Penn State vs. Rutgers
April 24, 2004
The Game Story:
STATE COLLEGE, PA (April 24, 2004) - For the first time in school history, the Friendship Cup is coming home to Piscataway.

Led by two goals apiece from Matt Apel (Bridgewater, NJ), John Flanagan (Smithtown, NY) and Chris Doctor (Skaneateles, NY), the ninth-ranked Rutgers men's lacrosse team defeated Penn State for the first time in 11 years, knocking off the Nittany Lions 10-6 at PSU's Jeffrey Field on Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Scarlet Knights improve to 8-3 overall and 1-0 in ECAC play. Penn State falls to 5-6 and 0-3 in the ECAC. It is the first time Rutgers was won the Friendship Cup, which began eight years ago and is given annually to the winner of the Rutgers-Penn State game.

John Eremus opened the scoring to Penn State, giving PSU a 1-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The advantage proved to be short-lived, however, as Sean Battoni (Ringoes, NJ) scored four minutes later to even the score. For Battoni, it was his fourth goal of the season and second in the last two games.

The Nittany Lions added a goal from Nate Whitaker to take a 2-1 lead late in the first quarter, but Apel netted the first of his two goals when he took a feed from Doctor with 2:28 to play in the opening quarter. At the 13:42 mark of the second quarter, Apel put Rutgers ahead for the first time, 3-2, before Penn State tied the game with 8:42 left before halftime.

The Scarlet Knights ripped off three-straight goals to surge ahead 6-3 with five minutes left in the first half. Flanagan scored an unassisted goal, followed by a pair of extra-man advantage scores. Doctor scored off a pass from Tim White (Rockville Center, NY) and Colin Checcio (Wayne, PA) netted a score, taking a feed from Leif Blomquist (Long Beach, NY). Penn State scored with 2:36 remaining before halftime to make the score 6-4.

Rutgers scored the only two goals of the third quarter, as Delby Powless (Hagersville, Ontario) fired home his league-leading 30th goal of the season with 6:51 to play in the quarter. Two minutes later, Anthony Sicoli (Kinnelon, NJ) gave the Scarlet Knights a four-goal advantage (8-4) entering the fourth quarter.

Goals from Flanagan and Doctor gave RU a 10-4 lead in the fourth quarter, and the Rutgers defense did the rest of the work. PSU scored two unassisted goals with less then three minutes to play that closed out the scoring.

Sophomore goalie Greg Havalchak (Corning, NY) made 13 saves, giving him 145 on the season. He lowered his goals-against average to an ECAC-low 6.77.

Flanagan has scored six goals in the past four games, while White added to his team-leading assist total. He now has 18 assists on the season - five in the past two games - along with 13 goals. A freshman, Doctor has eight goals and 10 assists this year.

Rutgers is back in action next Saturday, May 1, when it hosts seventh-ranked Georgetown in its final regular season game at Yurcak Field. Opening face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.