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Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Makes Statement With Win Over Villanova

The 2019 season is already off to a completely different start for No. 9 Penn State men’s lacrosse (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) than the 2018 season. The Nittany Lions were dominant as they took down Villanova 17-7 in Holuba Hall on Saturday afternoon.

Last year’s team fell to the Wildcats 17-16 in overtime in its first game of the season, but this is not the same team. One noticeable change is the return of star redshirt junior attackman Grant Ament. After missing all of last season due to injury, Ament looked exactly like his old self as he posted a career-high 10 points — including three goals and seven assists — to lead the Nittany Lions to victory.

How It Happened

Although Penn State led from start to finish, the first five minutes of the game proved to be a challenge for the Nittany Lions. Missing senior captain Mike Aronow on defense, junior goalkeeper Colby Kneese made several saves to keep the Wildcats off the board to start the game.

Soon, the Nittany Lions would find their groove, though. The team’s first goal of the season came from redshirt junior attacker Dylan Foulds — his first of three on the day. Ament followed with a goal of his own, and then freshman attackman TJ Malone tacked on another with his first-career goal to give Penn State a 3-0 advantage. All three goals came within the span of about a minute. Although the Wildcats would score two goals in the first quarter, the Nittany Lions held a firm 5-2 lead heading into the second quarter.

Junior attackman Mac O’Keefe scored his first goal of the season to start the second quarter off strong for Penn State. By the end of the first half, Ament had added two more goals to give him a hat trick. This gave the Nittany Lions an 8-3 lead before halftime.

Penn State took complete control of the game at the start of the third quarter. The Nittany Lions scored four unanswered goals in a stretch of under two minutes to extend their lead to 12-3 and put the game away. Junior Gerard Arceri’s fourth quarter goal off of a face-off win was icing on the cake as Penn State ended up on top 17-7.

Takeaways

  • Penn State men’s lacrosse is a totally different team when Grant Ament is on the field. Practically everything Ament touched ended up as a score. The Doylestown, Pennsylvania native had a hand in 10 of the Nittany Lions’ 17 scores against Villanova.
  • Goalkeeper Colby Kneese made some crucial stops throughout, but especially to start the game for Penn State. He tallied a total of 19 saves against the Wildcats.
  • Freshman TJ Malone is the truth. In his first collegiate game, the freshman had a hat trick. Malone looks like he will play an important role in Penn State’s offense this year.
  • Penn State’s offense is dynamic. Quite frankly, the Nittany Lions can score whenever they feel like it. With Ament setting things up for his teammates, the sky is the limit for this offense. O’Keefe, Malone, and Foulds made the most of just about every opportunity they had.
  • Penn State is a serious title contender this year. The experience that this team boasts is almost unmatched and should prove to be an enormous advantage later in the season.

What’s Next

Penn State will host Robert Morris on Saturday, February 9 at 11 a.m. Weather permitting, the game would mark the team’s first time playing in the newly-renovated Panzer Stadium.

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About the Author

Navin Zachariah

Navin is just your average Dallas Cowboys fan from "right outside of Philly." A biology major, Navin hopes to one day cure the Cowboys of Jason Garrett. He is one of the select few who actually like The Chainsmokers. And if you see someone who looks exactly like him around campus, it could actually be his identical twin brother. Navin always trusts the process. Feel free to contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @nzach3.

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