Penn State Loses Narrowly to Maryland
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions and Terrapins have met on the lacrosse field 36 times, dating all the way back to 1924. And in each and every one of those games, Penn State’s rivals to the south have come out victorious, including Sunday night at Panzer Stadium. The No. 18 Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4, 1-1 B1G) held the lead or were tied with the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins (9-1, 2-0 B1G) up until the 44-second mark of the third quarter, but Maryland was able to pull out a road win 13-12.
“I always think that you get what you deserve when you walk off the field,” Penn State head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “I don’t think our guys deserved to lose, but we didn’t make enough plays today [to win].”
Penn State came out hot in the opening quarter behind the goaltending of sophomore Colby Kneese. Maryland put ten shots on goal in the quarter, with Kneese saving seven of them. Three of the four Nittany Lion leading scorers netted goals in the first quarter. Sophomore Mac O’Keefe, sophomore Dylan Foulds and junior Nick Spillane each scored, but the Terrapins kept the game knotted up after the first 15 minutes, 3-3.
“It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the high intensity [of the game],” Spillane said. “It’s just something we have to learn from.”
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued as the Terps and Nittany Lions traded goals in the second quarter. Maryland senior Connor Kelly had a hat trick in the first half with two goals in the second quarter. Kelly finished with six goals and an assist on the game.
“The toughest part of covering [Kelly] is his quickness, he’s probably one of the best players in the country,” Penn State junior Mike Aronow said.
In the third quarter, the tide started to turn towards Maryland as they went on a 4-2 scoring run that lasted for 14:59 in the third quarter. Kelly had another goal, and junior Will Snider scored both of his two goals in the stretch. Maryland held the lead after Snider’s second goal until junior Robby Black beat the buzzer to tie up the game headed to the final quarter at nine.
“Maryland is a really good team, and sometimes when you play against really good teams and they make plays, whether you want them to or not, and they did,” Tambroni said. “They stayed the course throughout the 60 minutes.”
The Terps went on a 4-1 scoring run in ten minutes in the fourth quarter to regain the lead, and after a Spillane goal with 18 seconds left the Nittany Lions had a chance to tie the game up at the buzzer. However, freshman Justin Shockey won the ensuing faceoff to ice the game for the Terps.
Penn State will host another highly ranked Big Ten opponent next week when the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays come to Panzer Stadium for an afternoon tilt. Maryland takes their undefeated conference record back to College Park to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, another ranked test for the Terps in a loaded Big Ten conference.
Joe Skinner is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.