Penn State senior night capped off with BIG win
The Penn State Nittany Lions men’s lacrosse team (4-8, 1-3 B1G) got their first conference win of the year with a commanding 11-6 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-10, B1G 0-3), to cap off Blue and White weekend in Happy Valley Sunday evening. For nine seniors, the game marked the last regular season matchup they would play on their home turf.
“Our underclassmen were just jacked up to play for us,” said senior Pat Manley about the excitement and energy from the Lions’ players.
To start, the Scarlet Knights came out on fire with two quick goals, but this did not stop the Lions from believing in themselves to score five goals and make the game 5-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Penn State head coach Jeff Tambroni talked about the slow start and quick catch up to regain the lead.
“I thought our guys did a good job of staying with the game plan… they kept believing in what they were doing and the shots started following them.”
Redshirt sophomore Connor Darcey helped stop the Rutgers offense with 11 total saves and gave Penn State a great opportunity and much needed confidence to win a crucial game.
With a hat trick from junior TJ Sanders, sophomore Mike Sutton, and redshirt sophomore Matt Florence the Lions helped to shape and solidify the win.
After what seemed to be an uneventful second quarter, the Nittany Lions went into half time up 6-4.
Rutgers gave themselves a closer deficit making the score 6-5 only 4 minutes into the second half. With great composure and possession of the ball, the Lions put up three unanswered goals from Florence, Saunders, and sophomore Dan Craig making the score 9-5.
With a goal from the Scarlet Knights and Florence’s ability to find the top netting to make the score 11-6, the final decision helped keep Penn States spirits alive looking forward.
Tambroni spoke about the team’s effort to work together on the field for a positive result,
“It was a tight game straight through and without the opportunity to get the ball back score a couple of goals off the ride, this could have been a completely different game.”
The Lions will travel to Ann Arbor Saturday to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 6 p.m. in a must win game in order to advance into the post season.
Anna Witte is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com