No. 10 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Bests Rutgers 14-8 In Big Ten Quarterfinals

No. 10 Penn State men’s lacrosse (10-3, 3-2 Big Ten) defeated Rutgers (7-7, 1-4 Big Ten) 14-8 in Big Ten quarterfinals on Saturday.  

Rutgers started quickly as both teams traded blows in the first quarter. Penn State was the better team, though, and found its footing in the second quarter and took over the game. Great individual performances from Jack Fracyon and TJ Malone led the way.  

How It Happened

Penn State won the opening faceoff, but a stout defensive stand by Rutgers led to an early transition goal for the Scarlet Knights. The next faceoff went the same way, and Rutgers went up by two, scoring an almost identical goal.  

The following minutes were spent in the Nittany Lions’ defensive end. Penn State struggled to clear the ball and head coach Jeff Tambroni had to call a timeout early to figure things out.  

Out of the timeout, Penn State made a stop on defense and found its first goal of the game. Jake Morin beat his man and finished to make it 2-1. This woke the Nittany Lions up as they then scored two more goals right away.  

The final minutes of the first quarter were very open and both teams benefited from it. Both Rutgers and Penn State found the back of the net once to end the quarter 4-3.  

Rutgers equalized at the start of the second. A nice move from behind the cage led to a 4-4 tie. All four of Rutgers’ first goals were low, and Rutgers’ game plan against Jack Fracyon was certainly working.  

Penn State kept up with the scoring, though. Luke Walstrom, Ethan Long, and Kyle Aldridge joined the scoring party and gave Penn State a three-goal lead with seven minutes in the first half. 

Penn State wasn’t done as Mac Costin lasered a low-to-high shot straight into the top corner to make the score 8-4. Rutgers found an answer with two minutes left, this time the shot was high and beat Fracyon off-stick.  

With 23 seconds on the clock, Penn State took a timeout to try and get one more goal before halftime. The Nittany Lions failed to get a shot off, though, and led 8-5 going into the half.  

Rutgers won the opening faceoff of the second half, but a big save from Fracyon stopped the Scarlet Knights’ move. Penn State, now with possession, pushed the pace and drew a penalty because of it.  

With the extra man, Penn State took advantage to score its first of the half. This was followed by another man-up chance for the Nittany Lions. Rutgers locked off Malone behind the cage and it proved to work.  

After killing the penalty, the Scarlet Knights scored in transition to make it 9-6 still with nine minutes in the third quarter. Five minutes of back-and-forth action followed but neither team capitalized until the four-minute mark. At that point, Malone found space off a great Walstrum pass and scored. Thirty seconds later, Malone scored again which gave Penn State a five-goal lead.  

The third quarter ended with the score 11-6 for Penn State. 

Similar to the other three quarters, Rutgers scored first. Up by four, Penn State slowed the game down with the ball. Almost four minutes were spent on offense before Tambroni called a timeout.  

More of the same followed the timeout. The Nittany Lions took hold of the game and grasped the life of Rutgers. After a few more minutes of possession, Sean Donnelly scored his first goal in a Penn State jersey.  

Rutgers responded instantly which kept the Penn State lead at four. The score was 12-8 with seven minutes to play. Two minutes later, Long brought the lead back to five for the Nittany Lions.  

As the time dwindled, the game got slower and slower and some immense saves from Fracyon kept Penn State in front. The final was 14-8.


  • Fracyon adjusted beautifully to the Rutgers game plan. After four early low-and-away goals, Fracyon adjusted to cover that spot of the net better. He ended the game with 17 saves.  
  • Malone commanded the offense perfectly. They played slow when they had to and quick when they needed goals. This was a very promising showing as Penn State’s offense seems to be in playoff form. He also had seven points.  

What’s Next?

Penn State men’s lacrosse moves on to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Nittany Lions will face Maryland on Thursday, May 2, and the time is still to be determined. The remaining games of Penn State’s tournament run will take place at Ohio State.

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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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