Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Outlasts Lafayette in Season Opener

Story posted February 6, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Juan Mendez

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions outlasted the Lafayette Leopards 20-15 in fascinating fashion at Holuba Hall on Saturday.

The blue and white is now 9-3 in home season openers since 2011 and is off to a gratifying start to the campaign.

With 13 more shots than the Leopards and a clear statistical lead in assists, the home side of Penn State had an outstanding defensive performance late in the game to close out what was a well-fought bout by Lafayette.

On even ground in terms of faceoffs and turnovers, the difference maker became penalty play along with the accuracy and dexterity of the Lions attackers, particularly senior midfielder Jack Kelly and senior attacker Jack Traynor, recording four goals each on 19 shots combined.

The visiting Leopards troubled the home side for the majority of the standoff, with a brilliant performance by sophomore Peter Lehman, who led the team in scoring.

The first period displayed a level playing field with minimal leads by both sides, totalling the same amount of shots and evenly distributed faceoff wins. The Nittany Lions had an aggressive start with two goals from Kelly, and an attacking mindset not to be underestimated by the Leopards.

Leading in assists prior to Lafayette’s first timeout, the blue and white scored three of the last four points before coach Patrick Myers brought a spark to the Leopards, allowing them to tie the game at six before the end of the period.

Coming into the second, Lehman tallied a score and an assist to give Lafayette a short-lived lead, interrupted by scoring interventions by Penn State’s 6-foot-3 freshman attacker Nils Barry.

After a goal-congested beginning to the period, the competition kept even until a second timeout by the Leopards allowed for a planned attack on the Nittany Lions defense, which resulted in a last second goal by junior attacker Ryan Duncan, who finished the match with three goals.

The one-goal lead did not last long for Lafayette, as the blue and white rallied back with confident shooting and attacks on the counter, some in which senior Traynor was awarded with a score.

Even at 13, the Nittany Lions held their own on defense and brought down the clock, where all the momentum began to favor their home side.

Penn State scored nine of the last 14 goals of the match, holding the Leopards scoreless for the majority of the fourth period, where provoking a comeback with less than five minutes to go seemed far-fetched.
The deciding point became a penalty on Lafayette’s Ryan Kirkwood, giving Penn State an extra-man opportunity that allowed it to control the clock.

With a difficult schedule, this is an adequate start for coach Jeff Tambroni’s team, who will face Villanova next weekend. For the Leopards, there is promise and vision on what was an impressive performance, and they will try to bounce back next week on the road against Virginia Military Institute.

Juan Mendez is a second-year student majoring in journalism. To contact him, email

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Juan Mendez

Second-year / Journalism

Juan S. Mendez is a second-year student from Sogamoso, Colombia majoring in journalism at Penn State University. He is a frequent CommRadio contributor through play-by-play and production for Penn State sports, primarily soccer. As a writer and podcast member, he also contributes in covering the NFL, NBA, international soccer, college sports, and occasional music reviews. Bilingual, and with a substantially dispersed knowledge, Juan intends to work covering multiple sports internationally in English and Spanish at a professional level.
To contact Juan, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).