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No. 13 Penn State Lacrosse Falls To No. 4 Maryland 13-7 At Home Opener

No. 13 Penn State men’s lacrosse (0-2) played a sloppy game against No. 4 Maryland (2-0) on Friday, losing 13-7 due to many turnovers and a lack of stability.

Mac O’Keefe’s invisibility continued this week, and the Nittany Lions attack struggled without him.

How It Happened 

Less than two minutes into the game the Nittany Lions went on the man advantage due to an illegal body check by Maryland, which passed without a goal. Minutes after the man advantage finished, Dan Reaume opened the scoring for Penn State, his fourth goal of the season.

Under two minutes later, Maryland responded to the Nittany Lions goal, with Kyle Long launching the ball off the poll and getting it into Colby Kneese’s net. Moments later, Maryland’s Logan Winauskas scored, giving the Terrapins the 2-1 lead. 

The Nittany Lions kept trying to get the ball in the back of Maryland’s net, but the Terrapins defense continued to trouble Penn State, preventing Jeff Tambroni’s team from finding quality shots.

Maryland improved on its lead in the final moments of the first quarter, after Winauskas striked again, giving Maryland a 3-1 lead over the Nittany Lions. 

With seven seconds remaining, Nate Buller scored his first goal of the season, shortening Maryland’s lead to 3-2. An incredible goal, Buller launched the ball into the upper 90 of the net while falling onto the turf with a behind the back shot.

The second quarter started off with a beautiful Jackson Reynolds goal at 13:40, equalizing the contest at 3. Three minutes later, Mac O’Keefe gave Penn State the 4-3 lead with an assist from TJ Malone.

Maryland’s Jared Bernhardt found a soft spot in the Nittany Lions’ defense and equalized the game at 4 just over halfway through the period. Penn State then went on a man down, due to two penalties on Jack Kelly for pushing and unnecessary roughness with 5:35 remaining in the period. Penn State killed the man down, and the score remained tied.

Bubba Fairman then got a shot past an unsuspecting Kneese with just over two minutes remaining in the period, giving Maryland a 5-4 lead.

At the beginning of the third quarter, the Terrapins took a multi-goal advantage. Daniel Maltz hit two in quick succession, helping his Maryland side to a 7-4 lead. The Terrapins continued to run away with the game, with Bernhardt getting his second and third goals of the game and upping the Terrapins’ lead to 89-4.

TJ Malone, assisted by Dylan Foulds, ended Maryland’s 6-0 run, cutting the Terrapins’ lead to four heading into the last quarter. 

Kelly opened the scoring a minute into the final quarter, his first of the season, cutting the Terrapins’ lead even further to 9-6. With 7:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, Maryland’s Anthony DeMaio scored his first of the contest, before Maltz got another to ice the contest.

Things continued to unravel for the Nittany Lions, with the Terrapins continuing to wear them down. Just over 30 seconds after DeMaio’s goal, Wisnaukas scored for the Terrapins, giving them a six goal cushion. With 5:37 remaining, Maltz scored his fourth goal of the game, giving Maryland a 13-6 lead.

With under a minute remaining, Bobby Burns got his first goal of the season for the Nittany Lions, but it was largely a consolation. This proved to be the last action of the contest, with Maryland taking home a 13-7 win. Maryland may be a projected Final Four team in the nation, but the Nittany Lions have much to work on before facing Ohio State next Saturday.

Takeaways 

  • Turnovers proved to be a huge issue for the Nittany Lions this contest. It was what enabled Maryland to take possession and score as much as it did. A sloppy game overall, the Nittany Lions will need to work on this hurdle before facing Ohio State next weekend.
  • In Mac O’Keefe’s last game against Rutgers, he struggled. This game was no different. Outside of scoring one of Penn State’s seven goals, O’Keefe was virtually invisible throughout the contest. The scoring king is going to need to find a way to break through this roadblock, or the Nittany Lions will continue to suffer.
  • Things crumbled for Penn State twice during the game. Once in the third, and again in the fourth quarter. The team needs to work on not letting bad go to worse, as at times during the fourth quarter it appeared as if the Nittany Lions were handing Maryland goals. While the team lost many pillars of stability last season, they need to find ways to close the gaps again.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions next face Ohio State at Panzer Stadium March 6 at noon. The game will air on BTN+..

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About the Author

Acacia Aster Broder

Acacia is a junior from Philadelphia majoring in digital and print journalism with a sports certificate. Although she considers herself a Philadelphian at heart, she is a Toronto and Seattle sports fan. Follow her on Twitter @acaciaaster or Instagram @acaciaastr for hockey takes and mediocre analysis.

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