Penn State men’s lacrosse gets win on Senior Day

Story posted April 27, 2014 in CommRadio by Alex Passaretti

“It felt great. We played for each other, we played for the seniors, and we played for our families.”

That’s how senior defenseman Kessler Brown described the Senior Day atmosphere.

Penn State (7-6, 3-2) entered the matchup against no. 12 Hofstra (10-4, 4-1) riding a two-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions were able to extend that streak to three games with a win on Saturday.

Penn State started out hot, as freshman Mike Sutton scored two early goals in less than three minutes.

“It’s good to send the seniors out on a win,” Sutton said. “We had a disappointing season through the mid-stretch, but it’s great to send them out on a win.”

Junior Mike Malave of Hofstra, notched the first goal of the game for the Pride with 6:04 left to go in the first quarter. Lance Yapor followed him up with a man-up goal with 4:15 left in the quarter to tie the game at two.

Penn State senior Shane Sturgis recorded his 33rd goal of the season, after scoring a hat trick less than three minutes into the second quarter.

Great passing by the Nittany Lions allowed Sturgis to get the separation he needed from the defense. Sturgis said in between quarters they discussed that they needed more flow and were a little stagnant on offense.

“We talked about getting our flow and moving a little bit quicker and it ended up helping us out,” Sturgis said. “That was a big quarter for us.”

However, Hofstra would not back down. After Sturgis’ hat trick made the score 5-2, senior Torin Varn would score the Pride’s second man-up goal of the day after an illegal procedure penalty was called on Penn State. Redshirt senior Drew Coholan of the Pride scored with 9:49 left to go in the second quarter, making the score 5-4.

With 5:31 remaining in the first half, Sutton managed to knock a ground ball into the net, extending the Nittany Lions lead to two.

Penn State went into halftime with a 6-4 lead.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Hofstra’s Korey Hendrickson scored, cutting the lead to 6-5. Penn State responded with a goal of its own, as Sutton was able to score his fourth goal of the day, with 12:25 left in the third quarter.

No less than 15 seconds later, Hofstra committed an own-goal, as a pass to goaltender Chris Selva went over his head and into the net. The Nittany Lions lead increased to 8-5.

“Give credit to all our attackmen, we rode real hard,” Brown said. “We emphasized riding in the pregame speech and emphasized riding throughout the entire week and it just paid off.”

Varn found himself on the scoreboard once again, as he recorded his second goal of the game with 11:13 left in the third. After a scrum for the ball with 6:05 left to go, Anthony Zappone of Hofstra and Nick Aponte of Penn State both picked up unnecessary roughness penalties.

The game became noticeably aggressive late in the third quarter, as neither team was able to pick up a late goal.

“It’s the CAA, that’s what you’ve gotta expect,” redshirt senior Tyler Travis said. “A team like Hofstra, a very good team, you know we battled back and forth and it’s good to come out with a win.”

“I don’t think any CAA team gets along and we wanted to come out on top in that game so we would do anything to get on top,” said Sturgis.

Hendrickson scored once more for Hofstra in the fourth quarter, and Penn State was not able to score again. The own-goal from Hofstra proved to be the difference in the game as Penn State took home the victory, 8-7.

Penn State will be leaving the CAA for the Big Ten next year, and Travis knew that finishing off their CAA career with a win would be huge.

“I mean, it’s Senior Day, so that’s always a big part of it too,” Travis said. “But yeah, last game of the CAA, probably forever for Penn State, so it’s kind of a big deal for us.”

Alex Passaretti is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email