No. 12 Men’s Lacrosse Dominates Second Half In 15-8 Win Against Hobart
No. 12 Penn State (1-1) hosted the Hobart Statesmen (0-1) in Holuba Hall on Saturday following a heartbreaking 17-16 loss to Villanova in the season opener.
It was a tail of two halves for the Nittany Lions. Penn State came out strong, scoring three unanswered goals to start the first quarter, but Hobart caught fire and stuck around throughout the first half. The Nittany Lions entered the second half trailing 7-6 before scoring seven unanswered goals. Mac O’Keefe tallied five goals and one assist as Penn State nearly doubled Hobart’s score, winning 15-8.
How It Happened
Penn State showed dominance early, scoring twice within the first two minutes. Mac O’Keefe found the back of the net first followed immediately by Matt Donnelly’s first on the day. The Nittany Lions forced multiple turnovers, as they refused to let the Statesmen make anything of their first four possessions. O’Keefe added his second goal of the game, making it 3-0 with 9:02 left in the first quarter.
Just as the game looked to be the makings of a blowout, Hobart rallied back with three consecutive goals. The Statesmen scored their fourth consecutive goal thanks to Chris Aslanian’s second in a row, taking their first lead of the game, 4-3. Penn State’s Ryan Keenan stopped the Hobart rally with his sixth goal of the season, notching the game at 4 before the end of the first quarter.
Penn State’s Kevin Hill scored to open up the second quarter, his first on the day after assisting on both of the O’Keefe goals in the first. Hobart’s Aslanian answered quickly with his third goal on the day, retying the score at 5 with 11:38 to go.
The Statesmen then capitalized on a man advantage with 7:38 left in the quarter, as Ty Yanko scored to give Hobart a one point lead. After five scoreless minutes, Hobart scored it’s third in a row to push its lead to 7-5 with 3:27 left on the clock. With 7.1 seconds left in the half, Ryan Keenan added his second goal of the game to narrow the margin. The Nittany Lions headed into halftime trailing 7-6.
The second half got off to a much slower start than the first, as it took slightly over half of the third quarter for either team to score. Penn State scored first on Donnelly’s second on the game with 7:20 left in the third. The Nittany Lions proved that when it rains it pours, scoring their second and third goals of the quarter to regain a 7-9 lead with 6:00 left in the third. Nick Spillane and Dylan Foulds were the goal scorers for the blue and white.
Penn State’s Robby Black also got in on the action with the Nittany Lions’ fourth unanswered goal with 4:00 remaining in the quarter. The junior’s goal pushed the lead to 10-7 where it would stay for the rest of the quarter.
Penn State opened the final quarter of play with a quick goal, as Hill tallied his second of the day with 13:30 left in the game. With 10:35 on the clock, O’Keefe scored his hat trick goal, the Nittany Lions’ seventh unanswered, to push the lead to 12-7. Penn State was happy to let the clock wind down on some long possessions before O’Keefe added his fourth goal on the day with 4:o0 left on the clock. The Nittany Lions and Statesmen exchanged goals before O’Keefe found the back of the net yet again.
Penn State notched its first win of the season, with a final score 15-8.
Player Of The Game
Mac O’Keefe | Sophomore | Attacker
O’Keefe posted five goals and one assist as the Nittany Lions rolled Hobart 15-8, providing a bulk of the offensive production for Jeff Tambroni and Co.
The Nittany Lions are back in action next Saturday, February 17 at 2 p.m. as they hope to keep the winning going against Stony Brook. Rumor has it the game may be played outside, weather permitting.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story noted the game’s final score was 16-8. The final score of the game was 15-8. We apologize for this error.