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No. 12 Penn State Lacrosse Dominated By Johns Hopkins 13-6 In Offensive Struggle

No. 12 Penn State men’s lacrosse (1-3) dropped an ugly contest on the road Saturday against Johns Hopkins (2-2) 13-6.

Jeff Tambroni’s squad scored two pretty goals to open the matchup, but it was all Blue Jays from there. The Nittany Lions went without a shot in the entirety of the third quarter as Johns Hopkins outscored them 7-0 in the period

A fourth quarter push by Penn State was too little too late as the Blue Jays had developed a massive lead in the final minutes.

How It Happened

The game opened up with a Mac O’Keefe goal, as he now inches to two away from 200 career scores. That was followed by a TJ Malone goal with just under 12 minutes left in the first quarter as the Nittany Lions got their offense going early.

Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Nittany Lions, as they ended up with three early on. It didn’t take Johns Hopkins very long to strike back with a goal three minutes later by Cole Williams.

The Nittany Lions poor passing cost them multiple times throughout the first quarter, especially on a man-up advantage at eight minutes left in the quarter.

At just under six minutes left in the quarter, Jack Keogh scored his third goal of the season, tying up the game at two a piece.

Joey Epstein has dominated all season for the Blue Jays and continued to do that stay hot goal number 11 on the season. That put Johns Hopkins up 3-2 with about four minutes left in the first quarter. A minute later, Connor DeSimone gave the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead as they quickly scored four unanswered.

Needing to change the way this game was going, the Nittany Lions gave it their best shot on offense to close to quarter but were unsuccessful, unable to get past the Johns Hopkins defense.

To start off the second quarter, the Nittany Lions had a great offensive possession as Jack Kelly scored off a TJ Malone rebound to shorten the lead to 4-3.

Just when the Nittany Lions thought they were making a comeback, DeSimone scored his second goal of the game.

Throughout the second quarter, Penn State kept shooting itself in the foot with ugly passes, causing turnovers at the worst possible time in several cases.

After Johns Hopkins pushed Gerald Filardi, Penn State was awarded a man-up, but the Nittany Lions turned the ball over right away. As Johns Hopkins got back to full strength, DeSimone added yet another goal, giving him a hat-trick on the day andputting the Blue Jays up 6-3.

Jacob Angelus gave Johns Hopkins a 7-3 lead less than 40 seconds into the third quarter. Angelus took a hit following his goal, giving Johns Hopkins a man-up for a full two minutes. The Penn State defense came up large during the man-up, taking over possession before it ended.

Unfortunately as the Nittany Lion offense attempted to find their groove, yet another turnover happened on a dropped pass which led to a a goal by Epstein, adding onto the Blue Jays’ lead.

A fast break led to a great opportunity for Penn State but, like clockwork, it was halted by a turnover. Cole Williams scored his second goal of the game while falling down, expanding the Johns Hopkins lead to 9-3.

More than halfway through the third quarter, Penn State still didn’t even have a shot as it just could not stop the Blue Jays’ offense all game.

Another two Johns Hopkins’ goals by Alexander Mabbett and Cole Williams gave the Blue Jays a 12-3 advantage. The entire third quarter felt like one long possession for the Blue Jays.

A turnover on a pass for the Nittany Lions offense led to yet another Johns Hopkins goal by DeSimone as this game turned into a runaway game for the Blue Jays.

Ten seconds into the fourth quarter, Penn State finally had its first shot of the second half and had a bit more energy. Two quick goals by Penn State shortened the lead to 13-5.

For the first time all game, there was a stretch in the fourth quarter where neither teams could get things going, giving the Nittany Lion defense a break. Mac O’Keefe scored goal number 199 with just under for minutes left in the game, making the score 13-6.

A Penn State penalty gave Johns Hopkins a man-up with two minutes left to go in the game, but luckily the Nittany Lion defense disrupted the advantage.

In the end, the Blue Jays were just too much for Penn State as Johns Hopkins prevailed 13-6.

Takeaways

  • The Nittany Lions’ passing continued to cost them just as it has in previous games. Turnovers have been a major issue with this team and they must clean up their passes if they want to take advantage on offense. In the first half alone, Penn State had nine turnovers, more than double Johns Hopkins. Jeff Tambroni and his team are only hurting themselves and need to figure out how to clean up their game.
  • Despite the two early goals to start off the contest, the Nittany Lion offense looked slow and struggled to even get a shot off because of all the turnovers. Penn State needed Mac O’Keefe and TJ Malone to step up more like they did last game, but the offense was nowhere to be found in general. Malone has the potential to be a player of as much importance as Grant Ament for Mac O’Keefe, but they have yet to put that together on offense.
  • To put it simply, Connor DeSimone dominated the first half for the Blue Jays while Joey Epstein dominated the second half. The Blue Jays players clearly came to play. Although Penn State goalie Colby Kneese did all he could to stop every goal, even collecting his 600th save, the Blue Jays’ players were too much for him and the Penn State defense.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions face Michigan Saturday, March 20 at 12 p.m. in Ann Arbor.

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About the Author

Katie Braun

Katie is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from "just outside of Philly" like every other Penn Stater. Her only trait is being a huge fan of both the Sixers and Eagles. Unfortunately, lots of frustration comes along with that. Share your tears with her on Twitter @katiebraunn or Instagram @katiebraunn

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