Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Rolls Past St. Joseph’s

Story posted March 23, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt Lawrence

Commanding leads have been few and far between for the Penn State men’s lacrosse team so far this season. However, the No. 17 ranked Nittany Lions (5-3, 2-0 CAA) scored the first nine goals of the game today and cruised to a 9-2 victory over the St. Joseph’s Hawks (4-5, 0-1 CAA). The win is Penn State’s third in a row after having dropped their previous three contests.

Senior attack Jack Forster opened the scoring for the Nittany Lions with a goal in the first minute of action. After a long, methodical possession by the Hawks which ended with junior goalkeeper Austin Kaut’s first of 14 saves, Tom LaCrosse picked up a ground ball at midfield, made a move to the middle, and ripped a shot top-corner to extend Penn State’s lead to 2-0.

The rout was on from there as Forster and LaCrosse would each add another goal and T.J. Sanders, the leading freshmen goal scorer in the country, tallied another before the end of the first 15 minutes.

Penn State would proceed to score the first nine goals of the game before their bid for the program’s first shutout since 1956 was broken up when Kyle Williams scored with 7:00 left in the third quarter. The Hawks got on the board again in the final frame after a Brian Gannahan goal.

All season, head coach Jeff Tambroni’s club has consistently found success in the first half of games. The second halves are where they have found problems. Penn State led Ohio State 8-2 at halftime earlier in the season before the Buckeyes stormed back in the second half and won 10-9 in overtime.

Despite still winning handily, Tambroni still finds a lot of room for improvement.

“It would be nice to have a game where we have 60 minutes of the great effort that signifies the heart and dedication of the guys in that locker room on a more consistent basis,” Tambroni said. ‘I don’t want to take anything away from the win, but if we’re going to be more consistent, we just have to work a little bit harder throughout the course of the game.

Kaut continued his hot streak with another 14 save performance and held the Hawks to their lowest scoring total ever against the Nittany Lions. He has recorded 14 saves or more in each of Penn State’s three-game win streak.

“Oh, it’s a real relaxing feeling,” Kaut said of the offense jumping out to an early lead. “As a team we just really came together on defense and made the simple plays needed to come out on top.”

The Nittany Lions battle another ranked foe when they take to the road to face the No. 15 ranked Bucknell Bison on Tuesday at 7:30. The Bison are coming off of a huge win over No. 2 Cornell earlier this week and both teams need a win to strengthen their resume for an at-large birth. Penn State fell to Bucknell last season 9-6 at home.

Matt Lawrence is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and economics. To contact him, email mdl5249@psu.edu.