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No. 19 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Falls To No. 3 Maryland 17-10

No. 19 Penn State men’s lacrosse (2-5) fell to No. 3 Maryland (7-0) 17-10 Saturday afternoon.

Despite a third-quarter comeback, which included a Mac O’Keefe hat trick, the Nittany Lions weren’t able to escape Maryland’s onslaught of goals.

Sloppy defensive play and 18 turnovers really harmed the Nittany Lions, and they weren’t able to find the momentum they needed until it was too late.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions opened the scoring early in the period when Jackson Reynolds got a beautiful shot, coming from the X and diving out in front of the goal at 12:46.

Maryland attempted to tie the game, and launched some high-quality shots at Kneese’s net. Over six minutes later, the Terrapins finally broke through, with Logan Wisnauskas evening the score, making it a 1-1 tie game.

Two minutes later, Wisnauskas gave the Terrapins a 2-1 lead, shooting the ball right past Kneese. TJ Malone, assisted by Mark Sickler,  responded to Wisnauskas’ goal moments later, finding a break in the Terrapins defense and tying the game 2-2.

Under two minutes remaining in the frame, Maryland’s Bubba Fairman gave the Terrapins the lead once again, making it a 3-2 game.

After a lively first quarter, the second started off with a goal from Maryland’s Griffin Brown, giving the Terrapins the first two-goal lead of the game. The Nittany Lions called a timeout after the goal, hoping to regroup and reset the squad.

Maryland’s Jared Bernhardt scored with under 10 remaining in the period, giving the Terrapins a 5-2 lead. Just over a minute later, the Terrapins Jack Koras scored again for the Terrapins. Trailing by four, the Nittany Lions’ Sickler responded to the Terrapins’ four goals, closing Maryland’s lead to 6-3.

Due to a Maryland team penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Nittany Lions went on the man advantage.

16 seconds later, Jack Kelly, assisted by Sickler, closed the gap even further to 6-4 with just over seven minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Wisnauskas responded to Kelly’s goal just over a minute later, upping Maryland’s lead to 7-4.

Under three remaining in the frame, Kyle Long gave the Terrapins a 8-4 lead. A moment later, Bernhardt scored again for the Terrapins, making it a 9-4 game. All three of these goals came from Penn State’s defensive breakdowns, and with skilled attackmen, Maryland was able to create something off of the dodge. 

The floodgates were open for Maryland, and Penn State took another timeout with 25 seconds remaining in the quarter.

With one second remaining in the period, Bernhardt capitalized off of Penn State’s 11th turnover of the game and made it a 10-4 game.

The third quarter began with back to back goals from Fairman and Daniel Maltz, giving Maryland a 12-4 lead early in the third frame.

Bernhardt scored again just over a minute later, making it 13-4 Maryland before the match’s ten-minute mark.

With just over 11 minutes remaining in the third, Bobby Burns went down with an injury and did not return to the game. 

Responding to the onslaught of goals, Reynolds scored for the Nittany Lions, cutting the Terrapins large gap to 13-5. John Geppart gave the Nittany Lions a man advantage due to an interference call.

Mac O’Keefe was able to capitalize on a Nittany Lions’ man-up, assisted by Jack Traynor, to make it a 13-6 game.

Moments later O’Keefe found the back of the net again, making it a 13-7 game. The Nittany Lions were finally breaking through the ice.

Bernhardt launched a rocket past Kneese, widening the Terrapins’ lead to 14-7 with 5:23 remaining in the frame.

With under two minutes remaining in the frame, Mac O’Keefe, assisted by TJ Malone, got a third-quarter hat trick, cutting into Maryland’s 14-8 lead.

Penn State went on the man advantage due to a cross-check from Maryland’s Griffin Brown. Under a minute later O’Keefe gave Maryland its first man advantage of the game on a slashing call. Both penalties came and went uneventfully, and a back-and-forth third quarter ended.

The final frame began with two goals from the Terrapins before the 10-minute mark. Maltz scored under three minutes into the period, and Wisnauskas scored again just over a minute later, giving Maryland a 16-8 lead.

Maryland dominated. the fourth quarter. Koras scored for the Terrapins again, giving them a 17-8 lead over the Nittany Lions.

With 1:30 remaining, Traynor, assisted by Sickler, cut into Maryland’s lead. Moments later Mac Costin, assisted by TJ Malone, scored his first goal of the season and first career goal. The high-scoring, eventful game ended with a 17-10 win for Maryland.

Key Takeaways

  • Turnovers continue to be a major issue for the Nittany Lions, as Maryland capitalized on many of them for scores. The Terrapins are known for being a high-scoring team, and the Nittany Lions essentially handed them the win. With 18 turnovers made throughout the game, if Penn State doesn’t find a way to curb this issue more losses like this one can be expected.
  • It was clear at halftime that Penn State was starting fo fall apart in this one. While not many teams are able to keep up with Maryland’s scoring abilities, the Nittany Lions were not able to even find the momentum to fight back, despite two timeouts. With two periods remaining, seeing the Nittany Lions lose momentum is not a good sign. Even against lower scoring teams, the blue and white also needs to find a way to not let bad go to worse. Despite a third-quarter comeback, had they done so much earlier, they might have had the ability to steal the game.
  • In games like this especially, it’s clear how large Grant Ament’s absence has hit the Nittany Lions. Despite having many great pieces on their roster, none have been able to step up to the plate and fill the gap Ament left. While there are obvious defensive issues, the team is lacking a stand-out goal scorer and offensive quarterback to take Ament’s place.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions face Rutgers at noon Saturday, April 10 back home in Panzer Stadium. The game will be broadcast on BTN+.

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About the Author

Acacia Aster Broder

Acacia is a junior from Philadelphia majoring in digital and print journalism with a sports certificate. Although she considers herself a Philadelphian at heart, she is a Toronto and Seattle sports fan. Follow her on Twitter @acaciaaster or Instagram @acaciaastr for hockey takes and mediocre analysis.

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