No. 12 Men’s Lacrosse Loses First Game Of The Season To Villanova In Overtime
No 12. Penn State (0-1) was unable to stop Villanova’s (1-0) fourth quarter momentum, losing 17-16 in overtime. After taking a 14-9 lead into the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lions were down one goal with under a minute to go until Kevin Hill was able to score a clutch goal with 58 seconds to go to send the game to overtime. Less than two minutes into overtime, Villanova’s John Kluh scored to end the game and give the Nittany Lions their first loss of the season.
How It Happened
After dominating possession of the ball early, Penn State was finally able to get a shot in the net. Junior Matt Donnelly scored the first goal of the season for the Nittany Lions 5:08 into the game. The Nittany Lions doubled their lead with 7:23 left in the quarter off of a Ryan Keenan unassisted goal.
Villanova scored its first goal of the season with 5:36 left in the quarter to decrease their deficit to one goal. Christian Cuccinello got the Wildcats on the board with his unassisted goal, followed by another Villanova goal to tie it 2-2 with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
The Nittany Lions and Wildcats traded goals to end the quarter. Ryan Keenan scored his second goal of the game with 3:08 left in the quarter, followed by Christian Cuccinello’s second of the game with 1:12 left in the quarter. The teams ended the first quarter tied 3-3.
Keenan got the first hat-trick for the Nittany Lions this season with his third unassisted goal of the game 1:47 into the second quarter.
Villanova’s Keegan Khan brought the game to a 4-4 tie 2:16 into the quarter. The Wildcats took their first lead of the match with 11:33 left in the quarter with Cuccinello’s third goal of the game. Penn State’s Jack Kelly scored with 10:46 left in the half to tie the game 5-5 with an assist from Nick Spillane.
Villanova retook the lead, but Penn State was able to even the score once again with a Jack Kelly goal 5:47 left in the half. Ryan Keenan’s fourth goal of the game gave the Nittany Lions a 7-6 lead heading into halftime.
Last year’s freshman-phenom Mac O’Keefe was kept in check most of the first half by Villanova’s 6-5 defenseman Zachary Kryza, but Penn State’s Gerald Arceri dominated the faceoffs in the first half.
Villanova scored the first goal of the second half to tie the match 1:55 into the third quarter. Penn State’s Nick Spillane answered with a goal of his own to retake the lead, but Villanova tied it 13 seconds later.
Ryan Keenan’s fifth goal of the game, followed by Kevin Hill’s first goal of the season gave the Nittany Lions a 10-8 advantage with 9:31 left in the third quarter.
Following a Villanova goal, Mac O’Keefe scored twice, Kevin Hill scored his second of the game, and Robby Black found the back of the net off an assist from Keenan to end the third quarter with a Nittany Lion 14-9 advantage.
Villanova scored 7 goals in the final quarter leading to 16-15 advantage with under a minute to play until Kevin Hill’s shot got past the Villanova’s goalkeeper to tie the game 16-16 with 58.8 seconds left in regulation.
Villanova’s 5-4 midfielder John Kluh ended the match 1:50 into overtime, handing Penn State a 0-1 record to start the season.
Player Of The Game
Ryan Keenan | Senior | Midfielder
Ryan Keenan scored 5 goals and assisted on another 2 goals in the Nittany Lions overtime loss to Villanova.
Penn State will take on Hobart next Saturday, February 10 at 1 p.m. in University Park.