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No. 2 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Defeats No. 6 Penn 18-17 In Overtime Thriller

No. 2 Penn State men’s lacrosse (4-1) escaped Philadelphia with a close18-17 victory over No. 6 Penn (1-2) in overtime Saturday afternoon.

Mac O’Keefe and Jack Traynor both led the team with four goals. O’Keefe’s final score wound up being the game-winning goal in overtime.

How It Happened

Jack Kelly kicked off the day with the first goal of the game 15 seconds in. Grant Ament got the assist on that goal — his 22nd of the season. Traynor then joined the party to push the score to a 2-0 lead.

Penn was able to bounce back from its slow start, however, as it scored four unanswered goals to take the lead. The Nittany Lions weren’t able to come up with any sound defense to stop the Quakers.

With five minutes left in the quarter, Cole Willard scored his first goal of the season and stopped Penn’s run from getting out of hand. Kelly then quickly evened up the score with his second goal of the game, which happened to be a no-look trick shot. O’Keefe closed out the first period with a goal of his own to help Penn State take a 5-4 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second frame kicked off with a quick goal from Traynor, his second goal of the match. A strong set of defensive possessions led to practically zero offense for the first part of the quarter, but Ament broke the scoreless streak as he put the ball in the back of the net for his first goal of the game.

Penn was able to put up two more goals, stopping the Nittany Lions’ 5-0 run. Ament scored his second goal of the game to extend Penn State’s lead. His goal was the last goal of the quarter, as Penn State led 8-6 at the end of the first half.

Penn began the second half with a bang when it scored a goal four minutes into the third quarter. The Nittany Lions responded with a goal of their own, this time from Dylan Foulds.

The Quakers went on a 3-0 run in which they were able to take the lead for the first time since midway through the first quarter. Traynor got his third goal of the game to tie it up, but Penn scored in the final seconds of the third quarter to take an 11-10 lead.

Nick Cardile got the scoring going for Penn State in the fourth quarter, as the Nittany Lions tied up the game. TJ Malone then extended the lead with two goals of his own. However, Penn quickly tied the game again. O’Keefe came up clutch and took the lead with his second goal of the game for Penn State.

Foulds and O’Keefe scored a few goals, but Penn kept it close by staying down one. Traynor’s fourth goal of the game pushed the lead to two, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Penn an extra-man opportunity to make up the difference. The Quakers ended up tying the game 17-17 with 16 seconds left in the game, sending the match into overtime.

In the extra period, Mac O’Keefe fired off a goal to win the game 18-17. Jack Kelly got his first assist of the season off of O’Keefe’s score.

Takeaways

  • Faceoffs were an issue in the first half for Penn State. Penn won 12, while the Nittany Lions only took four. They even had to switch out Gerard Arceri from the faceoff spot because of how badly he was beaten by Penn’s Kyle Gallagher. If Penn State is going to compete in big games throughout conference play, it can’t afford to have this big of a disparity in faceoffs.
  • Let’s take a moment to appreciate Jack Kelly’s second goal for a minute. That was art. It was beautiful. The rebound, the no-look shot — it just all culminated into a beautiful moment that couldn’t have come at a better time for the Nittany Lions.
  • Mac O’Keefe is a talented player, folks. His four goals in today’s game were a huge factor in the Nittany Lions winning this game. With some things going wrong for the team, his offensive contributions helped to make up the difference today.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will head down to Charlotte, North Carolina to take on Cornell at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 8.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor," and yes mom, actually doing school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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