Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Suffers Heartbreaking Loss Against Villanova
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –– The Penn State Nittany Lions lost a tough game against the Villanova Wildcats 13-12 in dramatic fashion on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions had no answer for the Wildcats offense all game as they were outshot 47-26.
Head coach Jeff Tambroni voiced that he was happy with his defense’s performance in the second half.
“At the end of the day, you just look at goals rather than shots,” Tambroni said. “I thought we played really, really well and together in the defensive end in that second half.”
Villanova came out hot and started the game with a 3-0 lead with 10:12 still left in the first quarter. Penn State was able to get a goal from Jack Kelly just before the end of the first quarter to bring the Nittany Lions to within one.
Villanova outshot the Nittany Lions 12-6 in the first quarter.
The Wildcats continued to dominate the shot column and took advantage of a slashing penalty by Penn State to make the score 6-3. Two goals in the final minute of the second quarter allowed the Nittany Lions to trail by only three heading into halftime.
The Wildcats’ offense dominated the first half as they outshot the Nittany Lions 25-11. Villanova’s Patrick Daly led all scorers at the half with four goals and three of them coming in the second quarter.
“We were making some uncharacteristic mistakes just kind of all over the field,” senior Jack Traynor said. “We knew we were good enough to get back in that game and play with that team.”
Penn State came out of the half with a different mentality and cut the Villanova lead to two with 7:21 remaining in the third quarter.
The Nittany Lions continued to build on their momentum and scored two goals within six seconds of each other to force the Wildcats to call a timeout with the game tied at nine. Penn State outscored Villanova 5-1 in the third quarter to capture the lead and head into the fourth quarter up one.
Freshman Will Peden described the trust the team has in one another to keep fighting and try to pull out a win. “We’ve been doing this for months now, just putting in the work and just to look around at our teammates and just find a way,” Peden said.
Two goals by Villanova in the fourth quarter would give the WIldcats the lead 11-10 with 6:46 left in the game. Traynor would score his fourth goal of the game to answer back and tie the game at 11.
From there, Daly took over for Villanova as he ripped a goal with 3:25 left to play in the game. Peden would then score his second goal of the game to square the game up at 12.
A career-high sixth goal by Daly allowed the Wildcats to hold the lead with just a minute left in the game.
One last final rush by Penn State would result in a missed shot off the crossbar as Villanova would hold on and win by a score of 13-12.
The Nittany Lions face a quick turnaround as they take on Vermont at Panzer Stadium on Wednesday.
“Probably going to be a quicker turnaround on Monday, a quick discussion on Villanova today, but a quick change of the page and move on to our focus on ourselves and Vermont,” Tambroni said.
Thomas English is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.