Saint John's vs. Penn State
April 12, 2008
The Game Story:
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's lacrosse team scored its first win of the season, 11-7, over the Penn State Nittany Lions, Saturday afternoon on DaSilva Memorial Field.

Senior Justin O'Donnell led the team in scoring with five points (2 goals, 3 assists), matching his career high in points, while classmate Rob Gannon tallied his first hat trick of the season, the second of his career. Junior midfielder Trevor Michaelsen, with two points for the day, (1 goal, 1 assist) scored the game-winning goal for the Red Storm.

With the ECAC-win, the Red Storm advances to 1-9 on the season and 1-4 in league play. The Nittany Lions are 4-6 overall and also 1-4 in conference. The victory was the first-ever in the series against Penn State, Penn State who won the last three previous meetings.

Penn State got on the board first, four and a half minutes into the game, on a goal by Matt Loy dished from Rob Forster. Loy's goal was the only time Penn State had a lead in the game.

St. John's answered right back with a three-goal rally sparked by a goal from senior Jack Rosson right off the face-off, seven seconds after Penn State's goal.

O'Donnell and Michaelsen teamed up for the Red Storm's first man-up goal of the game with 20 seconds left on a Penn State penalty and 7:20 left in the first period. The Red Storm attack unit finished the game 4-for-5 on man-up opportunities, the best power play performance of the season so far.

The Red Storm won possession again after the following face-off, keeping the momentum in its favor. Sophomore Nick Messinger scooped up the groundball rebound after PSU's goaltender Drew Adams deflected a shot by O'Donnell to keep the ball in the Red Storm zone. Capitalizing on the 1:20 possession, sophomore Garrett Mitchell scored unassisted with 6:01 left to play in the first period, giving the Red Storm a two-goal lead.

Penn State junior Max VanArsdale scored with just over three minutes left in the first, then again just over two minutes into the second period to tie the score at three.

After the face-off, won by PSU's Charley Henneghan, the Red Storm and Nittany Lions went back and forth down their respective ends of the field, trading possessions four times before St. John's got the final say. Senior Felix Forbes cleared the ball down the field, fed to senior Tom Michaelsen who sent one past Adams to give the Red Storm the one goal lead with 12:03 left in the half.

Two minutes later, PSU tied the game up at four.

Gannon scored his first goal of the game, fed by O'Donnell, to give the Red Storm its third lead of the game with 7:55 left in the half. Off the face-off, PSU's Henneghan came down the field to get one past Red Storm sophomore goaltender Gavin Buckley to tie the game at 5-5.

With just over five minutes to play in the first half, the Michaelsen twins sent in back-to-back goals in six seconds to give the Red Storm a two goal lead (7-5) going into the halftime break. The lead was the second time the Red Storm has led at the half this season.

Trevor Michaelsen sent in the first goal, which ended up being the game-winner, off a pass from O'Donnell, capitalizing on the last 12 seconds of a Penn State slashing penalty. Winning another key face-off for St. John's, Rosson fed the ball to Tom Michaelsen who dumped it in the net for his second goal of the game, and the safety goal for the Red Storm.

Penn State tightened St. John's lead to one goal with just over five minutes into the second half but O'Donnell answered back with his second goal of the game fed by junior Malcolm Miles to put the Red Storm up 8-6 with 8:33 left in the third period.

Gannon extended the Red Storm's lead to three (9-6), on another Penn State slashing penalty with just under two minutes remaining in the third stanza.

In the final period, Penn State scored just once more with 12:12 left in the game. Miles and Gannon each scored one goal each as minutes dwindled away on the clock to seal the deal on the Red Storm's first win of the season.

Two of Gannon's three goals were scored man-up for the Red Storm.

In his fourth start for the Red Storm, Buckley had 11 saves between the pipes. For PSU, Adams had 12.

In face-offs, Rosson went 11-for-21 on the day, while sophomore Dom DeNapoli went 1-for-1. Senior defender Tim LaMare had a team high of six groundballs for the day.

Saturday's win was televised live on Comcast's CN8.

Up next, the Red Storm will head up to Geneva, N.Y., to face the Hobart Statesman on April 19. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.