Mac O’Keefe Breaks NCAA Record for Most Career Goals Scored

Story posted April 16, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

Penn State men’s lacrosse superstar Mac O’Keefe broke the all-time NCAA goal record Friday evening when he ripped his 213th career goal past Michigan goalie John Kiracofe. O’Keefe passed Duke legend Justin Guterding, who previously had the record of 212.

O’Keefe entered Friday’s game needing just two goals to break the record, and he wasted no time, as he recorded his first goal just two minutes and 10 seconds into the contest. His record-setting goal came midway through the second quarter, tying the game at six for the Nittany Lions.

He would later go on to score four more goals, including the game-winner in overtime to give the Nittany Lions a 14-13 victory over the Wolverines. The NCAA goal record now sits at 217.

O’Keefe, hailing from Syosset on Long Island, immediately made an impact the second he entered the Penn State program. In his first game with the blue and white, he scored seven goals—the most ever in a debut since 1933.

O’Keefe would continue to dominate in his freshman season, recording 51 goals: the most ever for a freshman in Penn State history. He would also lead the conference in that category, scoring a goal in every game he played in that season.

In his sophomore year, his production dipped just a bit, but in 14 games he still found the back of the net 35 times. He was voted first-team All-Big Ten, but this season was not up to his usual standards, and he set out to dominate in his junior season.

Dominate is exactly what O’Keefe did the following year, putting up one of the all-time greatest seasons in recent memory. O’Keefe started in all 18 games and scored 78 times—the most in program and Big Ten history. He would also add 18 assists for 96 total points on the season.

As a result, O’Keefe was named a second-team All-American as well as first-team All-Big Ten. In the Big Ten tournament, he scored nine goals and three assists for 12 points in just two games and was named tournament MVP.

O’Keefe had many people wondering if he could top his spectacular junior season entering his senior year, and he was well on his way before the coronavirus pandemic shut it all down. Still, in just seven games, he tallied 28 goals and eight assists for 36 points. He was named a second-team All-American. O’Keefe was on pace to score 72 goals across a full 18-game schedule.

Since the season was shut down in early March due to the pandemic, the NCAA granted all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility, so O’Keefe was able to return to the Nittany Lions as a graduate student.

O’Keefe entered the season ranked seventh all-time in goals and 21 away from breaking the record. Heading into Friday’s game he had racked up 19 goals and two assists in seven games. Following the Nittany Lions’ victory over the Wolverines, O’Keefe now sits with 25 goals and four assists for 29 points on the season.

O’Keefe is a three-time All-American and has two Big Ten first-team selections to his name. He’s also the owner of the NCAA record for goals in a game with nine.

Mac O’Keefe is one of the best to ever do it, and it is only fitting that he now holds the NCAA goal record.

 

Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at afr5646@psu.edu.