Historic, Dominating Afternoon for Penn State vs Robert Morris
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —The Nittany Lions were absolutely dominate, scoring a team record 27 goals to defeat Robert Morris 27-10 on Saturday at Holuba Hall.
By halftime the score was 18-3 and No. 9 Penn State (2-0) were well on their way to their second victory of the season. When the final buzzer sounded, 17 different players had recorded points and 15 different players tallied goals.
“I was impressed with so many guys confidence to pull the trigger,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said.
The game did not start off as an offensive explosion for the Nittany Lions as both teams’ defenses kept the game scoreless to start.
“I was more impressed by how we played defensively than offensively regardless of the numbers we put up today,” Tambroni said. “I thought the collaboration defensively, the way they stuck to the game plan and worked together, that gave us everything we needed early when we were struggling offensively. I thought our offense actually gained our confidence because of what was going on the other end of the field.”
Redshirt junior Grant Ament registered seven points by the half (six assists and one goal) to increase his season total to an astonishing 17 points only two weeks into the season.
“I think the compliment to any great player is you make others around you better… and I think he just does a wonderful job in that regard,” Tambroni said of Ament. “I think the other guys are providing a lot of really good opportunities, moving really well off the ball for him and finishing shots when Grant does find them.”
Some Ament’s teammates who finished shots were junior Mac O’Keefe, putting five of his 10 shots in the back of the net. Nittany Lions had more help from sophomore Jack Kelly and freshman TJ Malone, as both players had secured halftime hat tricks.
After being awarded the Big Ten freshman of the week, Malone continued his hot streak and finished with five points (four goals, one assist).
“I’m just doing my job,” Malone said. “Mac and Grant make my job so easy just because they usually take the two best poles, so I just have to win my matchup and usually their going to get me open so I’ll get a lot of off-ball goals. If I just run hard and do my job it really just opens up the offense more.”
“He just plays with so much confidence,” Tambroni said, "He has no conscience in a good way… he’s so focused on doing the right thing that when he does make a mistake it’s like water on a duck’s back, it rolls off and he’s moving on and that’s uncanny maturity for a freshman.”
Another area of the field Penn State was superior was at the faceoff, where they won 23 of 39 led by junior Gerard Arceri, winning 11 of 13 first half faceoffs.
In the second half, the Nittany Lions scoring slowed down after coach Jeff Tamborini pulled several of his starters, including junior goalie Colby Kneese. Kneese came out with 8:13 remaining in third quarter after saving 11 shots.
For the Colonials (0-1) they began to find some success in the second half, scoring seven of their 10 goals in the last two quarters.
The game could have been considered garbage time after halftime, however, as the Colonials’ scoring was inconsequential to the outcome of the game.
The Nittany Lions season opening homestand is over and coach Tambroni is anxious to see how his team performs on the road.
“We call it traveling like a pro,” Tambroni said. “Just being able to get out avoid any unnecessary distractions and being able to play competitively in a hostile environment.”
The Nittany Lions will look to continue their dominate play and extend their winning streak to three games when they head to Stony Brook to take on the Seawolves next Saturday at 12 p.m.
Jerome Taylor is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Senior / Broadcast Journalism