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Penn State Lacrosse Could Be Latest Team To Start Historic Run In Philadelphia

The Nittany Lion faithful plans to White Out the Linc in its invasion of Philadelphia this weekend while supporting Penn State men’s lacrosse in the Final Four against Yale.

Head coach Jeff Tambroni has led Penn State through what’s been a dream season that has included a No. 1 ranking and the program’s first NCAA tournament win. This weekend, it has its sights set on another first. Its first NCAA title.

With a large showing from Penn State’s “just outside of Philly” crowd expected, it’s hard not to draw parallels between this year’s lacrosse team and a couple of other Nittany Lion teams that have used the City of Brotherly Love as a launching pad to sustained success.

Although the agonizing 2015 opener at Temple will forever taint Penn State’s track record in Philly, a quasi-home field advantage was only the start of long runs of success for the football and wrestling teams — something Tambroni’s team can only hope to replicate this weekend.

1959 and 1960 Liberty Bowls

Rip Engle led the Nittany Lions to two Liberty Bowl wins at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium in 1959 and 1960. Penn State’s first bowl victory ever came against Alabama by a score of 7-0. The Nittany Lions finished that season with a 9-2 record and ranked No. 12 in the nation.

In 1960, the Nittany Lions dominated Oregon 41-12 in Philly. Engle’s squad finished with a 7-3 record and was ranked No. 16 in the nation. Since winning their first two bowl games in the City of Brotherly Love, the Nittany Lions have gone on to win 27 more, including two national titles. Their 29-16-2 bowl record is the tenth best in college football.

Although it will be in a different stadium and playing a completely different sport, we’ll see if Penn State’s high-powered offense can come anywhere near that 1960 mark of 41 points. We aren’t expecting it, but with Grant Ament and Mac O’Keefe, anything can happen.

2011 Wrestling NCAA Championships

Cael Sanderson began his dynasty as Penn State wrestling’s head coach back 2011 in Philly. He led the Nittany Lions to their first of eight national championship’s over the next nine years at the Wells Fargo Center. Although wasn’t the first national title in Penn State wrestling history, it was the first in nearly 60 years.

The team was led by All-American wrestlers Frank Molinaro, David Taylor, and Quentin Wright, among others. The Nittany Lions’ win was the start of the most dominant athletic dynasty in Penn State history and one of the greatest of all time in college athletics.

Could Philadelphia offer the same start of consistent success for Tambroni and his squad? We’ll find out this Memorial Day Weekend.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a junior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]


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