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No. 10 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Takes Down Rutgers 15-9

No. 10 Penn State men’s lacrosse (9-3, 3-2 Big Ten) beat Rutgers (7-6, 1-4 Big Ten) on Friday night to bring home the Friendship Cup.

Penn State came out strong with a high-scoring first quarter, pulling back six goals. The Nittany Lions kept their composure for the rest of the game, taking its time on offense to get the best plays and goals it could, led by four goals each by TJ Malone and Matt Traynor. Jack Fracyon helped secure the momentum in net the Nittany Lions needed to stay on top of the game.

With Friday’s win, Penn State has officially ended third in the Big Ten conference ahead of tournament play.

How It Happened

Malone started the night strong for Penn State. He forced an interception, with Lehman slotting it to him at the 15 to hit the back of the net. Rutgers won the next faceoff to quickly tie the game 1-1.

Luke Walstrum came down for the Nittany Lions, running around the circle and breaking through two defenders to smash a goal past netminder Cardin Stoller.

The Scarlet Knights won a crucial ground ball, getting space to run up to the net and score a diving goal. Rutgers scored another halfway through the first quarter to retake the lead 3-2.

The lead didn’t last long for Rutgers, as Malone does what he does best and came back for Penn State. The captain scored as the shot clock ran out, being left open far out and smashing a rocket in.

After a media timeout, Rutgers won the faceoff and cut apart Penn State’s defense to pull back another goal.

The Nittany Lions slowed down on offense, waiting for the right moment, and got it as Traynor streaked in front of goal and scored with a quick stick. The momentum followed and Malone secured an early hat trick. Just 14 seconds later, Kyle Aldridge scored from far out to end the first quarter with Penn State leading 6-4.

The second quarter started with back-and-forth play before Rutgers found the first breakthrough.

Malone ran the ball behind the goal before sending it out to Kyle Lehman, who sent it wide to Mac Costin to score off a near shot. Traynor pulled back another goal soon after, taking the ball all the way himself to whip it around his defenders.

Rutgers called a timeout with two minutes left in the half, fighting to grab one more goal before halftime. Its efforts were fruitless and the half ended with Penn State leading 8-6.

Coming back from halftime, the Nittany Lions immediately caused a turnover and Malone sent the ball downfield to Lehman, who grabbed his first of the night. Malone followed up with a goal of his own, being found open around the 20 and sending a rocket high into the net.

After four unanswered Nittany Lions goals, Rutgers slotted in a goal through John Sidorski.

Penn State again slowed down offensive play, not forcing anything, and after a media timeout, Costin scored a solo goal, cutting through the Rutgers defense straight up to goal.

The third quarter ended with a dominant five-goal lead for the Nittany Lions.

Luke Mercer opened the scoring three minutes into the fourth to give Penn State its biggest lead of the night. Murcer took it downfield, breaking past his defenders even while tripping, finding the space he needed to whip it around and into the back of the net.

Jake Morin joined the scoresheet a minute later, running up to the crease and slipping it in low. After, the Scarlet Knights managed to pull back two back-to-back goals to decrease its deficit to five.

Lehman’s shot as the shot clock died down hit the pipe, but Malone made sure he was closest to the ball to reset the clock and give Penn State another chance. Traynor ran right in front of the net and got the ball for another quick shot goal.

Rutgers called a timeout with 3:26 to play in the game. The Nittany Lions capitalized on this chance to regroup, giving the ball to Traynor, who bounced in his fourth goal of the night.

Rutgers pulled another goal back but had no time for a comeback. Penn State controlled possession for the rest of the game and secured its 15-9 win to end the regular season on a high.

Takeaways

  • Penn State scores in so many different ways, there is no easy way to stop this offense. Not only does it constantly share the wealth among the players, but they can score solo goals, off of picks, any way you can think of.
  • This win was a much-needed boost to end the regular season for Penn State. It’s secured a home quarterfinal game for the Big Ten Tournament and is in better odds for another appearance in the NCAA tournament. The home-field advantage against the Big Ten will play a big role if they move on to the semifinals in Ohio.

What’s Next?

Tonight marked the end of the regular season for Penn State. The Big Ten Tournament will begin on Saturday, April 27. As the No. 3 seed, Penn State will host the No. 6 seed with the time and opponent to be announced.

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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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