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NCAA Preview: No. 1 Penn State – led by Philly players – meets Yale in rematch

Saturday, 25th May 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/25/19
From Press Release

The No. 1-seed Penn State men’s lacrosse team will take on No. 5-seed Yale on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the NCAA Semifinal game at Lincoln Financial Field. The game will be aired on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff, Quint Kessenich and Paul Carcaterra on the call.

Philly Connections

Grant Ament
  • Penn State has 10 players from Pennsylvania and three from South Jersey/Delaware on the team.
    -The entire starting defense of Chris Sabia (Haverford School, First Team All-American), Nick Cardile (Avon Grove, HM All-American), and Brayden Peck (Avon Grove) are from the Philly area. The attack is led by junior Grant Ament (Haverford School, First Team All-American, Tewaaraton finalist, NCAA record 91 assists) and features starting midfielder, freshman TJ Malone (Haverford School, 30 goals). Freshman middie Jack Traynor (Malvern Prep, 13 goals) is a key reserve.
  • Yale’s defense features sophomore Chris Fake (Hun School, Second Team All-American) and key reserve Bryce DeMuth (Avon Grove).
  • Penn State is at 306 goals on the season, the record is 325 by Albany in 2015.
    -Grant Ament has 13 assists so far in the NCAA Tournament, the NCAA Record is 16.
    -Mac O’Keefe has 15 goals in the NCAA Tournament, the record is 19.
  • Link for tickets

Penn State and Yale have only matched up four times in the history of the two programs with the Bulldogs holding a 3-1 advantage by winning the last two meetings. Penn State got the first win of the series in a 11-6 neutral location game on March 12, 1997. Yale took the March 11, 2003 match by the score of 17-15, and they took the May 11, 2013 NCAA First Round game, 10-7, in University Park.

The fourth meeting happened this season, with Yale taking the game, 14-13, on Saturday, February 23.

A 5-3 fourth quarter for the Nittany Lions was not enough to overcome the 11-8 difference after three. Penn State fought valiantly, scoring five of the last six goals of the game, including pulling within one with just under a minute left to play, but it was not enough to complete the comeback.

Penn State opened strong, scoring just 29 seconds into the game. They took a 4-2 lead late into the opening quarter until the hosts scored two in the final minute to tie the game at 4 after one.

Yale opened the second quarter strong, scoring two quick goals taking advantage of the success at the x as the Bulldogs took an 8-10 advantage at the x early. Yale took a 3-1 second quarter goal differential to take a 7-5 lead into the break. Yale took their momentum into the third to go up 11-8.

Penn State saw redshirt junior Grant Ament tie his career-best in the assist category as he dished out seven dimes. He added two goals for a game-high nine points. Junior Mac O’Keefe added five goals, while senior Nick Spillaneand sophomore Jack Kelly each added two. Redshirt junior Dylan Foulds added two points with a goal and an assist, while Dan Reaume found the back of the net once, and freshman TJ Malone added an assist.

Defensively, senior Chris Sabia caused three turnovers and led the team with five ground balls. O’Keefe added two caused turnovers on the ride, and Foulds, junior TJ Connellan, senior Kevin Fox, junior Nick Cardile, redshirt junior Tommy Wright, and junior Gerard Arceri each caused one.

Junior goalkeeper Colby Kneese recorded 10 saves in his 40 minutes in cage.

The No. 1 Penn State men’s lacrosse team took down No. 8 Loyola Maryland, 21-14, in the NCAA Quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon on Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to advance to NCAA Championship Weekend for the first time in program history.

Penn State saw Mac O’Keefe and Grant Ament both recorded nine-point performances to lead the Nittany Lions offense that was clicking on all cylinders.

O’Keefe tied the NCAA Tournament Single-Game record with nine goals, setting a new personal best in the process. O’Keefe is now up to 75 goals on the season, moving him to third all-time in NCAA DI history, trailing Jon Reese (Yale, 1990) and Miles Thompson (UAlbany, 2014) who both have 82 in 18 games.

Ament finished the game with nine points on one goal and eight assists. The eight assists give him 91 for the season, becoming the first Division I player in NCAA history to surpass 90-plus assists, and is just two off the all-division all-time NCAA record of 93 set by Matt Richard (New England College, 2018).

The Nittany Lions saw Jack Kelly add five points on the afternoon with four goals and an assist, while Nick Spillane finished with one goal and three assists, along with a huge fourth quarter caused turnover. Sophomores Cole Willard and Brian Townsend each scored two goals, with Willard adding one assist as well. Defenseman Nick Cardile added an assist on the afternoon.

On defense, Tommy Wright, Brayden Peck, Chris Sabia, and Spillane all added caused turnovers, while Cardile scooped up a career-best five ground balls. Long stick middie Kevin Fox also recorded a career-high for ground balls with four.

On the face-off, after opening the first quarter at a 6-4 deficit at the ‘x,’ junior face-off specialist Gerard Arceri won 18 face-offs to Loyola’s eight in the final three quarters. He finished the game with 22 wins and 13 groundballs.

With 25 goals in the First-Round game vs. UMBC and 21 in the win over Loyola, Penn State became the first team to score 20-plus goals in back-to-back NCAA Tournament games since Syracuse in 1990.

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