UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The top-ranked Penn State men’s lacrosse team knocked off visiting Johns Hopkins, 20-9, at Panzer Stadium Sunday afternoon. The win is the eighth straight for the Nittany Lions, who improve to 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten. Johns Hopkins dropped its second straight and slips to 6-6 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions effectively put the game away with a 7-1 run that turned an early 1-1 tie into an 8-2 lead; the Blue Jays would get no closer than four over the final 40 minutes of the game.
Penn State took control with the first-half spurt that was fueled by all three of Jack Kelly’s first-half goals and two strikes from Nick Spillane. A low-to-high blast from junior Mac O’Keefe opened the spree with 6:14 left in the first quarter and Kelly’s third of the half capped the run at the 10:07 mark of the second quarter as he dodged to the goal and got inside his defender to score in close.
Hopkins sliced the deficit to 9-5 just over a minute into the third quarter as an Alex Concannon goal just 68 seconds after halftime capped a 3-1 spurt for the Blue Jays. A Brett Baskin goal midway through the second quarter and Cole Williams’ third of the first half helped fuel the surge.
Johns Hopkins had several chances to slice into the 9-5 deficit, but it was Penn State that would break through as the Nittany Lions scored three goals in an 80-second span to push the 9-5 margin to 12-5. Grant Ament and Gerard Arceri struck just seven seconds apart and Jack Traynor polished off the three-goal spurt a short time later.
Back-to-back goals in a 58-second span by Luke Shilling (EMO) and Connor DeSimone temporarily slowed the Nittany Lions, but Penn State scored the next six goals and went on to their second straight win over the Blue Jays.
Ament’s four goals and three assists led the way for Penn State, which also got four goals and one assist from Kelly. In all 10 players scored goal for Penn State, while Colby Kneese posted nine saves in goal. Arceri won 17-of-31 faceoffs and grabbed 10 ground balls to go along with his goal.
Williams was the only multi-point scorer for Johns Hopkins as he led the way with his three on the day. Freshman Matt Narewski was 11-of-21 faceoffs with eight ground balls and Ryan Darby totaled 13 saves for the Blue Jays.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, April 27 at Maryland when the Blue Jays and Terrapins renew the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse for the 118th time. Faceoff at Maryland Stadium is set for 7:30 pm.