No. 1 Penn State Dominates No. 16 Johns Hopkins 20-9
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 1 Penn State took care of business once again on Sunday, as the Nittany Lions defeated No. 16 Johns Hopkins 20-9 on a sunny Easter afternoon at Panzer Stadium.
Coming into the game, the Nittany Lions were 1-4 all-time against Johns Hopkins, with the sole victory being last year’s historic 14-12 upset. Now, Penn State has come out on top once again, and head coach Jeff Tambroni can feel the confidence of his team getting ever stronger.
“It was a historic day for us last year,” Tambroni said. “Our guys started to believe that they belonged on the field with programs like Hopkins that are historically great. The maturity and experience of that win last year carried over. They played very confidently, which I thought was the key to the game.”
Penn State’s offense was relentless, as the Nittany Lions placed 33 shots on goal, nearly doubling Johns Hopkins’ total of 19.
The scoring began for Penn State just over a minute into the first period thanks to the stick of Grant Ament. The redshirt junior attacker would go on to score three more times over the course of the game, notching his second hat trick of the season and a new single-game high for Ament in 2019.
The offense was especially potent in the second half, as the Nittany Lions scored six unanswered goals between the 3:51 mark of the third period and 12:23 mark of the fourth period. The first three of these six were scored by redshirt junior attacker Dylan Foulds, who earned a hat trick in the span of 1:38, marking his second straight game with a hat trick and his sixth this year.
“We were playing cohesively as a group,” Foulds said. “We were moving the ball pretty well and doing what coach wanted us to do. It worked out pretty well. I happened to be on the receiving end of that, but as a whole, we played really well in that third quarter.”
Another standout player for Penn State was sophomore midfielder Jack Kelly. Kelly last played at Maryland on Mar. 31, posting three goals and an assist before missing the next two contests vs. Ohio State and at Michigan with an undisclosed injury. That didn’t seem to hold him back at all against Johns Hopkins though, as Kelly exploded once again with four goals and an assist.
“I’ve got great teammates playing with me and supporting me the whole way,” Kelly said. “I got some opportunities today and took advantage of it.”
Tambroni acknowledged Kelly’s performance as well as a key reason for why Penn State came out of Sunday’s match victorious.
“We were a little depleted at the midfield today, so [Kelly] was a welcome addition back into the lineup,” Tambroni said. “Not only did he come back and play, but he was one of the kingpins on the offensive end. He really got things going for us off the dives… he was not just productive [himself] but he really opened things up for everyone today.”
Sunday’s victory marks the third time this season that Penn State has scored 20 goals on an opponent. It’s also the fifth time this year that the Nittany Lions have held their opponent under 10 goals scored.
Now sitting at 11-1 and 4-0 in the Big Ten, No. 1 Penn State will ride an eight-game win streak into the final game of the regular season. The Nittany Lions will play the finale at home on Saturday, Apr. 27 against Rutgers before beginning Big Ten Tournament play as the conference’s top seed on Thursday, May 2.
DJ Bauer is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.