No. 18 Men’s Lacrosse Tops Ohio State 6-5
Penn State took to Columbus on Sunday for the 2016 Big Ten opener. Despite Ohio State’s strong settle defense and emphasis on shooting volume, the Nittany Lions came out on top in a low-scoring affair 6-5. Sophomore goalie Will Schreiner closed out the game with a career-high of 15 saves.
How It Happened:
From the first faceoff, Penn State came out aggressive and took control of the possession battle. Dan Craig got on the board for Penn State with 13:53 left in the first. Penn State won the next faceoff and went charging down offensively. After three failed shots on goal, movement was switched to Ohio State’s offensive zone. With 9:07 left in the first quarter, Tripp Traynor was called for a cross check, giving Ohio State a man up opportunity. Ohio State tied up the game with 5:34 left in the quarter. Penn State responded less than two minutes later with an unassisted goal from Nick Spillane. Schreiner closed out the quarter with a huge save sending the Nittany Lions off with a 2-1 lead.
Penn State began the second quarter with momentum gained from the previous frame, and wasted little time adding to the lead. Less than a minute in, Aponte raised the score 3-1 off of a Sander’s assist. After an Ohio State save, goalie Tom Carey ran it down the field and took a shot. Scheiner came up with a crucial save and sent it back down. Penn State then called a timeout with 5:57 left in the half to regroup from Ohio State’s strong defense. Penn State added another to make it 4-1 with 2:34 left in the half after a Sutton goal from an Ament feed coming out of the timeout. Schreiner closed the half with seven saves for the Nittany Lions.
Ohio State opened the second half with possession. After numerous saves, Schreiner couldn’t hold on and the Buckeyes found the back of the net with 10:46 left in the third to make it 4-2. Less than 40 seconds later, Ohio State struck again making it a one-goal game. After a brief stalemate, Penn State pulled ahead 5-3 with 8:05 left in the third off of a Prestreau goal from a Kennan assist. After an Ohio State timeout with 2:01 left, the score held true at the end of the quarter.
With 12:37 left to play, Schreiner tied his career-high of 10 saves in a game. Ohio State found the back of the cage again with 9:40 remaining, making the score 5-4. Two minutes later, Schreiner set a new career high of 11 saves in a game just before Ohio State its first timeout of the quarter. The Buckeyes came out of the timeout with aggression and tied up the game 5-5 with 6:53 left to play. As the clock ticked down Schreiner held strong with a big save to give Penn State a crucial possession. Matt Florence got on the board for Penn State off of an Ament feed with 1:41 with a pivotal goal pulling ahead 6-5. A huge save from Schreiner with 20 seconds left to play solidified Penn State’s victory and raised the goalie’s total to 15 saves — a career milestone.
Player Of The Game:
Will Schreiner came up huge with a whopping career-high of 15 saves. Today’s performance earned him a save percentage of .75, topping his season percentage of .433. His exceptional performance against Ohio State’s high-octane offense was critical in the one goal victory over Ohio State. Most notably was his save in the last 20 seconds, stopping the game from going into overtime and giving Penn State possession to run out the clock. Schreiner definitely stepped up in the first Big Ten matchup of the young season.
Penn State will face Maryland in University Park on April 10. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.