April 7, 2012

Second Half Surge Lifts Penn State Over Drexel

from staff reports

Jack Forster had three goals and three assists and tied the game late in the third quarter as Penn State overcame a 7-3 deficit to edge Drexel on the road.
© Kevin P. Tucker 

PHILADELPHIA - After trailing 7-3 in the third quarter, the No. 16 Penn State men's lacrosse team ended the game on a 7-2 run as it edged Drexel, 10-9, at Vidas Field on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions improved to 6-5 overall (2-1 CAA) and handed Drexel (5-6, 3-1 CAA) its first conference loss of the season.

Senior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown), who extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games, tied the game at 7-7 with his third marker in the waning seconds of the third. Junior midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) gave Penn State an 8-7 lead early in the fourth before Drexel scored twice to take a 9-8 advantage. The Nittany Lions then responded with two strikes of their own.

Sophomore Shane Sturgis (Downingtown) tallied with 5:43 remaining before classmate Gavin Ahern(Rockville Centre, N.Y.) netted the game-winner with 2:45 left on the clock. Penn State, which scored at least 10 goals for the second straight game, overcame its first four-goal deficit since it trailed by five goals in an 11-10 overtime victory against Hofstra in 2010.

Penn State out shot Drexel, 36-32, and collected 22 ground balls to the Dragons' 21. The Nittany Lions went 1-for-2 on extra-man opportunities and finished 7-for-7 on clears. Sophomore goalkeeperAustin Kaut (Morton) made nine saves.

Penn State took a 1-0 first-quarter lead before Drexel ended the frame on a 3-1 run. Sturgis opened the scoring at 3:20 when he connected on senior Matthew Mackrides' (Newtown Square) pass. The Dragons then tallied three straight goals, the first with 10:58 left, in a 3:19 span as they grabbed a 3-1 advantage.

With one minute remaining in the stanza, Mackrides, who registered his second straight hat trick, took a pass from freshman Pat Manley (Arnold, Md.) and rifled a shot to make it a 3-2 game.In the second quarter, Brendan Glynn extended Drexel's lead to 4-2 just 44 seconds into the frame before Robert Church made it a 5-2 contest with 4:51 remaining. With 1:14 on the clock, Forster, who has tallied 17 goals during his recent streak, scored to make it 5-3.

The Dragons added a pair of goals in the first 4:43 of the third to extend their lead to 7-3, but the Nittany Lions responded with five straight makers. Forster tallied with 7:38 left in the third before Mackrides notched two straight goals to make it a 7-6 game. Forster added his third marker to tie the game at 7-7 with seven seconds remaining.

In the fourth, Dolik gave Penn State its first lead since it was a 1-0 game when he tallied just 1:12 into the stanza. Drexel responded with two goals, the last with 9:34 remaining, to take a 9-8 lead. Sturgis then scored with 5:43 left before Ahern tallied with 2:45 remaining to give Penn State the 10-9 lead.

Following Ahern's marker, Drexel controlled the ensuing faceoff and set up in its attacking area, but a turnover in the game's final minute sealed the Nittany Lion victory.

Penn State, which snapped its two-game skid against the Dragons, will conclude its two-game road trip on Saturday, April 14 when it visits Towson. Opening faceoff is set at 7:30 p.m.

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