Rutgers vs. Penn State
April 22, 2007
The Game Story:
PISCATAWAY, N.J. A goal in double-overtime by freshman Justin Pennington (Flemington, N.J.) gave the Rutgers men's lacrosse team (5-5, 3-2) an 8-7 win over ECAC rival Penn State (4-7, 3-3) on Sunday afternoon in Piscataway. With the win, the Friendship Cup, established 11 seasons ago and awarded to the winner of the annual Rutgers-Penn State game, returns to 'the banks' for the first time since 2004 and for just the second time in team history. It was also RU's 40th all-time victory against Penn State as the Scarlet Knights now lead the series, 40-18.

Rutgers, despite being out-shot by the Nittany Lions 45-39, got the win and evened their overall season record at 5-5. In addition, RU now has a winning conference mark at 3-2 while Penn State fell to 3-3 in ECAC play.

Pennington finished the game with two goals to extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one point to 10. Teammate Colin Checcio (Wayne, Pa.) recorded a hat trick and also added in one assist to finish with a game-high four points. Mike Dugan (Summit, N.J.) also netted two goals while senior Chris Doctor (Skaneateles, N.Y.) had two assists.

Rutgers jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two goals by Checcio and a score by Pennington. PSU's Bubba Scott closed-out the first quarter with a goal at the 1:19 mark to cut RU's lead to 3-1. Each team scored just one goal apiece in the second period as Rutgers went into halftime with a slim 4-2 lead.

The teams again traded goals in the third quarter, as Dugannetted two for Rutgers, the second of which gave RU a 6-3 lead with 10:24 remaining. Penn State's Rob Forster then scored two unanswered goals to bring the Nittany Lions within one (6-5). Checcio's third and final goal of the game made the score 7-5 at the end of the third period.

In the final quarter of regulation, Pat Heim scored with 4:03 remaining to make the score 7-6 still in favor of Rutgers. Heim then scored again to tie the game at seven. Matt Gaines (Abingdon, Md.) got a shot off with one minute on the clock but it was blocked by Penn State and time expired to force overtime.

Rutgers opened the first overtime period with a man-up opportunity but could not capitalize. Goalie Bill Olin (Horseheads, N.Y.) made a key save on a shot by Heim with less than three minutes remaining to keep the game knotted at seven and eventually send the game into double-overtime. With less than three minutes on the clock, Pennington got the ball and a breakaway to score the unassisted, game-winning goal.

The Scarlet Knights won 12-of-18 face-offs, including nine by Michael Hurwitz (Baltimore, Md.). Rutgers also had seven extra-man chances and capitalized on three of those opportunities. Olin finished the game with 18 saves, including five in the second quarter and two in the first overtime period to help keep Penn State's offense in check.

Heim and Forster both scored twice for the Nittany Lions and goalie Drew Adams had 15 stops for Penn State. PSU committed two more turnovers than the Scarlet Knights (9-7) but did go 3-of-5 in extra-man opportunities.

The Scarlet Knights will return to action when they travel to ECAC opponent Georgetown on Saturday, April 282, for a 1:00 p.m. match-up.