Penn State vs. Fairfield
March 26, 2005
The Game Story:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., March 26, 2005 - The Penn State men's lacrosse team (2-4, 1-0) lost a four goal lead in the final two quarters as Fairfield (5-2, 1-0) escaped Bigler Field with an 11-10 overtime victory. Junior attackman Nate Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.) tallied three goals and two assists in the game for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State opened the scoring one-minute into the first quarter with a goal from senior captain Will Jones (Annapolis, Md.). Fairfield attackman Kyle Herman tied the game seconds later when he scored on an assist from Michael Bocklet. Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H.) notched his first goal as a Nittany Lion at the 13:50 mark followed by an extra-man tally from John Eremus (Rosemont, Pa.) 50 seconds later to give the Lions a 3-1 advantage. The Stags followed with two consecutive goals from Greg Downing and Josh Thornton to tie the game at 3-3. Attackman Gil Pearsall (Carthage, N.Y.) scored his fifth goal of the season with 1:37 remaining but Herman was able to manage a goal for Fairfield with two seconds left to end the first quarter in a 4-4 tie.

Both teams traded goals at the beginning of the second quarter before midfielder Patrick Heim (Wayne, Pa.) scored to put the Lions up 6-5.

Whitaker followed with two straight tallies in a three-minute span to give the Lions a three-goal lead. Greg Downing scored his second goal of the game for the Stags on an extra-man opportunity to cut the Penn State lead to 8-6 at halftime. It took ten minutes into the third quarter for either team to score.

Whitaker found the back of the net on an unassisted goal at the 4:51 mark followed by Boyle's second goal of the game on an assist from Will Cutler (Vienna, Va.). Fairfield made a late run scoring two goals in the final 47 seconds of the period. Michael Bocklet and Downing notched the goals for the Stags to cut the Nittany Lion lead to 10-8 going into the fourth quarter. Greg Downing scored an unassisted goal for Fairfield four minutes into the final quarter. Travis Nelson then tallied a goal for the Stags at the 4:54 mark to tie the game at 10-10. Fairfield retained possession on the following face-off but was held by the Penn State defense for the final four minutes of the game.

The Stags controlled the highly contested opening face-off in the overtime period and drove into the Nittany Lion zone. With 2:36 on the clock, Josh Thornton rolled a low shot past Penn State goal keeper Chris Courteau (Buffalo, N.Y.) to claim victory, 11-10. Nine different Nittany Lions tallied points in the game as Penn State dominated in ground balls and face-offs. Courteau played the entire game finishing with 12 saves and two ground balls. Fairfield goal keeper Michael Kruger collected 11 saves and three ground balls.

The Nittany Lions will be back in action on Saturday, Apr. 2 when they travel to Amherst, Mass. to battle conference rival Massachusetts. Penn State will then return home on Apr. 5 to host Mount Saint Mary's at 7:30 p.m.