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No. 4 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Breaks Down In 13-11 Loss To No. 12 Maryland

No. 4 Penn State men’s lacrosse (7-2, 1-1 Big Ten) fell to No. 12 Maryland (6-3, 1-1 Big Ten) in Panzer Stadium on Sunday.

The Nittany Lions came out strong in the first quarter, leading 6-2 with multiple scorers. They started to struggle in the second half, and Maryland took the lead early in the fourth quarter. The Terrapins went on a scoring run in the fourth quarter, and Penn State never regained the momentum it needed.

How It Happened

Penn State won the opening faceoff and wasted no time to get on the board. Captain TJ Malone connected with Jake Morin who smashed an attempt into the top corner only 40 seconds into the game.

Maryland won the next faceoff and got off two quick shots, but goalie Jack Fracyon smothered the attack and cleared it downfield. Shots were traded but Maryland found a breakthrough after Penn State failed to clear the ball and instead turned it over. Eric Malever pushed a shot past Fracyon to put Maryland on the scoreboard.

The Nittany Lions didn’t let the game stay tied for long and scored just under a minute later. Mac Costin received the ball and took it all the way himself, bursting past his defender and shooting it off-hand above goalie Logan McNaney.

Will Peden joined the scoresheet for Penn State, bursting in front of the crease and scoring off a quick shot. Maryland quickly pulled one back through Eric Spanos.

Malone got his first goal of the game halfway through the first. He circled around from behind the goal, getting enough space to get a shot off mid-stride and increase Penn State’s lead to two.

After a media timeout, Penn State won the faceoff and immediately headed to goal. Traynor faked out his defender with a high stick before shooting off a low sling between McNaney’s legs.

Malone secured his brace at the end of the first quarter, running around from behind the net again, pulling around his defender, and shooting it high into the near corner. Kyle Aldridge got off a low slingshot as the clock ran down, but it was saved by McNaney and the first quarter ended with Penn State leading 6-2.

The Nittany Lions won the faceoff to start the second quarter and took under a minute to score again. Malone grabbed an early hat trick on the day through a solo goal. The Terrapins quickly answered as Jack Koras scored.

The Nittany Lions’ goals kept coming and Luke Walstrum grabbed his first for the night. Peden ran along the crease and sent it over the Walstrum on the other side who pushed it in with a high quick shot.

Fracyon was a brick wall as usual, saving a shot from the Terrapins between his feet before clearing it downfield. Maryland picked up a one-minute penalty for a body checking, giving Penn State a man-up advantage at 10:35 in the second quarter. The Nittany Lions had two shots on goal but were foiled both times, and the Terrapins went downfield as Braden Erksa scored a goal.

The Nittany Lions threw off a slew of shots on offense with quick passing before Traynor’s shot hit the pipe, and Maryland called a timeout halfway through the second.

Coming back from timeout, possession was still shared, but Penn State found itself playing more defense than it had so far. Fracyon posted immense saves and the defense played scrappy fighting for the ground balls. Penn State called a timeout with just under a minute to go. The second half ended with Penn State in the lead 8-4.

The Terrapins opened the scoring in the second half through Koras and quickly pulled another back through Ryan Siracusa to close the deficit to two with 12:02 to play in the third quarter.

Grant Haus received the ball around the 35-yard line for Penn State, taking it himself for a far-out rocket into the back of the net.

Maryland scored another to return back to within two with 7:19 to go. It picked up two shot-clock violations and turned the ball over to Penn State. Costin took it all the way to the crease, juking out his defender and bouncing the ball into the net for the Nittany Lions.

Neither team could find a breakthrough after Costin’s goal, and the third quarter ended with the Nittany Lions still in the lead 10-7.

Maryland won the faceoff for the fourth quarter and wasted no time in scoring. It grabbed two quick goals within 26 seconds to put the game within one, forcing Penn State to call a timeout. Maryland scored again with 11:24 left in the game to tie it up 10-10.

Only eight seconds later, the Terrapins took it downfield again to take the lead. They scored another before calling a timeout with 10:17 to play.

Penn State found itself on offense after the timeout but struggled to put a real attack together. It turned the ball over and Maryland went straight on attack once more. It scored on the final second of the shot clock with a rocket above Fracyon’s head to increase its lead to three.

The Nittany Lions finally broke its drought through Walstrum, who came from behind the net and juked out his defender to wrap it around the goalie’s head. Penn State went a man-up for a minute due to slashing but failed to capitalize on the advantage.

Fracyon came out of the net in an attempt to force a turnover and was successful in the last minute of the game. Penn State seemed to have hope as it sprinted off downfield but wasn’t able to overcome the two-goal deficit with only 16 seconds to go and Maryland secured the comeback win 13-11.

Takeaways

  • Fracyon had a day. The goalie has boasted an impressive save percentage all season long but posted some remarkable saves today. Fracyon saved the ball between his feet at one point and put his body on the line multiple times. Despite the loss, Fracyon still proved to be one of the best goalies and saved 16 shots for a .552 save percentage.
  • Penn State’s offense had no issue sharing the wealth today, especially in the first half. Six different players got on the scoresheet in the opening 30 minutes — a bright outlook in an otherwise pessimistic game.
  • Penn State had a complete breakdown in the fourth quarter. It struggled to win faceoffs, and the Terrapins used it to their advantage by scoring five times in a row. The Terrapins won 17 faceoffs overall to the Nittany Lions’ 11.

What’s Next?

Penn State will travel to Baltimore to take on Johns Hopkins on Saturday, April 6. The game will start at 2 p.m. and be streamed on ESPNU.

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About the Author

Ashley Connington

Ashley is a sophomore studying journalism from New Jersey. She is not okay about Saquon leaving the Giants and was crying on her couch all day. She can't look at all of her Saquon merch and doesn't know when she will recover. You can email [email protected] to send her ways to meet Saquon or watch her obsess over Chelsea FC on twitter @ashconnington.

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