PSU lax

Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:48 am

PSU lax

Postby hbendle » Fri May 31, 2019 3:18 pm

Hey, we've got hoops, wrestling, and other sports here. I thought, why not add another sport? I had more to say after Nat's post:
Nat@PSU wrote:
PittGradPSUMad wrote:Or it could have been because Yale scored 52 goals before the Lions got their heads out of their collective bums.

As a huge Penn Stater and a lacrosse guy, I feel like I have to discuss this here:

My brother and I went down to the Linc for the tournament. Got tickets in the lower bowl endzone for cheap. The NCAA tourney is always a great chance for us to catch up with a lot of old friends from our playing days (both my younger brother and I played at Eastern and have a lot of buddies from there still involved in lacrosse) and have a few drinks. Unfortunately as a high school lacrosse coach, I do have to be on my best behavior while tailgating because of the high probability of hearing "Hey Coach Ryan . . . . "

We got down, tailgated, and headed in for the start of the first game. UVA vs Duke. Duke has won the last 11 matchups against a storied UVA program that has struggled recently but is resurgent under newer head coach Lars Tiffany who came from Brown and made his trademark fast physical play with two way midfielders who want to run. He has a ton of talent on that team (lots from the hotbead Philadelphia area) so the crowd was big (I think 36,000 for the semis) and his style has meshed well with installation of a shot-clock in college lacrosse that has increased the value of two-way middies and fast, aggressive offense.

All that said, the first game was relatively boring . . . until the final minutes. UVA (nicknamed the "Cardiac Cavs" because of their 5 OT games and wins this year) surged at the end and scored with just a few seconds left to send it to OT. They score, and are now 6-0 in OT games this year. Great win, but myself and those around us were mostly just happy it was over so we could see out high flying Nitt's against the defending National Champ.

For perspective, this PSU team was on an historic tear this year. The only team other than the early 90's Syracuse team (with two of the greatest players of all time, Paul and Gary Gait) to score 20+ goals in back to back NCAA games. They have a great faceoff guy (Arceri, 3rd Team AA) and record setting attackman (Grant Ament, single season record for Assists and Mac O'Keefe leading the NCAA in scoring). But what is really impressive about them is their depth of scoring. They send wave after wave of guys at you and play a hybrid style of field and box lacrosse. The box influence shows up in constant movement, precision passing, and creativity. And they are relatively young, only 1 of their top 10 scorers graduates this year.

But a strong (record breaking) faceoff player in Yale's TD Erlan (Junior who transferred to the defending National Championship team after losing to them last year at Albany) really decided this game. The first quarter was possession after possession for Yale, playing make-it take-it lacrosse. And Penn State's normally strong defense and goalie struggled, partially due to the Yale's talent level, partially due to the volume of defense they had to play, and I think they also (goalie in particular) just had an off day. After the first quarter (10-2 Yale), the game leveled out and Penn State outscored Yale 15-11. Unfortunately the mountain was too tall to climb at that point.

However, I refuse to let a disappointing outcome poison my enthusiasm for this team and this program. Their head coach (Jeff Tambroni) is outstanding and clearly has this program moving in the right direction. They should be the favorite heading into next year, and I don't think we've seen the last of Penn State at the NCAA final four.

TLDR: Disappointing game for a great team and a program on the rise. Watch again next year, there will be more fireworks.

Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:48 am

Re: PSU lax

Postby hbendle » Fri May 31, 2019 3:29 pm

Not a player myself, but it's interesting for me to start with since:
-live on Long Island
-grew up near Syracuse (yep, know the Gait name)
-two boys in the game, one in a travel club still
And, hooray PSU! Program's on the rise.

The Jr. High and Varsity school here has a couple former Cortland players coaching my older son who picked up the stick again. My younger son is coached by a few Albany alums, 2 of which just missed the Championship the other year. That's been fun. So has keeping tabs on PSU lax in the past few years.

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Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:54 pm

Re: PSU lax

Postby tempe » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:05 pm

Lacrosse is a cool game. We played in high school gym class. I was incredibly good at it. But we only played between the folded bleachers with those colorful plastic scoops and a wiffle ball along with leftover hockey nets. Tube socks, blue school shorts, - shirts and skins - no helmets. Big picture of Ed O'Neil high on the wall. I ruled those winter days.

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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:02 pm

Re: PSU lax

Postby Underlion » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:03 pm

We had a chance for 2 NC's this year. Instead UVA got 2.