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No. 9 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Falls To No. 7 Georgetown 12-9 In NCAA Tournament

No. 9 Penn State men’s lacrosse (11-5, 3-2 Big Ten) fell to No. 7 Georgetown (13-3, 4-1 Big East) in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday afternoon. 

The Nittany Lions jumped out to an early lead and looked like they could be playing to their full potential. Penn State couldn’t hold on to this energy, though, and started to fall apart in the second half. A 10-3 Georgetown run eliminated Penn State from the tournament.  

How It Happened

Georgetown won the opening possession and tested Penn State’s defense early. The Nittany Lions held strong, though, and made the stop. Matt Traynor started the scoring on the other end, finding the back of the net as the shot clock ran out. 

TJ Malone then made it 2-0 shortly after. The attackman beat his defender around the cage and finished with his backhand.

A few long possessions followed Malone’s goal, ending with the Hoyas’ first goal of the game. Penn State won the subsequent faceoff, and Luke Mercer’s rocket doubled the Nittany Lions’ lead.

Another highlight reel goal with two minutes left in the first quarter put Penn State up 4-1. Traynor caught the ball on the crease and finished between his legs.  

The final minutes of the first quarter proved scoreless, ending 4-1 in favor of Penn State.  

Malone opened the scoring in the second quarter with his second goal of the game. He showed off his ability to play bully ball by taking his defender with him to the goal. The Hoyas responded quickly by beating Jack Fracyon on a low-to-high shot.  

The following minutes were sloppy for both teams, but Penn State took advantage through Traynor once again. His goal with eight minutes left in the half put the Nittany Lions up 6-2.  

One minute later, Luke Walstrum joined the party and extended the Nittany Lions’ lead to five. This time, Georgetown had an answer and scored twice within the next two minutes, which cut the score to 7-4.  

The next four minutes were up and down, but a Penn State slashing penalty gave the Hoyas another opportunity they took advantage of. This was followed by a fourth unanswered Georgetown goal.

Penn State led by one, going into the half up 7-6.

Chase Mullins won the first faceoff of the second half, but both teams had a few sloppy offensive possessions to open play. This ended with Walstrum’s second goal of the game.   

Georgetown tried to find an instant response. Fracyon wasn’t having it, though, and made two great saves. At this point in the second half, the Hoyas went into a zone on the defensive end.  

The Nittany Lions struggled to find a way through, and Georgetown took advantage and made it 8-7 with seven minutes to play in the third.  

The next goal didn’t come until after the four-minute mark. This time, it was Sean Donnelly for Penn State. This was Donnelly’s third goal of the season, all coming in tournament play.  

The third quarter ended 9-7, still in favor of Penn State.  

Georgetown scored first in the fourth quarter. Sloppy offense from Penn State led to a transition goal that brought the game within one. Two minutes later, the Hoyas knotted the game at nine goals a piece. This was the first tie in the game since 0-0 and marked a 7-2 Georgetown run.  

After a few failed attempts to score for the Nittany Lions, the Hoyas took their first lead of the game at 10-9. The goal was challenged by Penn State for a crease violation, but the goal stood. Penn State lost a timeout because of it.  

The Nittany Lion offense continued to falter as the final six minutes dwindled, putting up plenty of shots but mainly from the outside. The Hoyas scored once more on an empty net to close the game out.  

The final was 12-9 in favor of Georgetown.  

Takeaways

  • Penn State started hot taking a 7-2 lead. This momentum stopped as quickly as it started, though, as the Hoyas ended the game on a 10-3 run and won the game. Penn State’s second-half offense has been slow for much of this year, but this was not a good showing for the Nittany Lions who did not score for the last 25 minutes of the game.
  • Fracyon played well and did his best, along with his defense, to keep Penn State in the game. Unfortunately rebounds and some great shots were too much to handle though.
  • Malone went quiet in the second half, but he started playing well and notched his 100th career assist. This was the last game of his very successful Penn State career.

What’s Next?

With today’s loss, Penn State is now out of the NCAA Tournament and its season is over. 

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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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