Men’s Lacrosse Bests Cornell, is Trumped by Villanova

Men’s Lacrosse Bests Cornell, is Trumped by Villanova

These past two weeks have had their ups and downs for No. 15 Penn State men’s lacrosse (3-1). After starting out the season with all cylinders firing, Penn State faced its first loss of the season to No. 12 Villanova this past weekend.

Two weekends ago, the men’s lacrosse team was unable to attend THON due to an away game against then No. 15 Cornell.

Cornell, a formidable team with a highly skilled passing game, notched seven goals against the Nittany Lions. However, Penn State was the better team that day, scraping by with eight goals to grant themselves yet another win.

Six different Nittany Lions all notched at least one goal for the team win. The experienced upperclassmen on offense, TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.) and Matt Florence (Greenwood Village, Colo.), each sank two goals into the Big Red Bear’s net. Freshman Kevin Fox (Annapolis, Md.) continued to prove himself on the pitch by notching a goal, along with returners Ryan Keenan (Smithtown, N.Y.), James Chakey (Havertown, Pa.), and Mike Sutton (Sewell, N.J.).

After being down 3-2 at the end of the first quarter, Penn State dug deep and attained a 5-0 scoring streak to bring them within sights of a win. With just five minutes left, the game was tied 7-7. As any experienced senior would do, Florence ripped a shot in the final minutes of the game to give the Lions the green light to win, 8-7.

This past weekend, however, the Nittany Lions were not as lucky as Villanova delivered fierce gameplay that was too much for Penn State.

Villanova outshot Penn State 44-34, and were able to capitalize on their shots, granting them a 19-9 win.

“We seemed not to have a lot of rhythm,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “The momentum just never seemed to shift in our favor.”

However, Penn State still gave it all they had this weekend, with freshman Kevin Hill (Webster, N.Y.) leading the team with two goals, the first of his collegiate career. Other freshmen Jimmy Nowoswiat and Robby Black also notched their first goals this weekend as well.

Other scorers included Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ont.), Sutton, Grant Ament (Doylestown, Pa.), Sanders, and Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.).

At times, the game seemed within reach as the Lions at one point trailed by only five goals. However, when the final whistle blew, it was clear that Villanova had the magic touch this past weekend.

The men’s lacrosse season is just getting started, and the team heads to the University of Pennsylvania this Saturday to face off against the Quakers at noon.