#16 UMass Nips Penn State in OT in CAA Semis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 4, 2011 Penn State saw its season end in heartbreaking fashion at Jeffrey Field. The team gave up the game-winning goal to the Minutemen's Anthony Biscardi as the rain was falling just over 1:30 into overtime. The goal gave Massachusetts (10-4, 4-2 CAA) a 10-9 victory and ended Jeff Tambroni's first season as Penn State head coach (7-7, 4-2 CAA).

Freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) was stellar for the second time this season against the Minutemen, registering 20 saves (Kaut recorded a record 25 saves in the teams' regular season contest in Amherst on March 19th.) However, Anthony Biscardi's tally 1:37 into the overtime period beat Kaut to send UMass on to Saturday's CAA championship game against the University of Delaware.

In a game that saw stellar performances from both goalies, Penn State's Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, NY) finally broke the tie after over ten minutes of scoreless play, registering an unassisted tally at the 4:35 mark. Kyle VanThof (Penfield, NY) struck under a minute later for the Lions, putting Penn State up 2-0 at the 3:48 mark. UMass would finally get on the board with an unassisted goal at 2:23 to close out the first-quarter scoring.

The second quarter was all Penn State, as Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) continued the unassisted scoring trend with a solo tally at 12:50. Freshman attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) finished the first half scoring, beating Massachusetts goalie Tim McCormack on an individual effort from X to send the Lions into halftime ahead 4-1.

To say that the Minutemen came out firing in the third quarter would be an understatement. Massachusetts scored the first three goals of the quarter before sophomore face-off man Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) would win the ensuing face-off forward to himself and rip a shot past McCormack on the fast break for an unassisted tally to put Penn State back on top, 5-4.

After another UMass tally and several stunning saves at both ends of the field, LaCrosse notched his second unassisted goal of the game at the 3:13 mark to put the Lions back on top 6-5. The Minutemen would close the quarter with three straight goals however, closing out the third quarter with an 8-6 advantage over the Lions.

Penn State opened the fourth quarter scoring with a Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) tally on a Billy Gribbin (Rockville, Md.) assist. To cut the UMass lead to one. But it was Art Kell scoring his third goal of the game under a minute later to push the Massachusetts lead back to a deuce. VanThof scored his second goal of the game for the Lions at 8:54 to cut the lead back to one, and it was Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) finding Forster to tie the game with 6:37 remaining.

It looked like the turkey was on the table for Penn State, as Massachusetts took two penalties with just 1:46 remaining in the game. One of the penalties was an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the goalie McCormack, forcing freshman goalie Reed Goodhue to come on and close out the game for UMass against a potent Penn State man-up unit.

After several excellent chances by the Nittany Lions, Goodhue registered the save of a lifetime, stuffing the Penn State captain Mackrides from two yards off the crease with just :43 seconds to play. The Minutemen would hold on through the rest of regulation, forcing the CAA semifinal into overtime.

Henneghan won the faceoff to start the overtime period, and after a sustained Penn State possession, Sturgis took a shot that nearly beat McCormack. The UMass goalie was up to the task however, stopping the freshman and sending the ball down the field. The junior midfielder Biscardi dodged to the middle for the Minutemen, and fired a bounce shot that just beat the freshman Kaut over his left shoulder to send Massachusetts to the CAA title game and put an end to the Nittany Lions' season.

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2011-05-04



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