Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/19/13
From Press Release
A 6-0 second-period run gave No. 17 Penn State men’s lacrosse a seven-goal lead as the Nittany Lions downed host Binghamton, 11-7, at Bearcats Sports Complex on Tuesday evening. Junior goalie Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco), the reigning CAA Player of the Week, posted his second straight 16-save game, while Nick Dolik’s second-quarter hat trick paced the offense.
Penn State (4-3, 1-0 CAA) took a commanding 9-2 lead near the end of the second quarter only to see Binghamton (3-4, 0-0 America East) tally off five straight goals, setting up a nervous fourth quarter. The Nittany Lion defense, anchored by Kaut, buckled down the Bearcats momentum and outscored Binghamton 2-0 in the final quarter to emerge victorious. Kaut has made 32 saves and allowed just 11 goals in his past two games.
Aside from Dolik’s three-goal performance, PSU received a three-point effort from Shane Sturgis (DowningtownEast) on a pair of goals and an assist. Jack Forster (La Salle) had a goal and an assist and Tom LaCrosse notched a two-goal game as well.
Playing in a driving snow squall coupled with strong wind, Penn State took an early 2-0 lead on goals by LaCrosse and TJ SandersThe Sanders goal was set up by a Kaut save and a Michael Richards clear as Richards dished to Sanders standing next to the crease.
Binghamton’s Emmett O’Hara tallied his second of the year with 7:17 remaining in the first. The Bearcats would win the ensuing faceoff, but a turnover caused by Steven Bogert started the PSU offense. Gavin Ahern slipped through the defense with a right to left run and scored for a 3-1 lead with 4:53 to go in the first. BU would make it 3-2 on a Michael Antinozzi extra-man goal to cap the opening frame.
The second was all Penn State as the Nittany Lions scored six straight goals. First it was Sturgis on a broken play as he was fed by Forster for the transition goal and a 4-2 lead with 14:02 to go. Dolik scored his first of the day from the left wing with 13:09 left in the second. Dolik made it back-to-back tallies with 8:56 remaining on a give-and-go play with Erik Myers.
Kyle Zittel ripped his fifth goal of the season assisted by Kyle VanThof just 30 seconds later for a 7-2 Penn State lead. Dolik marked his first hat trick since May 2, 2012 vs. Drexel with a one-timer from Sturgis for the 8-2 advantage with 6:41 left in the half. Forster gave Penn State a seven-goal lead with 3:42 remaining on his 17th tally of the year from a tight left-winged angle.
The Bearcats would go on an extra-man opportunity with a two-man advantage as senior Conor Baucum made a quick save in Kaut’s absence in the penalty box. The first penalty expired with no damage done, but BU tallied a goal before the second penalty wrapped up to cut the lead to six at 9-3 entering the half.
If the second period belonged to Penn State, the third was all Binghamton. The Bearcats outscored Penn State 4-0, capping a 5-0 run during another snow squall as the lead was cut to two at 9-7 entering the fourth quarter.
There, the Nittany Lions held possession three minutes into the stanza and a loose ball was picked up by LaCrosse on the sideline. The junior midfielder picked the ball up, cut between two long-stick defenders behind the net and rolled in front of the crease for a diving goal and a 10-7 lead with 11:17 remaining in the fourth period.
The period would belong to Kaut has he made four crucial saves as the Bearcats tried to eat into the lead once again. One such flurry saw back-to-back saves by the All-American netminder with 3:45 remaining as Penn State would eventually clear into its attacking third.
On a Binghamton infraction, the Bearcats called timeout and set up a double team on the restart with 1:32 remaining in the game. Leaving the net open, Sturgis fired the long-range shot to cap the scoring at 11-7.
Penn State won the ground ball battle 23-21 led by Danny Henneghan’s five ground ball pickups. Henneghan went 10-for-21 in faceoffs. Freshman James Burke had a career-high three ground balls and Sturgis matched his career high with three of his own.
Defensively, Kessler Brown caused a team-high two turnovers, while Jack Donnelly, Tyler Travis, and Bogert tallied two ground balls apiece. JP Burnside collected a ground ball as well for the defense that has held its past two opponents to six goals a game.
Binghamton out-shot Penn State 41-31 for the game with a commanding 26-9 tally in the second half. The Bearcats went 3-for-5 in extra-man opportunities, while Penn State was 0-for-1.
The Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley for a 1 p.m. contest on March 23 against Saint Joseph’s in CAA play. Penn State will be in search of its first three-game winning streak of the year and sixth straight win over the Hawks, who last played on Saturday in a 12-5 win over Marquette.