By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/9/12
Philly Gear is the newest feature on Phillylacrosse.com, where we feature the hottest new gear and apparel being worn by the region’s college, high school, club and youth teams in boys’ and girls’ lacrosse. To submit an article, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Penn State men’s lacrosse team has been one of the biggest early-season stories of 2012.
The Nittany Lions moved to the No. 10 position in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls this week. PSU is 3-1 after winning three straight, including key victories over then No.2 Notre Dame, 4-3, and Ohio State, 5-2. The Lions’ lone loss was to highly-ranked North Carolina, 14-10, in their opener.
Under second-year coach Jeff Tambroni, Penn State has already won the Creator’s trophy as the “champion” of the three Big Ten teams that have men’s lacrosse. And keying the team’s rise are many Philly grads.
Anchoring the team’s defense is sophomore goalie Austin Kaut, a Springfield-Delco grad who earned the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year in 2010. Kaut has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week once and is second in the nation in goals against average after yielding just 25 goals in four games while making 53 saves (.679 save percentage).
Heading the defense in front of Kaut is senior co-captain Ryan McGarvey, a Penn Charter alum who has been the leader of a young back line.
At midfield, senior co-captain Matt Mackrides (Malvern Prep) has been a revelation after starting 39 of 41 games at attack his first three seasons. Mackrides, who played midfield at Malvern Prep, was moved back to middie because the Lions were young there and had a strong attack, Mackrides leads the team with eight goals despite coming off the bench each game.
The attack features fifth-year senior Jack Forster (La Salle) and sophomore Shane Sturgis (Downingtown East).
Forster is a walking medical story who has overcome two reconstructive knee operations (both ACLs), left and right; three more on right knee to repair meniscus). He leads the team in scoring with five goals and seven assists. Sturgis is third on the Lions in scoring with two goals and five assists.
Penn State hosts Denver Saturday in another Top 20 battle at State College at 1 p.m. The following Saturday Penn State hosts UMass at noon in its Colonial Athletic Association opener.
The Penn State gear featured today:
Nike Vapor Elite Penn State gloves
Nike Vapor Cleats
STX Assault Penn State Gloves
Cascade CPXR white Penn State helmet
STX Assault Penn State Arm pads, Arm Guards
Equipment Showcase – STX Alliance Penn State Shaft, Nike Huarache Cleats, Cascade CPXR blue helmet