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No. 9 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Controls No. 7 Maryland 19-9, Moves On To Big Ten Tournament Championship

No. 9 Penn State men’s lacrosse (11-3) advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Championship game after outmatching No. 7 Maryland (8-5) 19-9 on Thursday. 

Penn State started strong and led 7-2 at halftime. Its play remained top-notch throughout the game, winning every quarter except for the third, which ended 4-4. By the time there were five minutes left, the Nittany Lions had a double-digit lead and felt comfortable using most of their bench to close out the game.  

How It Happened

Maryland won the opening faceoff, but a diving check from Will Costin gave the ball to Penn State. The Nittany Lions took the shot clock down to 20, but a short stick matchup for Matt Traynor led to the opening goal.  

Penn State held control for the next couple of minutes. Logan McNaney, Maryland’s goaltender, held strong with three nice saves and kept the Nittany Lions from doubling their lead for a while. TJ Malone changed this with six minutes left in the first quarter and put Penn State up 2-0 after a beautiful tic-tac-toe play.  

Penn State scored again shortly after through Mac Costin. Maryland responded instantly from the subsequent faceoff. This game started eerily similarly to the last time Maryland and Penn State matched up one month ago.  

With one minute left, Kyle Lehman joined the scoring with an excellent behind-the-back shot from the crease. This was followed by another Colby Baldwin faceoff win and a Maryland penalty.  

Penn State went into the first break with possession and a 4-1 lead.

Following the timeout, Maryland found its answer and made it 7-2. Penn State had an instant response, though, and brought back its six-goal lead. Shortly after, Costin found his hands free and took a quick release that surprised and beat McNaney.  

After the following faceoff, Grant Haus and Daniel Maltz got into a scuffle resulting in matching unsportsmanlike conducts. With both teams getting penalties at the same time, Penn State kept possession. Sean Donnelly took advantage of this and scored his first of the game. Less than a minute later, Penn State scored again, pushing the score to 11-2.  

As the first half wound down, Maryland got one back, and the half ended 13-3.  

Maryland won the opening possession in the second half. Malone, though, was the first on the board. The attackman took route one to the goal, taking three defenders with him before he scored with his left hand.  

The next goal wasn’t until there were seven minutes left in the third quarter. Maryland cut the Penn State lead to eight on a high bouncer. Maryland scored twice more in the next 20 seconds and gained back the momentum.  

Head coach Jeff Tambroni decided to put long pole Joe Scarfi on the faceoffs to try to slow down Maryland. The Terrapins won the faceoff anyway, but there was no opportunity for transition offense. Either way, Maryland found a goal, and the Nittany Lions led by just five.  

Mercer ended the Maryland run on a rocket of a shot long distance. Mercer celebrated by firing the Nittany Lion bench up at a time when it needed its energy back. In the next minute, Traynor scored twice to bring the score to 15-7.  

The final two minutes of the third quarter were scoreless, and an exciting quarter ended with Penn State up 15-7. 

Four minutes into the final quarter, Traynor continued to dominate his matchup. He took his defender behind the cage and found the back of the net. This was his fourth goal of the night and 40th of the season.  

Traynor remained hot and scored again with nine minutes to play. Once again beating his man, Traynor took flight, drew a flag, and scored to make it 17-7.  

The Terrapins responded with a similar goal shortly after, but no penalty was called on Penn State. While this gave Maryland moment of momentum, it was too late.  

As time winded down, Penn State and Maryland looked to their benches and gave some less proven players time.  

The game ended with a 19-9 Penn State victory.  

Takeaways

  • Penn State started on fire and matched a season-high singe-half goal total in the first half. The last time it had 11 goals in one half was against Cornell. Like that game, the Nittany Lions held on and made it ugly for Maryland for the remainder of the game.
  • Matt Traynor had one of the best games of his Penn State career. He looked to beat his matchup whenever he liked and recorded six points because of it. This included his 40th goal of the season.  
  • Colby Baldwin led the way at the faceoff ‘X’ and was the reason for the early start. The middle of the field for Penn State has been talked about a lot this season, but the Nittany Lions remained tough in this matchup and won vital possessions because of it.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will remain in Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 17 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament Championship. The game is set for Saturday, May 4. Game time and streaming options are still to be determined.  

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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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