Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Drops Second In A Row, Falls To No. 7 Rutgers 22-10
Penn State men’s lacrosse (2-6) couldn’t catch a break Saturday afternoon at Panzer Stadium as it lost to No. 7 Rutgers (6-3) 22-10.
Too little, too late was the theme for the Nittany Lions as they didn’t start putting it together on offense until the second half. Despite this, Penn State could never really make a dent in the lead after a strong first quarter by the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers’ offense was just too much to handle for the Penn State defense. The Nittany Lions made a goalie switch from Colby Kneese in the second quarter, but brought him back in the second half briefly before switching back to Aleric Fyock again in the fourth quarter.
How It Happened
The game opened up with back-to-back Rutgers possessions and it took full advantage, scoring two goals in a row. TJ Malone brought Penn State right back in the game the following possession, making it an early 2-1 Rutgers lead.
Sloppy play at midfield for the Nittany Lions led to a Scarlet Knight possession where Adam Charalambides scored the third goal of the game.
The Penn State defense struggled in yet another game as immediately following that goal, Bobby Russo scored to give Rutgers a 4-1 lead five minutes into the first quarter. The Nittany Lions took a timeout but Rutgers came out of the gates strong scoring a fifth goal in the quarter.
Mac O’Keefe attempted to inch closer to the all-time scoring record but couldn’t put together a sequence to lessen the lead. Rutgers was awarded a man-up advantage, but the Penn State defense was able to get a stop as goalie Colby Kneese had a few good saves.
Despite a hot start by the Scarlet Knights, the Penn State defense really made some good stops until a man-up advantage for Rutgers led to yet another goal, widening the lead to 6-1. Another goal at the end of the first quarter gave Rutgers a 7-1 lead to close an ugly quarter for the Nittany Lions.
Charalambides scored his second goal of the game to open up the second quarter. Penn State couldn’t take advantage of a man-up opportunity as it had some sloppy passing. About six minutes into the second quarter, Kieran Mullins scored back-to-back goals, giving Rutgers double-digits.
Finally, Penn State picked up some momentum late in the second quarter with two goals. A sweet buzzer beater goal by Rutgers from almost the logo, however, gave the Scarlet Knights a 12-3 lead going into the half.
After replacing Kneese in goal in the second quarter, Penn State put him back in goal to start the second half. The Nittany Lions continued their momentum in the third quarter as Malone scored his second goal of the game, lessening the lead to 12-4. But Charalambides came right back with a goal of his own, giving him his fourth of the game.
Penn State and Rutgers traded goals and turnovers throughout the third quarter, but the Scarlet Knight closed the period with a 16-5 lead.
Three minutes into the final period, Rutgers 60th shot of the game was a goal by Mullins. A sloppy possession by the Nittany Lions then somehow led to a goal by Nick Cardile.
Mac O’Keefe managed to score two goals to come within just two goals of the all time scoring title, but the Scarlet Knights continued their dominance and closed it out with a 22-10 victory.
- The Scarlet Knights played practically a perfect game and came out blazing hot. Rutgers caused many turnovers against an already vulnerable Penn State team. For a span of time in the first quarter, it looked like the Nittany Lion defense might hold the Scarlet Knight offense in check after letting up a few goals, but Rutgers was just too much for them.
- Although Mac O’Keefe needed just three more goals to tie the all-time scoring record and four more goals to take the lead, Rutgers held him in check. Between their two matchups this season, O’Keefe has only scored three goals in total. O’Keefe managed to keep his goal streak alive, however, expanding it to the 40th game in a row with a score.
- The shot difference in this game was astonishing. Rutgers had about three times the amount of shots compared to Penn State in this one. The Rutgers offense was simply and was a force to be reckoned with. On top of that, Penn State’s defense has struggled all season, so the absurd shots and goals comes with no surprise.
The Nittany Lions will face Michigan at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 16 at home in Panzer Stadium.
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