Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/18/17
From Press Release
The No. 11 Penn State men’s lacrosse team showed balanced effort at the Penn State Lacrosse Field Saturday afternoon, moving to 3-0 for the second straight season with a 20-10 victory over the Cornell Big Red.
The Nittany Lions were firing on all cylinders, scoring 20 goals with 13 assists for its second straight game scoring 20 or more goals. The feat had not been done in nearly 34 years, with Penn State’s last time scoring 20-plus in consecutive games coming in 1983 (Montclair State, Apr. 30, 25 goals; Bucknell, May 2, 20 goals).
Sophomore attackman Grant Ament (Haverford School, Duke’s LC/Mesa Fresh) had a stellar showing with a career-best nine points. He scored six goals in the outing, also a career best, while adding three assists on the day. Fellow attackman Mac O’Keefe continued on a stellar rookie campaign, logging five goals in his third career appearance.
Senior attackman Nick Aponte also added a strong performance, pouring in a pair of goals while matching Ament’s game-best three assists. Freshman attackman Conor Smith scored a hat trick in his second collegiate appearance.
Senior midfielders Matt Florence, Mike Sutton (St. Augustine Prep) and Matt Sexton each registered goals, while Sutton added an assist. Fellow midfielders Robby Black, Dan Craig, Tanner Peck (Avon Grove) and Tommy Wright were all credited for assists as well.
“I thought we got off to a sluggish start offensively, but I think our defense really played well,” seventh year head coach Jeff Tambroni said following the game. “Just really sound. There was a lot of stuff that coach [Peter] Toner talked about following the Hobart game – we really reflected on the way we practiced this week. I was happy for Coach Toner, for the way our defense played and I thought Colby Kneese really bounced back. I think our defense gave our offense enough of an opportunity in the second and third quarters.”
Penn State’s defense limited Cornell to just five goals in the opening three quarters, as the unit locked in on the Big Red.
Kneese made his second career start and logged his third win of the season, playing 52:02 while making nine saves. Junior Will Schreiner (Avon Grove) and sophomore Trevor Scollins logged time in goal as well. Defender Christopher Sabia (Haverford School) had two groundballs to lead the defense.
The Turning Point
After going back and forth through the first quarter and a half, Penn State led 4-3 before O’Keefe scored at 2:55 on a feed from Ament to give the Nittany Lions a 5-3 lead. From there, Penn State felt a swing in momentum, scoring twice more courtesy of Hill and Ament before the end of the half for a strong 7-3 advantage headed into the break.
Grant Ament – Ament paved the way for the Nittany Lions offense, posting six goals and three assists for a career-best nine points. Ament scored a pair of goals late in the second quarter to help Penn State break open the lead.
Peter Triolo– Triolo anchored the defensive unit, helping Penn State to hold Cornell to just five goals in the opening three quarters before subbing out.
Gerard Arceri – Arceri went 15-of-21 at the faceoff “x” to help control play. After going 0-for-3 in the opening quarter he rebounded in the second, going 8-of-9 for the Nittany Lions.