Defense Rises To Challenge, Men’s Lacrosse Holds Off #14 Penn State

Defense Rises To Challenge, Men’s Lacrosse Holds Off #14 Penn State

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland’s defense forced 22 Penn State University turnovers Saturday afternoon, and the Greyhounds held off a second-half rally to beat the visiting Nittany Lions, 8-6, at Ridley Athletic Complex in non-conference action.

Zach Herreweyers scored his third of the game with 3:34 left in the third quarter, capping a 4-0 Loyola run that saw the Greyhounds (1-1 overall) go up, 7-2, but Penn State (1-1) strung together four in a row itself and drew within a goal midway through the final quarter.

Loyola, however, held off three Penn State shots on goal around an extra-man opportunity with the margin at one, and Romar Dennis scored on a rocket with 96 seconds left to help provide a cushion.

Pat McEnerney made eight saves for the Greyhounds in goal, picking up his first collegiate victory.

After Nick Aponte scored for the Nittany Lions off a T.J. Sanders assist with 8:22 on the clock, Penn State came away with possession off the faceoff, and a flag went down as it had the ball in its offensive box.

The ball eventually went to the ground less than 10 feet in front of the crease, and Dan Craig scooped a shot on goal, but McEnerney saved it to stop the clock and set up the Nittany Lions’ extra-man possession.

With Penn State a man-up starting at the 6:57 mark in the fourth quarter, Craig took a shot from the low right side, but McEnerney held his post and made the stop. Mike Sutton came up with the save for the Nittany Lions, and Sanders took a shot from the high left side that McEnerney knocked down.

Ryan Fournier picked up the ground ball, and Loyola cleared it to its offensive end, but a Brian Sherlock transition shot was saved by Connor Darcey. The Nittany Lions could not clear the ball out of its defensive end as Zach Sirico caused a turnover on the ride for Loyola.

Loyola then used more than 3:30 of clock time before a turnover gave the ball back to Penn State.

Matt Florence ran into the box for Penn State, but a Mike Kutzer trail-check dislodged the ball from Florence’s stick, and Jason Crane picked up the ground ball with 2:30 left in regulation.

Dennis used a split-dodge at the top right alley, got his hands free and ripped a shot past Darcey to give the Greyhounds a two-goal lead. Fournier picked up the ground ball on the restart, and Loyola ran nearly a minute off the clock before a turnover gave possession back to Penn State.

The Nittany Lions, however, coughed the ball up again, and Loyola ran out the clock.

Of Penn State’s 22 turnovers, 17 were caused by Loyola. Fournier and Pat Frazier each logged two caused turnovers, while Jack Carrigan, Jared Mintzlaff, Crane and Kutzer each had two.

Fournier led all players with seven ground balls, and Frazier had six for Loyola.

Florence opened the game’s scoring with a Penn State goal 2:38 into the fist quarter, but Sherlock scored on a deep sidearm shot at 9:58 to put Loyola on the board. With just over six minutes left in the first quarter, he created space with a dodge and got the ball to Herreweyers for a low-to-high goal at 6:05.

Tyler Albrecht then scored with 8.5 seconds remaining before the quarter break, breaking down his defender with a dodge on the left side and scoring to put Loyola ahead by two.

Pat Manley pulled Penn State back within a goal at 8:04 in the second quarter, but a little more than three minutes later, Sherlock sent a pass to Albrecht who dropped his hands and scored low at 4:45, scoring the first of three-straight Loyola goals before the halftime break.

Herreweyers tallied his second at 2:58, taking an Albrecht pass and ripping a hard shot that went in-and-out of Darcey’s stick, and Sherlock picked up the ground ball off a saved Dennis shot, cut to the crease and scored with 25.8 left in the half, giving Loyola a 6-2 lead at the break.

Sherlock tallied four points on two goals and two assists, while Herreweyers scored a game-best three goals. Albrecht had two goals and an assist, as well, for Loyola. No Penn State player scored more than one goal.

Loyola is back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 18, when it takes on nearby Towson University in a 12 noon start on the Tigers’ campus.

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