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Men’s lacrosse; Penn State edges UMass, 7-5, behind Kaut, Forster

Saturday, 16th March 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/16/13
From Press Release

The No. 18 Penn State men’s lacrosse team scored the final three goals in a 7-5 win over No. 19 Massachusetts at Garber Field in the teams’ Colonial Athletic Association opener today.

Jack Forster (La Salle) scored four goals and Kyle VanThof netted the game-winner to propel the Nittany Lions to victory in front of 1,023 fans.

Junior Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco), who saved 25 shots in his freshman appearance in Amherst, an 8-7 win in 2011, had a fantastic game. Kaut’s 16 saves and five goals against was a season best. Kaut moved into eighth on the Penn State career saves list and now has 432 total stops.

“Our staff is very proud of our team’s effort,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “As it was a hard fought win over a very tough UMass team. Any win in the CAA is a big win, but we can’t afford to celebrate for long with a quick turnaround and our second road game just three days away.”

A nip and tuck game that saw five ties and six lead changes had Penn State (3-3, 1-0 CAA) come out on top. UMass (3-4, 0-1 CAA) took a 5-4 lead late in the third quarter, but Forster tied the game before the quarter’s end. VanThof tallied a left-winged shot from Gavin Ahern with the timer on mid-way through the fourth period. Forster added insurance a few minutes later, again with the timer on, sealing the victory.

Forster put Penn State up early on an unassisted goal just 1:20 into the contest. UMass’s Connor Mooney knotted the game with 6:37 remaining in the first period, his first of three goals on the day. Forster answered back 1:22 later with another tally, this time from Tom LaCrosse. UM’s Kyle Smith scored on a Will Manny helper with 2:14 remaining in the first as the game was tied after one period of play. Manny, the reigning CAA Player of the Year and USILA All-American, made his return from a thumb injury suffered in the first game of the season.

The second period saw Penn State take its third one-goal lead on a Kyle Zittel rip from the right wing with 9:23 to go ni the second. Matt Whippen scored for UMass on another helper from Manny with 5:15 left and the game would be tied entering halftime.

In the third, Mooney put the Minutemen up 4-3 just 3:29 into the period. Nick Dolik tallied his first goal of the season in front of the net on a pretty feed from LaCrosse, his second assist of the day, with 7:08 to go, tying the game, 4-4. Mooney capped his hat trick with a man-up goal from Smith for Massachusetts’ final lead of the game, 5-4 with 5:28 to go in the third.

Forster tied the game with 3:12 left in the third on a pretty roll from the left wing. Forster was knocked down and scored from his knees before he entered the crease and beat UMass goalie Zach Oliveri (14 saves).

The fourth period belonged to Penn State with key scoring in crucial situations. The game was tied entering the final six minutes and the officials signaled a stall warning on the Nittany Lions. Ahern received a pass on the right wing, swung it left for VanThof who rifled it by Oliveri for a 6-5 lead. The tally was VanThof’s third and Ahern’s first point of the 2013 campaign.

Another timer-on situation was encountered by the Nittany Lion, this time it was a one-man effort by Forster to slip one in the net for the game’s first two-goal advantage. Forster’s tally gave him the point lead for Penn State this season with 22.

Freshman TJ Sanders was held scoreless for the first time in his young career and trails Forster by one point. Forster, the sixth-year senior out of Jenkintown, sit 14 goals behind Bill Hess (1956-58) for 11th on PSU’s all-time list. Additionally, Forster is 18 points behind Tom Lion (1981-84) for 11th on the career points list.

The Minutemen held a 39-32 advantage in shots, including a 26-15 margin in the second and third quarters combined. UMass won the ground ball war (20-17) and faceoffs (10-6). PSU committed just nine turnovers, while Massachusetts had 11 turnovers. PSU was 0-for-3 on the man-up and UMass went 1-for-2.

Steven Bogert, JP Burnside, Michael Richards and Danny Henneghan each collected three ground balls for the Nittany Lions. Henneghan won 7-of-16 faceoffs including four of the final seven during Penn State’s winning run.

Penn State now trails 10-5 in the all-time series with Massachusetts and has won the past two meetings at Garber Field. In 15 total meetings, 12 games have been decided by three goals or less.

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