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Penn State edges Hopkins in OT for Big Ten tourney title; Ament sets NCAA assist record

Sunday, 5th May 2019

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

The No. 1 Penn State men’s lacrosse team held off No. 15 Johns Hopkins, in overtime, to take the game and the Big Ten Tournament Title, 18-17, to earn the program’s first Big Ten Tournament Title Saturday night at Rutgers.

The eb and flow of the game kept all the fans on edge until junior attackman Mac O’Keefe sealed the deal just 25 seconds into overtime as freshman TJ Malone (Haverford School) dodged from behind cage to feed the ball to an open O’Keefe, who sniped from range.

Penn State’s Haverford School alumni group of (from left) John Nostrant, Chris Sabia, TJ Malone and NCAA record-setter Grant Ament celebrates the Big Ten tourney championship and a probable No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament

Penn State is now 14-1 on the year, with both a Big Ten Regular Season Title and a Big Ten Tournament Title to its name. The Nittany Lions earned the automatic qualifier with the tournament title and await its’ NCAA Tournament foe which will be announce on the Selection Show at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET

O’Keefe was named the tournament MVP for his heroics throughout the game, as the attackman scored two goals and added an assist in the third quarter alone to help Penn State come back from 11-8 halftime differential.

The unheralded difference maker in the game was sophomore face-off specialist Jake Glatz. Glatz came in off the bench to provide a spark at the ‘x’. He would finish 10-18 on the night with 5 ground balls, including the most important win and ground ball on the face-off to started overtime. Off the ground ball, Glatz charged to the goal, with his shot going wide, Penn State was able to back up the shot and maintain possession, leading to the Malone-to-O’Keefe game-winner.

The Nittany Lions jumped out to an 4-1 lead to open the game, but Hopkins out-scored the Blue & White with five-straight goal to take a 5-4 advantage after one.

In the second quarter, Penn State scored the first two goals, to go up by one. From there the two teams went back and forth until the Blue Jays closed out the half with three-straight goals to go up 11-8 at the intermission.

Out of the break, the Nittany Lions came out firing, scoring five-straight goals to take a 13-11 lead that they would not give up, despite the Blue Jays best efforts.

Hopkins would tie the game with 23 seconds left to play, forcing overtime and O’Keefe’s heroics.

On the evening, Penn State saw O’Keefe finish the game with six goals and two assists for a team-high eight points. He also added two ground balls. Redshirt junior Grant Ament (Haverford School) finished with six points on two goals and four assists. Redshirt junior Dylan Foulds, sophomore Jack Kelly and Malone all finished with four points. Foulds recorded the hat trick and added an assist, while Kelly and Malone finished two goals and two assists.

Ament’s four assists pushed him to 78 on the season, setting the NCAA Division I single-season assists record, which was set at 77 in 1992 by Steve Marohl (UMBC), and was tied in 2014 by Lyle Thompson (Albany).

The Nittany Lions also saw seniors Nick Spillane and Kevin Fox, along with sophomore Cole Willard each score one goal. Senior Matt Donnelly (Clearview Regional-NJ) dished out one assist.

Defensively, Nick Cardile (Avon Grove) finished with a game-best three caused turnovers and two ground balls. On the tournament, Cardile finished with a tournament-best 5 caused turnovers and finished with six ground balls. Seniors Chris Sabia (Haverford School) and Mike Aronow, along with redshirt junior Tommy Wright and sophomore Bobby Burns all added one caused turnover.

Junior goalie Colby Kneese went for 13 saves and earned the win to improve to 14-1 in the cage on the season.

For Hopkins, Forry Smith (Haverford School) had three goals and an assist and Brett Baskin (La Salle) had a goal and an assist while defenseman Jack Rapine (Upper Dublin) had four groundballs and two causted turnovers and middie Robert Kuhn (Hun School/Moorestown) had two groundballs.

Penn State saw Mac O’Keefe named Tournament MVP, and Ament, Cardile, Sabia and Kneese earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

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