Eight Nittany Lions head home as Penn State faces Marquette on Saturday

Story posted March 18, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Cailey Thalman

The Penn State men’s lacrosse team has been on a tear to start off the 2023 season. The Nittany Lions are ranked fifth among NCAA Division 1 teams and have gone 5-1 to start off the year, which is their best record to start the season since 2019.

On Saturday, the Nittany Lions will take on Marquette for the first time in program history.

Last week, the blue and white upset three top-10 Ivy League opponents, the most recent being third-ranked Cornell in Ithaca, New York.

The Nittany Lions dominated most of the game, not allowing Cornell to get the lead across 60 minutes, eventually leading to the 10-6 victory. Sophomore Matt Traynor tallied three goals in the game, marking his third hat trick of the season.

Looking ahead to their matchup on Saturday, Penn State will try to add a win to its current four-game winning streak.

Marquette has gone 3-3 to start off the season. Most recently the Golden Eagles lost a heartbreaker to Bellarmine after a comeback effort wasn’t enough to earn them the win.

The Golden Eagles narrowed a six-goal deficit to one, but they eventually lost the game 11-10.

Devon Cowan and Luke Blanc are both offensive powerhouses for Marquette, each tallying a hattrick in its game against Bellarmine. They’ve combined for 15 goals on the season thus far. They’re joined by Bobby O’Grady, the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer, who’s put up 17 goals on the year alone.

Marquette’s head coach will look to bring his team above .500 against a familiar program. Andrew Stimmel began his collegiate playing career as a midfielder at Penn State before finishing off the last three years of his career at Ohio State.

The teams will face off in Long Island at a neutral site in Levittown, New York. Long Island is familiar to the Nittany Lions as eight players call the island home.

Heading into the game, Penn State is ranked in the top five for the first time since the 2021 season. A big part of the blue and white’s success so far in the season has been stellar goaltending.

Earlier this week, sophomore goaltender Jack Fracyon was named Division 1 Player of the Week by USA Lacrosse Magazine. Fracyon has a GAA of 10.26 along with a save percentage of .568.

Strong goaltending is paired with an even stronger offense for Penn State as four players have tallied 10 or more goals in six games played.

Leading the charge on the offensive front are the Traynor brothers who have combined for 27 goals this season. The Nittany Lions will look to outlast Marquette on both sides of the ball in their game this weekend.

The game will take place at Gen. Douglas MacArthur High School on Saturday at noon.

Cailey Thalman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism, You can contact her at cmt6182@psu.edu.