Despite Early Lead, Penn State Lacrosse Falls To No. 5 Denver
In what was an initially Penn State-dominated game, the Lions fell 10-8 to No. 5 Denver on Saturday at Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y. Penn State goalie Connor Darcey made 14 saves on the day, but the Pioneers gained late-game momentum. Penn State will open Big Ten play with a 3-5 record vs Ohio State next Sunday.
How It Happened
Although Denver outshot Penn State 20-16 in the first half, Penn State was able to capitalize offensively and Darcey made highlight-reel worthy saves on the defensive end. Transition offense also helped the Lions with possession, and Penn State led Denver 6-4. Penn State’s T.J. Sanders and Mike Sutton each netted two goals.
In the second half, Denver was able to let their better outside shooters leak to the outside, which frustrated the Penn State defense. Still, the Lions entered the fourth quarter with a 7-6 lead. Denver gained immediate momentum in the final quarter, with a goal 34 seconds in to tie the game. Connor Cannizzaro scored two in a row, giving Denver a 10-7 lead. Penn State’s Nick Aponte tried to shift the momentum with a goal at 2:55 left to play, but it simply was not enough. No. 5 Denver defeated Penn State 10-8.
Player of the Game
Goalie Connor Darcey is quickly filling former Penn State superstar Austin Kaut’s shoes. He had 14 saves on the game, which is even more impressive considering No. 5 Denver has one of the best offenses in the nation. Perhaps even more important than the volume of the saves was the manner of them and when they occurred. He produced highlight play after highlight play. His goaltending is going to be crucial for the Nittany Lions this season, especially headed into Big Ten play next weekend.
Penn State enters Big Ten play at home next weekend vs Ohio State at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 29. No. 17 Buckeyes are 7-2, while the Nittany Lions are 3-5.
Photo: Mark Selders/GoPSUsports.com