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Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Falls 10-9 To No. 6 Penn In Heartbreaking Loss

Penn State men’s lacrosse (2-4) fell to No. 6 Penn (2-1) 10-9 on Saturday in a fiercely competitive game in the Crown Classic in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Despite three goals and one assist from Mark Sickler and 11 saves by goalie Aleric Fyock, the Nittany Lions couldn’t recover after a Quaker goal in the final seconds of the tight matchup.

How It Happened

The Quakers won the opening face-off after a violation by redshirt freshman Hudson Bohn at midfield. Their first possession didn’t last long because the Nittany Lions forced a quick turnover just seconds into the opening period.

Sickler, a sophomore, got on the scoreboard first for the Nittany Lions in the second minute of the game. He sent the ball flying past Penn goaltender Patrick Burkinshaw following an assist by Dan Reaume.

Jack Schultz grabbed the first goal for the Quakers to tie the game midway through the first quarter. Schultz beat Nittany Lion goalkeeper Fyock as the ranked Quakers started to find their offensive rhythm.

Jeb Brenfleck picked up his ninth goal of the season to regain the lead in Charlotte. The redshirt freshman netted a pass from Sickler and forced a subsequent Penn timeout.

Immediately following the Quakers’ timeout, Dylan Gergar responded to Brenfleck’s goal with one of his own to tie the game back at two-all. Neither Penn State nor Penn added to the scoreboard following Gergar’s goal in the final minutes of the period, and the first quarter concluded at 2-2.

Jack Kelly opened the second quarter with a goal during a Penn State man-up opportunity. Kelly slung the ball into the net past a packed Quaker defense from an assist by freshman Will Peden to make it 3-2.

Penn State extended its lead to 4-2 following an unassisted goal by Mac Costin. Penn attempted to respond right away following the face-off, but Quaker Cam Rubin hit the post of Fyock’s net and couldn’t convert.

Sam Handley tightened Penn State’s lead with a goal to make it 4-3 off an unassisted goal that snuck past Fyock. Penn State head coach Jeff Tambroni called a timeout following Handley’s goal in preparation for the final two minutes of the half.

Just one minute after Tambroni’s timeout, Gergar notched a Penn goal to re-tie the game, this time 4-4. Immediately after, he sent another shot flying past Fyock to grab the Quaker’s first lead of the game in back-to-back goals from the senior.

The Nittany Lions were unable to respond to Gergar’s two goals and headed to the locker room trailing by one to close out the first half.

Gergar tallied the first goal of the second half for Penn in his fourth of the afternoon. The Quakers maintained their lead at 6-4 until Sickler responded minutes later with his second goal of the game. The sophomore closed Penn’s lead to only 6-5 following his unassisted goal.

The Nittany Lions began to make a comeback when Costin tied the game back up at six. Costin beat Burkinshaw off an assist from Ethan Long. The tied game didn’t last long when Penn immediately regained the lead as Handley picked up his second goal of the night with a blazing shot from distance.

Penn State’s Luke Mercer made it a tied game at seven, only for the Quakers to regain their lead less than 30 seconds later. The score stayed at 8-7 in favor of Penn to end the third quarter.

Reaume recorded the first goal of the final quarter after six scoreless minutes from both teams. Reamue tied the game at eight off of an unassisted shot that beat Burkinshaw.

Penn’s Handley tallied his third goal of the game to take the lead at 9-8 in favor of Penn. Similarly, just minutes after Handley’s goal, Sickler notched his third goal of the afternoon in response to the Quakers. Sickler tied the game with five minutes remaining and the energy was high from spectators in Charlotte.

There was little organization in the final five minutes of the game because of several timeouts to discuss the tight, tied match. Seemingly, Penn State, Penn, and spectators alike all anticipated this match heading into overtime, however, Quaker midfielder James Shipley sent a Hail Mary shot into the back of the net from distance in the final second of the game.

Despite a great and competitive game, the Nittany Lions couldn’t recover from Penn’s goal in the final second and lost the matchup in Charlotte.

Takeaways

  • Aleric Fyock is a sturdy goalkeeper behind Penn State’s lineup. Despite giving up 10 goals, the redshirt junior made 11 saves in the net and posted a 0.524% save percentage.
  • The Nittany Lions just couldn’t pull off a second upset in a row against the Quakers. Even though Penn State was on a hot streak following its upset win against No. 5 Yale, Tambroni’s lineup couldn’t do anything about Penn’s nearly buzzer-beating goal.

What’s Next?

Tambroni’s squad will rest for a week before taking on Cornell at Panzer Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, March 12.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a sophomore journalism major from Richmond, Va., and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She also talks sports on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to discuss the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley. Please direct all hate mail to her email [email protected]

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