Umass vs. Penn State
March 31, 2007
The Game Story:
AMHERST, Mass.; – March 31, 2007 – The Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team, under the guidance of veteran head coach Glenn Thiel, rode the stellar play of sophomore goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) to a near-victory at defending national runner-up Massachusetts. But the Minutemen got an early overtime goal to post a 6-5 OT win in ECAC Lacrosse League Action.

Adams collected 20 saves in what turned out to be a goalkeeper showdown as each team’s net-men played outstanding games. UMass goalie Doc Schneider had 15 saves as well. Penn State led 4-2 after three periods of play but the Minutemen outscored the Nittany Lions 3-1 in the fourth period before netting the winning goal one minute into the extra period.

Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H.) got Penn State on the board first with a score off a Gil Pearsall (Carthage, N.Y.) assist at the 7:49 mark of the first period. The Minutemen tied the game shortly after, however, as Rory Pedrick netted an unassisted goal with 5:15 left in the opening period. Those two goals were the only scores in the opening 15 minutes of play.

Pearsall gave Penn State a second lead, this time with an unassisted goal at the 5:11 mark of the second period. But once again, UMass answered back, getting a tying goal from Bobby Hayes with 3:35 to play before the break to send the game into the halftime pause tied at 2-2.

For the third straight period, Penn State took a one goal lead. This time, it was Boyle again, scoring unassisted at the 11:52 mark. Nittany Lion sophomore Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) gave Penn State a two goal lead, scoring off a Boyle assist with just 0:34 left in the period. The 4-2 lead, which Penn State took into the fourth quarter, was the largest for either team in the contest.

UMass, however, evened things up quickly in the fourth quarter. Denis Whelan cut the lead to 4-3 with an unassisted goal at the 11:48 mark of the final stanza. Less than a minute later, Jim Connolly took a Pedrick assist and tied the game at 4-4 with 11:01 to play in the game. Penn State quickly shot back, however, taking just 0:20 to score again. Andrew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) scored unassisted at the 10:41 mark to give Penn State a 5-4 lead. It was the Nittany Lions’ last lead of the game.

Whelan scored an unassisted goal with 8:50 to play to tie the game at 5-5 and both defenses, sparked by goalies Adams and Schneider, kept the game knotted at 5-5 until the end of regulation. With just over three minutes left in extra time, Garber took a Pedrick assist and scored the game winner at the 3:01 mark. The 6-5 OT victory snapped a two-game win streak for Penn State and gave UMass its first conference win of the year.

Penn State was out shot by UMass 37-29 but the Nittany Lions won nine of the game’s 15 face-offs. In sharp contrast to Penn State’s win over Fairfield, there were only two man-up opportunities in this game (both for UMass) and no man-up goals.

Penn State is now 2-5 overall, 1-2 in the ECAC. Massachusetts is 3-5, 1-1 in the league. The Nittany Lions will host Hobart in an ECAC contest next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jeffrey Field.