Men’s Lacrosse Falls 16-9 To Maryland In A Season Ender
Men’s lacrosse traveled to Baltimore to take on the Maryland in the first game of the Big Ten Tournament. After being out-shot, out-saved, and out-hustled, No. 4 seeded Penn State suffered a season ending 16-9 loss to the No. 1 seed in Homewood Stadium. The tumultuous and highly exciting season has come to an end for the Nittany Lions.
How It Happened
Maryland started strong from the first faceoff and found the back of the net within the first two minutes of play. The Terps dominated the better part of the first quarter with six unanswered goals. Kevin Hill was the first to get on the board for Penn State at 4:30 off of an assist from Dan Craig making the score 6-1. Nick Aponte followed less than a minute later at 3:47 to raise the Nittany Lions to a 6-2 deficit.
T.J. Sanders opened the second half with a goal at 13:44 to make it a three goal game. Maryland then sank a doorstep goal and one off of Schreiner’s knuckles to raise the score 8-3. In less than two minutes, the Terps collected two more and raised their score to double digits with 4:36 left in the half. About a minute later assist leader Grant Ament notches a five hole goal making the score 10-4. Matt Florence continued the momentum at 2:25 making it 10-5 to close out the half.
After a half of rushed offensive movement and lag, Tambroni saw room for improvement. “I thought Maryland outsmarted us on the offensive end,” he told Big Ten Network coming out of the half time meeting.
Schreiner started off the half strong with two huge saves, one of which made some noise as it hit his shoulder. After an interception from senior defender James Burke, Aponte was the first to find the net in the second half at 8:21 to make the score 10-6. After two Maryland slashes, Penn State had a two man up advantage. Sutton was able to capitalize off an assist from Dan Craig at 7:31 to decrease the trailing 10-7. Maryland responded at 5:31, raising its lead 11-7. Then it went on to score three more to close the quarter 14-7.
Even with a man-up opportunity a few minutes into the final quarter, Penn State couldn’t capitalize. Defender Ryan Guittare got called for a slash, appearing to be emotionally charged, that led to a Maryland’s Matt Rambo collecting a hat trick at 8:42 making the score 15-7. Aponte responded with a top of the crease goal at 8:03 that made Penn State trail 15-8. He scored again off of a bounce shot less than a minute later to make the score 15-9. The Tewaaraton Award nominee notched his fourth consecutive game with four goals. As Schreiner stepped out of the net to act as an extra defender, Maryland collected the game’s last goal on an empty cage with 1:42 left in the game and finalized the score at 16-9.
Players Of The Game
Josh Wellman | FOGO | Sophomore
Wellman was a pivotal part in the Nittany Lion offense. He came in clutch by winning 16 out of 23 faceoffs taken. His relentless hustle gave many opportunities to the offense.
James Burke | LSM | Senior
The Wellman to Burke movement on faceoffs fueled offensive movement and allowed Penn State to score its nine goals despite falling by seven. Burke showed incredible hustle and defensive strength with aggressively collecting six ground balls, crucial for offensive opportunities. Burke’s hustle was true to the number he wore all season.
Chris Sabia | D | Freshman
Sabia saw the defensive zone in a very holistic manner and stepped up for double teams and slide when necessary. He forced Maryland’s aggressive offense to its outside hands and worked for ground balls. He even notched a save with his leg, protecting Schreiner from a dominant side low shot.
Despite Maryland’s high score, these three players exemplified incredible hustle and worked together to make as many offensive opportunities as possible.
Penn State’s season is over. Since it did not win the Big Ten Tournament, it doesn’t get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. With an 8-7 record, chances at Philadelphia are looking slim. The official NCAA “May Madness” bracket will be announced this Sunday. Great season, Nittany Lions.