No. 3 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Embarrassed By No. 6 Johns Hopkins 15-7, Bounced From Big Ten Tournament
No. 3 Penn State men’s lacrosse (4-7) was dominated from start to finish by No. 6 Johns Hopkins (3-8) in a 15-7 thrashing at Panzer Stadium on Saturday. Despite coming in as the favorites, Penn State didn’t stand much of a chance from the end of the first quarter on.
Mac O’Keefe and TJ Malone were the only Nittany Lions that did anything offensively, as they both put up three points. Aleric Fyock started in goal, making five saves while allowing 11 goals, before being replaced by Colby Kneese, who made one save on five shots.
For Hopkins, Connor DeSimone had six points and Cole Williams had four goals. Tim Marcille was great in the cage for the Blue Jays, making 12 saves on 18 shots.
How It Happened
Penn State earned a man-up advantage for a slash on its first possession of the game. The Nittany Lions made the Blue Jays pay when Mark Sickler roofed a shot past Tim Marcille for the early 1-0 lead. Marcille recovered with a nice save on the ensuing possession, which led to a Hopkins chance the other way that Cole Williams put home unassisted to tie the game at one.
Shortly after, Hopkins gave Penn State another man-up advantage for too many men on the field. Mac O’Keefe rifled a shot past Marcille for the 2-1 lead and Penn State’s second man-up goal of the game. 2-1 became 3-1 when TJ Malone found Jack Kelly on a slick feed inside to extend the Nittany Lions’ lead. The Blue Jays were able to stop the bleeding as Johnathan Peshko scored his first goal of the season, putting a shot through Aleric Fyock’s legs with three minutes left in the first quarter to make it a 3-2 game.
Hopkins’ momentum continued as the quarter came to a close when Williams and Garrett Degnon put two more low shots past Fyock to take a 4-3 lead. Things didn’t get better when Nick Cardile was assessed a holding penalty, giving Hopkins a man-up advantage, but Fyock was able to make a good save, helping Penn State kill it off to end the quarter.
Both teams had golden opportunities to open up the scoring in the second quarter, but both goalies made big saves to keep the score at 4-3. Penn State got another man advantage, this time a two men up advantage for two offside penalties, and Kelly scored his second of the game and Penn State’s third man-up goal to tie it at four. The goal-scoring slowed down for a couple minutes until Connor DeSimone scored a bounce shot off a Joey Epstein pass to restore the Hopkins’ lead.
Less than a minute later, DeSimone stayed active for the Blue Jays and found Casey McDermott off a ridiculous pass for a wide-open chance that was buried to make it 6-4 with six minutes left in the first half. Degnon kept the Blue Jays’ run going, making it 7-4 two minutes later. Then, with six seconds left in the half, Epstein added on to Penn State’s misery, making it 8-4 heading into halftime. The Nittany Lions were outscored 7-1 since the 3:06 mark of the first quarter.
Penn State’s second-half comeback bid started off poorly when Jacob Angelus cruised his way through the Penn State defense and put a shot past Fyock to make it 9-4. Penn State was finally able to break the Blue Jay’s scoring streak as Grant Haus put a shot past Marcille with 7:45 left in the third. The joy didn’t last long when DeSimone scored his second goal of the game a minute later from a tight angle to make it 10-5. Degnon capped off the hat trick with 4:33 left in the quarter and made it 11-5 Blue Jays. It would be the last action Fyock saw, as he was replaced by Colby Kneese after making five saves on 16 shots on goal.
The embarrassment continued when Brendan Grimes was left wide -pen back door and scored a goal past Kneese to make it 12-5. Penn State was able to respond quickly through O’Keefe, who buried a chance right in front of the crease to make it 12-6 with 1:24 left in the quarter. That would conclude the third quarter, as Penn State trailed by six.
Penn State started the final frame strong, when Malone dodged his way inside to make it 12-7 just a minute into the quarter. Hopkins quickly put the Nittany Lions back in their place, however, as DeSimone scored yet again to make it 13-7. Malone also received a slashing penalty, giving Hopkins a one-minute, man-up advantage. The Nittany Lions did a great job to kill it off, but Williams scored two minutes later to make it 14-7. Williams then scored again to make it 15-7.
- The offense was stagnate, unimaginative, and horrendous in this game. It was similar to the first time these teams met, as Penn State couldn’t create anything, and scored only one more goal in this game then it did in the first matchup. Props also have to go to Hopkins’ defense, who had its sticks in all the right places at the right time. Tim Marcille was also a brick wall in net. He was the determining factor in this game, but he was massive when he needed to be.
- The defense was ugly in this one as well. Hopkins’ attackers dodged their way through the Penn State defense with ease on more than one occasion. Connor DeSimone was also a key factor that needed to be shut down in this game, as he had six points. Aleric Fyock also got the start in the cage in this one and didn’t have his best performance. The question heading into the game was who would start in goal, and Jeff Tambroni went with the redshirt sophomore who was amazing in his last outing against Ohio State. There was no wrong answer heading into this game and hindsight is 20-20, but one has to be asking if Tambroni will regret his decision.
- Penn State was 3-3 on the man up advantage in this game. It doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it was a positive for Penn State in a game full of negatives.
Barring a miracle at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, the Nittany Lions’ season is over. After entering the season as the No. 7 team in the country, Penn State finishes with a disappointing 4-7 record.
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