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Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Avoids Michigan Comeback In 9-8 Overtime Win

Penn State men’s lacrosse (3-8, 1-2 Big Ten) took down Michigan (7-5, 0-3 Big Ten) 9-8 at Panzer Field on Friday night.

After leading 6-2 at halftime, the Nittany Lions nearly gave up a massive comeback to the Wolverines until a late goal from Mac Costin saved the day.

How It Happened

After a drawn-out struggle for possession from the face-off, Penn State finally won the ball and capitalized quickly. Dan Reaume scored Penn State’s first goal just over half a minute into the game, and Hudson Bohn followed seven seconds later to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead.

After several defensive stands from both sides, it appeared the Nittany Lions finally earned their third goal halfway through the first quarter, but a pushing penalty on Michigan’s Jackson Zaugg just beforehand took the goal away. Penn State failed to capitalize on the extra-man opportunity.

Michigan saw its first goal come with just over five minutes left in the first quarter, as Justin Brown rifled a shot into the net from 15 yards out.

Penn State followed with an incredible sequence, as Brian Townsend leveled Michigan’s Jacob Jackson to force a turnover. Jack Posey proceeded to pick up the ground ball and take it the length of the field, beating the Wolverine defense to give Penn State a 3-1 lead that held through the rest of the first quarter.

The second half started out with some poor turnovers from Michigan, but eventually, the Wolverines found their footing five minutes in as Brown scored his second goal of the game.

Penn State took its time on its next offensive possession, circling the net several times. After getting his defender to bite, Jack Kelly found a gap towards the net, drove in, took his shot, and widen Penn State’s lead. Just under a minute later, Micahel Faraone found the back of the Wolverine’s net, giving the Nittany Lions a 5-2 lead as Michigan called its second timeout.

Penn State wasn’t done yet. Costin beat his defender on the backside of Michigan’s goal and topped the Wolverines’ goalie, Shane Carr, at his near post. Costin’s goal would stand as the final score of the first half, giving Penn State a 6-2 lead.

Penn State started off the second half with some style when Will Peden fired a pass into the stick of Mark Sickler, who was standing alone next to the goal. After one twitch of Sickler’s hands, the Nittany Lions had a five-goal lead.

Things began to get a little scruffy between the two sides in the opening minutes of the second half, as Townsend got into an altercation with a Wolverine after committing a penalty. A few minutes later, Faraone lost his helmet after some pushes continued after play was blown dead, but neither scenario resulted in a true fight.

Penn State saw some bad luck after Faraone’s encounter, as goalie Aleric Fyock seemed to save a shot from Michigan’s Ryan Schriber, who ultimately lost the ball that dribbled into Penn State’s goal as the Wolverines. Brown scored his third goal of the game a few minutes later, as he found the bottom right corner of the net to make the score 7-4.

Penn State took some time to regain its footing but reasserted with another goal late in the third quarter from Reaume to win back its four-goal lead.

The fourth quarter began with a rough start for Penn State, as Peden took a one-minute penalty, and the Wolverines scored their fifth goal with a shot from Isaac Aronson. Another rocket from Brown found the upper right corner of Fyock’s net as Michigan brought the game to within two points. Following two timeouts, Brown found the net for a fifth time, making the score 8-7 with just over six minutes remaining in the game.

After a timeout, Penn State started playing conservatively while trying to run off the lock. It didn’t help the Nittany Lions as much as they liked, as Josh Zawada gave Michigan its eighth goal of the game and tied the score 8-8 with just minutes to go.

With 1:13 left in the game, Penn State took what looked to be the last possession of regulation. After a turnover and a scramble for the ball, the Nittany Lions wasted their chance, and the game went to overtime.

After winning the faceoff, Penn State went to work on offense. After a turnover controversy, the ball ended up in the stick of Costin. With just three seconds left on the shot clock, Costin wound up, fired, and scored Penn State’s dagger to solidify a 9-8 win.

Takeaways

  • In a matchup between two teams on losing streaks, Penn State finally got a win. It took five tries, but the Nittany Lions got that much-needed victory. As the team looks toward the post-season, Penn State will need whatever momentum comes from this game.
  • Penn State looked excellent on defense before its late-game collapse. Forced turnovers across the whole game stopped Michigan from getting off several shots, and Fyock put on a goaltending clinic by contributing above a .750 save percentage at one point.
  • Justin Brown was Penn State’s kryptonite. When Michigan needed him most, Brown put together a stellar performance for the Wolverines with five goals. Whenever Brown held the ball, Penn State just couldn’t seem to respond.
  • The Nittany Lions’ attack was firing on all cylinders today. Seven different players contributed goals throughout the game, ultimately balancing out the offense to pull out a win.

What’s Next?

Penn State will hit the road to Baltimore, Maryland, to face Johns Hopkins on April 16. The matchup will begin at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the void over things such as the Philadelphia Union, the United States Men's Nation Team (soccer), Eagles, and Penn State football, alongside whatever else comes to mind. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21).

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