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No. 9 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Falls To No. 18 Michigan 16-4 In Big Ten Tournament Championship

No. 9 Penn State men’s lacrosse (11-4) lost the Big Ten Tournament championship against No. 17 Michigan (9-7) 16-4 on Saturday.  

The game started 50 minutes late due to inclement weather and Penn State did not respond well to the change in schedule. In the first half, typical standout players looked sloppy and Michigan took advantage. A 5-1 first quarter for the Wolverines was followed by a 4-2 second quarter as Penn State went in the half down 9-3 and did not have much going for it. The third quarter did not go any better and neither did the fourth. Penn State lost 16-4.  

How It Happened

Michigan won the opening faceoff and drove the ball right down the field to score just six seconds into the game. The Nittany Lions won the next faceoff, but a blocked shot by Michigan led to another Wolverine goal.  

Penn State found some offense early, but Hunter Taylor held strong in net for the Wolverines with three early saves. Michigan turned these saves into its third and fourth goals of the game. With five minutes gone in the first quarter, Penn State trailed 4-0.  

At the nine-minute mark, Penn State found its first goal of the game through Kyle Aldrige. For the next four minutes, both teams looked sloppy on offense. This included two uncharacteristic turnovers from TJ Malone for Penn State.  

Michigan was the first to figure its offense out, though, and retook its four-goal lead with three minutes on the clock. Neither team found the back of the net for the rest of the quarter and Michigan held a 5-1 lead after one quarter.  

Penn State won the first possession of the second quarter but lost the ball quickly. Michigan took advantage and scored in transition. Matt Traynor responded three minutes later with his first goal of the game.  

Michigan received its second faceoff violation on the subsequent draw, and Malone made them pay. Penn State got some of its momentum back, then only down 6-3.  

This was short-lived, though, as Grant Haus picked up a check in the back penalty, which Michigan scored on. The Wolverines followed this with two more goals to take a six-goal lead. 

A tough half for the Nittany Lions ended with a 9-3 score in favor of Michigan. 

Penn State won the first faceoff of the second half. The Michigan defense stopped the Penn State offense, though, as the shot clock ran down. On the other end, the Wolverines capitalized twice in quick succession.  

Offensive struggles continued for Penn State as the third quarter ticked on. Statistically, the Nittany Lions have been the most efficient shooters in the Big Ten, but not in this matchup. On the other hand, Michigan was scoring from everywhere. With nine minutes left in the third, Michigan made it 12-3, then 30 seconds later 13-3, and then 30 seconds after that 14-3.  

The rest of the quarter was also dominated by Michigan, but it only managed to score once more. The third quarter ended 15-3.  

Michigan didn’t need much to put the game away in the fourth quarter. Justin Brown scored the Wolverines’ 16th goal of the game with 13 minutes left in the game. To slightly ease the pain, Mac Costin scored a consolation goal with six minutes left as the game ended 16-4 for Michigan.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s faceoff woes continued. It’s been thought all year that the Nittany Lion’s loss of possessions on the faceoff ‘x’ could be what stops them from going on a run this season. Saturday’s game might be the first step to proving that.
  • Jack Fracyon has had an excellent season, but Saturday was not his night. Fracyon had just six saves in one night, a complete difference from the 19 he had the last time he faced the Wolverines.  

What’s Next?

Penn State will find out about its NCAA Tournament fate during the selection show at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The Nittany Lions are expected to play at home in the first round of the tournament.

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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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