Penn State vs. Robert Morris
February 16, 2008
The Game Story:
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; February 16, 2008 - The Penn State Nittany Lion lacrosse team began the 2008 season in fine fashion, downing visiting Robert Morris 18-2 today indoors at Holuba Hall. Junior Max Van Arsdale (Rochester, N.Y.) led Penn State with three early goals to spark the Nittany Lions. Classmate Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) had five points in the game to lead all players as Penn State coasted to the win.

The Nittany Lions scored early and often, breaking out to a 4-0 lead on route to a 5-1 edge after one period of play and a 10-1 lead at the half. Van Arsdale did most of his damage early on, scoring two of his goals and dishing off an assist all within the first six minutes of the game. The junior attacker ended the game with four points off three goals and an assist. Forster had two goals and a team-best three assists to lead all players with five points. Sophomore Matt Loy (Somerset, N.J.) also had three goals in the game. Junior goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.), bolstered by a superb effort from his defense, had six saves and gave up only two goals in nearly 50:00 of play. Senior captain Tommy Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) and senior middie Andrew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) anchored the defense. Zichelli had three ground balls while Mackrides collected six.

Van Arsdale got the Nittany Lions on the board first with a quick unassisted goal from the left side of the net, putting Penn State up 1-0 at the 14:33 mark. Ryan McAleenan (Grand Rapids, Mich.) put Penn State up 2-0 at the 11:34 mark taking an assist from Mike Toner (Geneva, N.Y). The early Nittany Lion flurry continued with another Van Arsdale goal, this time taking an assist from Forster before Robert Morris took an early timeout at the 10:18 mark.

But the Lions continued to pressure RMU, quickly adding a man-up goal just :22 later with Bubba Scott (Rockville, Md.) taking a Van Arsdale assist and finding the back of the net to put the Nittany Lions up 4-0 less than six minutes into the game. Freshman Colby Rhodes (La Jolla, Calif.) scored off a McAleenan assist at the 4:49 mark, giving the young Lion his first career goal to put Penn State up 5-0 before the Colonials got on the board. Rob Marasti scored from close in the crease, taking a pass from Andrew Watt with 3:15 left in the opening period to cut the PSU lead to 5-1 after one period of play.

Sophomore Brain Shea (Gaithersburg, Md.) started Penn State off early in the second quarter, scoring an unassisted goal at the 14:27 mark, sliding from right to left in front of the goal and putting the ball past Colonial keeper Sal Barcia. Robert Morris tried to answer back quickly, but Nittany Lion goalie Adams up to the task with two quick and savvy saves. The saves allowed Shea to score another unassisted goal and put Penn State up 7-1 with 11:18 to play in the half. Toner took a Forster assist at the 10:11 mark, Forster scored off a Mackrides assist with 5:37 left and freshman Billy Lloyd (West Chester, Pa.) scored off a freshman Will Donley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) assist with just :04 left to close out scoring in the first half, giving Penn State a 10-1 lead at intermission.

Penn State continued its offensive pressure early in the third period, but Colonial goalie Barcia was equal to the task with a number of fine saves. But eventually Penn State broke through. Van Arsdale got his third goal off a McAleenan assist at the 8:19 mark and Forster scored his second goal off a Rhodes assist just :23 later to give the Nittany Lions a 12-1 lead. The Colonials then got their second goal with Michael Fleming taking a Taylor Caparosa assist at the 4:47 mark. Sophomore Charley Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) scored a man-up goal off a Mackrides assist with :32 left in the period to close out the third period and the Nittany Lions led 13-2 with 15:00 left to play.

Loy got his first goal of the year, taking a Toner assist with 13:48 left in the game as Penn State continued its offensive barrage. The Nittany Lion sophomore then added a second goal less than a minute later, this time with an assist from freshman Matt Shankoff (Flemington, N.J.). Not done, Loy scored his third straight with an assist from Matt Bernier (Drexel Hill, Pa.) with 10:23 left to put Penn State up 16-2 and forcing Robert Morris into a timeout. Penn State added goals from Anthony Basciano (Holtsville, N.Y), off a Chris Mulqueen (Downingtown, Pa.) assist; and Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.), off a J. J. Elmer (West Chester, Pa.) assist.

Penn State out shot Robert Morris 48-18 and posted a decisive 56-22 ground ball edge. The Nittany Lions won 21 of 24 face-offs, led by Joe Britt's (Fairfax, Va.) seven for seven performance. Robert Morris goalie Sal Barcia had 13 saves and gave up 15 goals in the loss while Adams got the win for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions are now 1-0 on the year while Robert Morris falls to 1-1. Penn State will begin a three-game road swing next Sunday when it visits No. 8 Notre Dame for a 1 p.m. contest. The Nittany Lions next home game will be on Tuesday, March 11, when they host Villanova in a 7 p.m. contest.