It was an exhilarating weekend to be a Penn State Lacrosse fan. Both teams put up stellar performances and proved why both programs are forces to be reckoned with in the Big Ten. Let’s take a look.
No. 10 M. Lacrosse (11-2, 2-2) hosted Rutgers on Sunday evening for Senior Day. This game was a critical one for the Lions, who needed to win in order to cinch a Big Ten Tournament spot. And cinch it they did.
It was Ryan Keenan (Smithtown, N.Y.) of Penn State who began the scoring onslaught. After a two goals from Rutgers, freshman superstar Mac O’Keefe (Syosset, N.Y.) logged his 40th goal of the season to return the lead to Penn State. Kevin Hill (Webster, N.Y.) and O’Keefe each added a goal to end the first quarter in the Lions’ favor, 4-2.
Hill, Gerard Arceri (St. James, N.Y.), Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ontario), Mike Sutton (Sewell, N.Y.), and O’Keefe propelled the Lions on a 5-0 scoring run that gave the team a 9-4 advantage over the Scarlet Knights heading into halftime.
A standout performance by Colby Kneese (Dallas, Texas) in the third quarter meant Rutgers did not find the back of the net at all. Meanwhile, Craig, assisted by Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.) added a goal for the Lions while Hill contributed a goal as well. At the end of the third, Penn State led 11-4.
Rounding out the fourth and final quarter Hill and Grant Ament (Doylestown, Pa.) worked the Rutgers defense to contribute two more goals to the Blue and White’s impressive tally, while allowing Rutgers to get away with three more points on the board before the final whistle.
The men will compete against Michigan in Ann Arbor next Sunday at 2 p.m.
The No. 5 W. Lacrosse team (14-2, 4-1) also saw success, but not in the way of a win. Instead, the Lady Lions held their own against the legendary No. 1 Maryland team, and fell just short of a win, 16-14.
Senior Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.) also contributed two goals and three assists to the incredible effort put forth by the Blue and White.
At the end of the first half, the two teams were tied 6-6. A breakout 3-1 scoring run started by Kayla Brisolari (Crofton, Md.) ensured that Penn State did not head into the halftime trailing the Terps.
The second half was a series of back-and-forth leads that resulted in one of the most intense games yet for the fearless Lady Lions.
Senior goaltender Cat Rainone (Newtown Square, Pa.) made seven saves for the Lions in the second half, compared to the Terps’ single save.
At the end of the day, Penn State simply could not out-score Maryland in time for the final whistle. Eight goals were scored by the Lions, and ten by the Terps to grant Maryland a very close 16-14 win.
The team will head to Michigan this Sunday as well to face the Wolverines at 11 a.m. Good luck, ladies!