Penn State men’s lacrosse (2-0) traveled to Hobart this weekend for its first road trip of the season. A convincing first half was enough to pull off a 21-15 win despite a fierce late-game Hobart comeback effort.
How It Happened
A back-and-forth start gave way to a dominant Penn State performance in the first quarter. Nittany Lion senior Tyler Chambers struck first with 10:41 left in the quarter, but Hobart quickly answered to tie things up. Kevin Hill and Nick Spillane’s first goals of the season stole back a 3-1 Penn State lead, then Grant Ament made it 4-1. Hill struck again, and things were starting to look ugly for Hobart until it finally stopped the bleeding with a goal 22 seconds before the end of the quarter.
The second started with breakout freshman Mac O’Keefe‘s first (then second…then third) goal of the game. In the midst of him doing his thing, Hill got his third of the game, Hobart managed two points, and Keenan got on the board. It was 10-4 Penn State at the end of the half.
Ament netted two in a row to start the third. Hobart’s best run of the game came after a mid-quarter timeout — four Statesmen goals cut Penn State’s lead to 14-9 with 2:08 left. The Nittany Lions answered with Dan Craig’s first of the season, but Hobart persisted with two follow up goals for a 15-11 score at the end of the third.
The momentum shift here was palpable. Hobart had the quarter-opening goal for the first time all game, then another. Penn State had to slow down and give defense a breather. It finally did that and got on the board after some possession and a Hobart turnover with Hill’s fourth for a 16-13 lead. The Nittany Lions got past panic mode and cruised to a 21-15 victory over the Statesmen.
- Freshman Mac O’Keefe has 11 goals in two games…I don’t even have any commentary on this, I’m just going to let it happen.
- The way a team handles adversity early on says a lot about its post-season chances, in my opinion. Although Penn State let Hobart embark on a second-half comeback, it managed to slow down and focus on possession to snag the win.
Penn State is back at home next Saturday to face Cornell. The first faceoff is at 12 p.m.