Drexel vs. Penn State
April 7, 2012
The Game Story:
Philadelphia – No. 16 Penn State rallied from a four-goal deficit midway through the third quarter to hand Drexel a 10-9 loss on Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 1,219 at Vidas Field. It was another heartbreaker for the Dragons (5-6, 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association), who have now had five of their six losses come by just a goal. All five of those one-goal losses came to teams ranked nationally in this week's poll. It was also the first CAA loss of the season for the Dragons. The Nittany Lions won for the third time in their last four games and are now 6-5 overall and 2-1 in the CAA.

Jack Forster set up two goals in the final six minutes as Penn State came away with the win. With 5:43 left, Forster set up Shane Sturgis for his second goal of the game tying it up at 9-9. Drexel's Mark Manos made a big save from right in front of the cage, but he turned the ball over on the attempted clear and Penn State capitalized. The Nittany Lions got the game-winner with 2:45 to play when Gavin Ahern beat Manos. The Dragons got possession and had their chances in the last two minutes. Drexel had four shots in the possession, including an Aaron Prosser shot that hit the pipe and a Kevin Stockel shot which just missed wide to the right of Penn State keeper Austin Kaut. The Dragons then committed a turnover with about 30 seconds to play and Penn State ran out the clock.

The Nittany Lions trailed 7-3 with 10:17 in the third quarter as Drexel scored the first two goals of the half. Prosser set up Ryan Belka and Brendan Glynn set up T.J. Foley to put the Dragons up by four goals. The Dragons seemed in control of the contest, but Penn State scored the next five goals to take the lead for the first time. Forster started the rally with an unassisted score at the 7:38 mark. Matthew Mackrides added two goals in a span of three minutes and the Lions trailed by just a goal at 7-6 with 2:25 remaining in the third period. Penn State had the last possession of the quarter and Forster tied it with just 7.9 seconds left in the quarter as the momentum swung to the Nittany Lions entering the final 15 minutes. Nick Dolik gave Penn State its first lead since the opening three miutes of the game when he started the scoring in the fourth quarter. The lead lasted less than two minutes as Church found Prosser on the man-up to make it and 8-8 contest. Church gave Drexel its last lead of the contest at the 9:34 mark on a nifty goal from the left edge of the crease. Andrew Vivian fed Church from behind the net, and the junior spun around and fired home his 19th goal of the year.

Drexel's offense was efficient in the early going.After giving up the first goal of the game to Sturgis, the Dragons scored three goals on only five shots in the first quarter. Kyle Bergman, Glynn and Prosser each scored to put Drexel ahead, 3-1. Penn State was able to cut the deficit in half when Mackrides beat Manos to make it 3-2 with a minute left in the quarter. The Dragons defense then tightened and held Penn State without a goal for more than 14 minutes. In the meantime, Glynn and Robert Church scored to give Drexel a 5-2 cushion. Penn State once again scored in the final minutes of the quarter when Forster scored an unassisted goal with 1:14 to play in the half.

One of the story lines heading into the game was the matchup between two of the top goalkeepers in the nation. Drexel's Manos finished with 10 saves including six saves in the second half, many from in tight. Kaut had nine saves, including five in the final quarter. Penn State outshot Drexel, 36-32. The Dragons edged the Lions in face-offs, 12-10, but committed 11 turnovers to just six for the visitors.

Forster and Mackrides each scored three times for Penn State. Forster finished the day with five points. Prosser, Glynn and Church each had two goals and two assists in a losing effort for Drexel. Church scored his 78th career goal, moving him into sole possession of 16th place all-time at Drexel. He also moved into 16th on the school's career assist list.

The Dragons return to CAA action on Saturday afternoon against No. 2 UMass. The Dragons and Minutemen will take part in the Battle of Bethpage when they face off on Long Island.