Attack Paves Way To Victory For Penn State in Home Opener Over Lafayette
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After a disappointing 2022 campaign, Penn State started 2023 off with a bang.
The Nittany Lions took down Lafayette College 21-11 on Saturday inside the friendly confines of Holuba Hall after the contest was moved earlier this week.
The blue and white dominated the Leopards in most aspects of the game, especially on faceoffs, with FOGO Hudson Bohn winning 22-30 draws and notching a goal.
After the victory, coach Jeff Tambroni voiced his pleasure in Bohn’s performance, mentioning he helped spark the offense all afternoon.
“Hudson Bohn was terrific today,” Tambroni said. “Kudos to Hudson. He was consistent all day. Had a few violations early but never wavered and did the right thing and sometimes you can get into that kind of a groove and try to do too much.”
Penn State was led in scoring by sophomore midfielder Matt Traynor, who had five goals and tore apart Lafayette’s defense.
Traynor played in just two games as a freshman scoring one goal, but he made the most of his opportunities on Saturday.
“It was just good to get out there. My teammates definitely were the ones that made me successful in this game,” Traynor said. “A lot of them were doorstep finishes, my teammates finding me on the crease, so it's pretty easy.”
Traynor’s older brother, Jack had a goal and two assists in the win and mentioned it was a great feeling playing with his younger brother.
The Nittany Lions' scoring attack was also led by St. Lawrence transfer Chris Jordan, who had four goals in his debut.
Jordan found the back of the net in various ways, including a wrap-around move and a top-corner snipe. He also tallied two assists.
Tambroni had high praise for his new attacker after his first game donning the blue and white.
“I like everything about Chris Jordan's game,” Tambroni said. “He's a terrific young man who works really hard and carries a great deal of humility for a guy as talented as he is.”
One of the more significant storylines entering the contest was the return of captain TJ Malone after he missed the 2022 season with an injury.
Malone tallied two goals with a coast-to-coast finish and a highlight real no-look behind-the-back.
In addition to the pair of goals, he was the blue and white’s primary facilitator leading the team with three assists.
“Knowing what he's gone through and the resilience that he has shown to get back to this spot to play at the level that he's playing, it's just remarkable,” Tambroni said. “He really is an inspiration to our staff and team.”
Leading the way for the Leopards' was attacker Charlie Cunniffe, who had two goals and three assists.
However, Penn State’s defensive prowess was too much for Lafayette to handle, despite it not having one of its key defenders due to injury.
Sophomore Kevin Parnham was seen on the sideline in a sling during the match, but that allowed some of the Nittany Lions' depth to shine.
“He's a terrific defenseman with high energy, high IQ, terrific cover defenders,” Tambroni said. “He’s one of our most talented players and defenders, so it’s going to have its effect. It’s nice to see some of the young guys step up today like Alex Ross.”
The blue and white will have an eight-day layover before heading to Philadelphia to face the Villanova Wildcats next Sunday, February 12.
Matt Cabram is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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