Men’s Lax: Penn State Downs Hobart 17-12

Story posted February 14, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Madeleine Balestrier

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa – The Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) defeated the Hobart Statesmen (0-1) 17-12 in exciting fashion on Saturday in Holuba Hall.

With two games already underfoot, the Nittany Lions have established themselves as a formidable force, but understand the length of the season and need for improvement. Penn State head coach Jeff Tambroni explains their development from last week’s game.

“We shot the ball better as the game went on,” said Tambroni. “Their goalie is really good…and as the game went on, our guys adjusted well. There is still a lot we got to work on right now if we want to compete against teams like Cornell next weekend.”

TJ Sanders’ rocket of a goal stimulated the first quarter’s offensive production for both teams and created a back and forth battle of strong and physical play. At the end of the initial 15 minutes, Hobart came out with the lead after Chris Aslanian’s go ahead goal, pushing Hobart to a 4-3 lead with 57 seconds left in the quarter.

The second quarter allowed the Nittany Lions to get into a groove with a fast tempo offense, successfully scoring four goals. Nittany Lion junior Billy Lombardi swung the momentum in favor of the Blue and White with his commanding goal off of a critical face off midway through the quarter. Mike Sutton and Matt Florence fed off of Lombardi’s offensive strike, pushing the Nittany Lions two goals ahead of the Statesmen going into the half 7-5.

With a much more exciting second half, both teams found themselves in control of the momentum at times, as an explosive Hobart offense tallied five goals and took the momentum into the fourth quarter, leading the Nittany Lions 10-8.

Penn State stole the momentum away quickly from the Statesmen, as the Blue and White managed to score three goals within a minute of one another. Sanders, completing his second consecutive hat trick of the season, was integral to Penn State’s comeback win. The Nittany Lions dominated the final quarter, scoring nine goals. Lombardi and Josh Wellman sparked Penn State with their production during face-offs. Although only winning 16 of the 33 at the face-off X, their victories spurred key shifts in game productions.

Nittany Lion senior Mike Aronow reflected on the team’s persistence in the fourth quarter.

“Going into the fourth quarter, our coach talked to us about who we are and we are still trying to figure ourselves out and we showed that we don’t give up and we’re going to keep fighting until the last whistle,” said Aronow.

Ryan Keenan, who secured a hat trick against Hobart, believes Penn State is at their best when they just worry about themselves and not about their opponent.

“They are a great team, a great program, but we just got to prepare in our best interest and play Penn State lacrosse,” said Keenan.

The Penn State Nittany Lions head on the road next Saturday at 3 p.m. against Cornell.

Madeleine Balestrier is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email mrb5883@psu.edu