteman Art Kell scored his fourth goal of the game to extend the lead back to two goals.
Sophomore midfielder Kyle Van Thof (Penfield, N.Y.) and Forster each tallied their second goals of the game to tie the score 9-9. Despite last minute efforts by UMass's Anthony Biscardi, the game remained tied at the end of regulation.
Penn State's Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) won the overtime draw, but the Nittany Lions generated only one shot and failed to score.
UMass' Biscardi scored the game-winning goal with 2:23 remaining in the overtime period to secure the Minutemen's bid to the CAA Conference Championship game. UMass will return home to take on Delaware in Amherst, Mass. on Saturday.
Penn State finished the season 7-7 overall, including a win over No. 16 UMass earlier in the season. The Nittany Lions finished 4-3 in the conference and earned a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament in only their second year competing in the CAA.
Penn State was led all season by a strong combination of veteran upperclassman and talented underclassman. Freshman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) finished the season with 34 points, leading all Nittany Lions. He scored 18 goals and tallied 16 assists on the year.
Junior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) led the Nittany Lions in goals with 20. He added 10 assists for 20 points this season.
Henneghan led Penn State in ground balls, picking up 71 on the year. Henneghan finished the season 139-266 for a .523 winning percentage at the face off.
Freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) finished the year with a 7.90 goals against average and a .635 save percentage.
The Nittany Lions will graduate 11 seniors this spring, but the team is poised to make another CAA Conference Championship run under the guidance of Mackrides, Ryan McGarvey (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.), Ryan Link (Englewood, Colo.) and David Baker (Havertown, Pa.).
Though this will be a small group of seniors, these players have already made significant contributions to the Penn State men's lacrosse program.
Coach Jeff Tambroni and his staff will also welcome their first recruiting class to campus next fall. Expect the Nittany Lions to again rely on veteran upperclassman and talented underclassman as they try to earn a bid to the NCAA postseason tournament next year.