Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/6/16
From Press Release
Penn State men’s lacrosse (1-0) kicked off the 2016 season with a dominant 20-7 victory against Robert Morris (0-1) Saturday afternoon at Holuba Hall.
A total of 12 Nittany Lions found the scoring column, led by four goals from senior TJ Sanders. Redshirt junior Matt Florence registered a hat trick with three goals, while freshman Grant Ament (Haverford School), junior Nick Aponte and junior Brian Prestreau added two goals apiece. Ament added five assists and three groundballs
“We’re thrilled,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “I thought our guys came out of the locker room and from the start of the game at the first whistle they played a very inspired game of lacrosse and gained a ton of momentum in the second and third quarter.”
Including Ament, a total of six freshmen scored their first collegiate goal in their rookie debut against the Colonials. Freshmen Matt Donnelly (Clearview Regional), Robby Black, Nick Spillane, Kevin Fox and Jimmy Nowoswiat (Unionville) all registered one goal each.
Senior James Chakey (Haverford School) and junior Mike Sutton (St. Augustine Prep) rounded out the scoring effort with a pair of goals apiece at the Nittany Lions out-shot Robert Morris 33-31.
Ament led the team with five assists for a seven-point outing in his collegiate debut. Aponte finished second on the team with four assists for six points. Sanders dished out three assists for seven points while Chakey added two.
Will Schreiner (Avon Grove) earned the start in goal for the Nittany Lions, making six saves in a little more than 40 minutes. Freshman Trevor Scollins also made his collegiate debut in the net, registering two saves. Freshman Chris Sabia (Haverford School) picked up three ground balls in his first collegiate start on defense, while Fox also led the team with nine ground balls.
Also from Philly for the Lions, Tommy O’Neill (St. Augustine Prep) and Tripp (Malvern Prep) each had two groundballs, Tanner Peck (Avon Grove) had an assist, Tyler Chambers (Episcopal Academy) had a caused turnover, and Tyler Butler (Central Bucks East) and Ryan Guittare (Garnet Valley) each had a groundball.
“The freshmen made an immediate impact,” Tambroni said. “For Grant Ament and Chris Sabia to come out here and play with the poise that they did says a lot about their character and a lot about the guys around them too.”
Penn State jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter as Florence found the back of the net off an assist from Aponte less than two minutes into the game to spark a 5-0 scoring streak. Aponte, Ament, Chakey and Prestreau all added goals during the stretch.
Looking to spark some momentum, Robert Morris’ Eric Rankel (Downingtown West) popped in a goal to cut the Nittany Lion advantage to four with less than two minutes remaining. Florence answered with his second goal of the quarter to send Penn State ahead 6-1 at the end of the frame.
The Colonials opened the second quarter with a goal from JonPatrick Kealey to trim the gap back to four, 6-2. Penn State came storming back with 11 consecutive goals spanning the remainder of the second quarter and into the third to surge ahead by as many as 15, 17-2.
Sanders kicked off the scoring streak with back-to-back goals, scoring his first on an extra-man opportunity after the Colonials were whistled for cross-checking. Sanders powered the charge with a total of four goals in the offensive push, while Sutton, Aponte, Florence, Black, Prestreau, Fox and Ament all chipped in a goal apiece to bolster the lead.
Robert Morris looked to halt the momentum with a pair of goals from Luke Laszkiewicz, 17-4, with 5:09 left in the third but the rookie duo featuring Spillane and Nowoswiat answered with a pair of goals to push Penn State up 19-4 at the end of the third quarter.
Just a few minutes into the fourth quarter, Donnelly put away his first collegiate goal to give the Nittany Lions their largest lead of the game, 20-4. The Colonials looked to rebound with three consecutive goals, but could not recover as the Nittany Lions claimed a 20-7 win as time expired.
NOTES: The Nittany Lions put up 20 goals for the first time since downing Michigan 22-7, Feb. 8 2014 … Penn State improves to 21-17 all-time in season-openers and 11-5 when playing at home … PSU is also 5-1 in yearly openers under the direction of sixth year head coach Jeff Tambroni … Penn State improves to 2-2 in the all-time series against Robert Morris and 2-1 when playing at home … Sanders’ four goals are the most for a Nittany Lion since Pat Manley had four at Johns Hopkins April 11, 2015