No. 14 Men’s LAX Falls To No. 17 Johns Hopkins In Overtime 12-11
Men’s lacrosse faced off against Johns Hopkins on Faceoff Against Cancer night, and the energy around the field was palpable. Despite the tough battle and clutch goals coming from Penn State’s offensive front, the Nittany Lions fell short 12-11 in overtime in front of a Big Ten-record 2,708 fans.
How It Happened
Johns Hopkins held the faceoff advantage throughout, and it showed one the scoreboard early on. After two huge saves from Will Schreiner, Hopkins managed to sink one past him less than four minutes left into the game. The Blue Jays defense was relentless in shutting down Penn State’s shooting lanes. Hopkins raised the score 2-0 with 9:07 left in the first quarter after Penn State’s numerous attempts to sneak one through. Hopkins continued its offensive domination by notching two more at 6:59 and then at 6:16 left in the quarter, making it a 4-0 game. After a huge Schreiner save and an Aponte turnover, the junior avenged his mistake and got on the board to make it 4-1 with 4:57 left in the quarter. Aponte came up huge again with .4 seconds left to close the quarter 4-2.
T.J. Sanders opened the second quarter by notching his first of the game one minute into the second quarter, making it a one goal game at 4-3. After a personal foul on Ryan Keenan, Hopkins capitalized on its man-up situation turning the score 5-3 with 8:13 left in the half. With only a few seconds left on the shot clock, Dan Craig made it a one-score game off an assist from Grant Ament with 4:36 left in the quarter. Less than a minute later, Hopkins responded to take a 6-4 advantage over the Nittany Lions. With 1:08 left in the half, Sanders found the back of the net after an assist from Kevin Hill. Penn State closed out the half trailing 6-5.
Hopkins opened up the second half with a goal less than two minutes in raising the score 7-5. Schreiner came up big with a save from the ground that led to a Spillane goal from a Hill assist with 11:04 left in the third quarter. inching the Lions closer trailing 7-6. There was stalemate for the majority of the quarter until Spillane tied up the game off an assist from Keenan with 10 second left in the period.
Johns Hopkins started off strong in the fourth quarter with a goal less than a minute into play making the score 8-7 in the visitors’ favor. Even after two quick saves from Schreiner, Hopkins furthered their lead 9-7 with 8:58 left to play. After a Penn State timeout, Aponte collected a hat trick with 8:41 left to play after a five-hole shot making the score 9-8. Dan Craig kept the momentum going and tied the game 9-9 with 7:28 left after two well executed face dodges. After the goal, Hopkins called a timeout, and cheers from the hill boomed over the field. Out of the timeout James Chakey was called on a technical giving Hopkins the man-up advantage. The Blue Jays capitalized and took a 10-9 with 5:51 left in regulation, only to quickly add another.
Aponte then closed the gap 11-10 off an assist from Sutton with 3:47 left in regulation. A huge save from Schreiner with just over two minutes left to play set up Matt Florence for the equalizer with 28 seconds in regulation. After another massive save from Schreiner in the last seconds of regulation, the game went into overtime tied at 11-11.
After an initial Hopkins possession, Penn State was able to gain control of the ball but found itself on the defensive after a blocked shot. Hopkins regained possession and called a timeout with 2:19 left in the first overtime period. The Blue Jays found the back of the net after a timeout to seal a 12-11 victory in front of the largest crowd the field has ever seen.
Player Of The Game
After four goals at clutch times, Nick Aponte proved himself to be a true offensive threat with a high lacrosse I.Q. The majority of his shots were wisely placed and he was able to make good choices with working the ball around offensively. His quick ball movement and ability to see the field made him a threat to continuously find the back of the net.
The Nittany Lions will continue their Big Ten competition and travel to Piscataway to face Rutgers Friday at 8 p.m.