Both the men’s and the women’s lacrosse teams came away victorious from Ann Arbor this weekend after the two teams faced the Wolverines.
For the No. 10 men (12-2, 3-2), this game was a tight test of of two fierce Big Ten teams. Tied up for most of the game, Penn State finally edged out Michigan to claim victory in the second half of the game.
The first quarter was all about senior Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.). Aponte not only gave the assist to Matt Florence (Greenwood Village, Colo.) for the first goal of the game, but Aponte himself scored two goals along with Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ontario), who scored one.
Michigan opened up the second half by scoring and bringing them within one goal of tying up the game (4-3). Aponte brought the Wolverines’ deficit to two, and Craig also secured a goal, but not before Michigan was able to even the score out to 6-6 heading into halftime.
Knowing that coming out of the locker room and into the third half could be a crucial turning point for either team, the Nittany Lions opened with a goal that was quickly followed by two from freshman Mac O’Keefe (Syosset, N.Y.). Michigan stayed hot on the trail, tying the game 9-9 at one point. Aponte, O’Keefe, and Kevin Hill (Webster, N.Y.) rallied to post three goals and propel Penn State to 12 points as Michigan scored one more goal before the end of the quarter.
O’Keefe started out the fourth quarter on the right note by adding another goal to the freshman’s season. Michigan fired right back, but Penn State only used that as fuel to go on a four-goal scoring spree with contributions from Aponte and Craig. Michigan tried desperately to catch up, but the 17-13 score held in the Lions’ favor for yet another successful Blue and White win.
The men will open their Big Ten Tournament play against No. 1 Maryland in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, May 4, with a time yet to be announced.
The No. 5 women (15-2, 5-1) also came away from their trip to Ann Arbor with another win under their belts.
Continuing with her amazing season, junior Katie O’Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) notched five of the 17 goals scored by the Lions en route to a 17-10 victory over the Wolverines.
Other Nittany Lion offensive players also logged multiple sets of goals.
Senior powerhouse Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.), Maggie Gallagher (Bel Air, Md.), Madison Carter (Davidsonville, Md.), and freshman Maria Auth (Street, Md.) all recorded two goals apiece for a total of eight goals.
Senior goalie Cat Rainone (Newtown Square, Pa.) continued her trend of excellence in goal by stopping 11 shots during this contest.
The women also head into the Big Ten Tournament this week, facing No. 15 Northwestern on Friday, May 5th in College Park, Maryland with an 8:30 p.m. draw.
Best of luck to both teams as they head into tournament play!