No. 8 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Falls 9-8 To No. 7 Johns Hopkins In Overtime

No. 8 Penn State men’s lacrosse (7-3, 1-2 Big Ten) fell to No. 7 Johns Hopkins (8-3, 3-0 Big Ten) in Baltimore on Saturday. 

The game started as a defensive clinic led by both teams’ goaltenders. Neither side could find separation in the first quarter, and the second quarter was more of the same as it was only 4-2 in favor of Penn State at halftime.

As the second half continued, though, the offenses picked it up as Mac Costin and Garrett Degnon got hot. No one could separate from the other team, and the game went to overtime tied at 8-8. Penn State had possession first but was unable to capitalize, while Johns Hopkins scored when it was given a chance and won 9-8.  

How It Happened

Penn State made one change to its starting lineup from the loss to Maryland. The Nittany Lions’ defense gets a boost with Jack Posey finally getting his much-awaited first start back from his ACL injury last season.  

The opening faceoff was won by Penn State, but an early turnover on its end gave Johns Hopkins the first offensive possession of the game. A Jack Fracyon save, though, stopped the Blue Jays offense.  

The Nittany Lions then turned defense into offense quickly scoring thanks to Matt Traynor beating his matchup with a shorty.  

In the following minutes, the defenses took over. Both sides knocked down skip passes limiting the offenses to short possessions. Fracyon and Chayse Ierlan each made multiple saves as well.  

A very up-and-down first quarter ended with Penn State up 1-0.  

To start the second quarter, Penn State won another faceoff, making it three-for-three. The defensive dominance continued, though, as neither team scored on its first two possessions. 

With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Johns Hopkins head coach Peter Milliman called his first timeout.  

The Blue Jays struck quickly out of the break. Russell Melendez found space on the crease and fired a behind-the-back shot past Fracyon to knot the game at one apiece.  

With three minutes left in the first half, the game opened and both teams scored goals to make the score 2-2. This was instantly followed by two more Penn State goals. Mac Costin scored the first, slipping under a takeaway check and finishing five hole. TJ Malone scored the other off a nice shot.  

Penn State held strong on defense to end the half and led at the break 4-2.  

Colby Baldwin took the opening faceoff in the second half and won possession of the ball. A handful of Ierlan saves led to the Blue Jays getting their first offensive possession which they capitalized on. This brought the game back within one with 11 minutes to go in the third quarter.  

The next goal wasn’t until the six-minute mark. Penn State had the longest offensive possession of the game and finally scored after almost three minutes of the ball. It was Costin again to give the Nittany Lions a two-goal lead.  

This was followed by a response from Garrett Degnon. The Nittany Lions lost the ball on an attempted clear, and the Blue Jays took the chance to gain some momentum. Malone retook a two-goal lead for Penn State just 30 seconds later, once again beating his short-stick midfielder matchup. Excellent pick play continued to get the Nittany Lions their desired matchups.  

This was the final big play of the third quarter as it ended 6-4 in favor of Penn State.  

Johns Hopkins opened the fourth quarter with a faceoff win and initially thought it found an early goal, but it was waived off due to a crease violation. Penn State’s clearing continued to struggle, though, and the Blue Jays retained possession.  

It took almost two minutes, but Johns Hopkins found a goal from Degnon again. The lefty freed his hand with a fake pass before taking his signature outside shot past Fracyon. On the subsequent faceoff, the first flag of the game was called on Luke Walstrum for an illegal body check to the head.  

The one-minute penalty was killed by Penn State, but Degnon scored shortly after. The game was tied at six with seven minutes to play. Less than one minute later, the Blue Jays took their first lead of the game.  

Penn State found the equalizer from Malone with five minutes to play. The pick play to get Malone a shorty continued to work throughout the fourth quarter. The response from Johns Hopkins didn’t take long, though, as the Blue Jays made it 8-7 30 seconds later off a faceoff violation.  

With 1:27 left in the game, Costin completed the hat trick on an elite-level twister. The ball bounced off Ierlan’s helmet before finding the back of the net to tie the game. The following faceoff led to a six-on-six scrum for the ground ball. Penn State won the possession and called a timeout.  

Penn State lost possession with 20 seconds left and the Blue Jays called their last timeout right after. With two seconds left, Matt Collison hit the post and the game headed to overtime.  

Penn State won the opening faceoff in overtime, but Johns Hopkins swatted a pass that went off a Nittany Lion before going out of bounds. The Blue Jays set up their offense, drew a slide, and found the game-winning goal on the crease.  

Johns Hopkins walked away with the 9-8 victory in Baltimore.


  • Penn State’s defense has been missing two of its most important players all year, but they were given time in the matchup on Saturday. Posey started and played the whole game while Parnham made multiple cameos throughout. The Nittany Lion defense has a lot to look forward to as they get more game fit.  
  • Ierlan and Fracyon led the way for both teams, putting on a goalie clinic. Both goalies ended with 16 saves and over a .64 save percentage.  
  • The Blue Jays utilized a 9.5-man ride for most of the game — a 10-man ride but with the goalie staying in the net. The added pressure proved difficult for Penn State as it failed to clear on numerous occasions. The added Johns Hopkins possessions could be the reason it came back and eventually win in overtime.  

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will return to Panzer Stadium to take on No. 15 Michigan at noon on Saturday, April 13. Folks can stream on BTN+.  

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About the Author

Collin Ward

Collin is a first-year majoring in digital/print journalism. Born in Hartford, he now lives in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. As a die-hard Chelsea FC fan you can normally find him yelling at his TV screen each weekend. To reach him, follow him on Instagram: @cward829, or email him at [email protected].

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