No. 14 Penn State Falls to No. 3 Massachusetts in Overtime

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 17, 2012 Senior Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square) tied the game with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter, but No. 14 Penn State fell to No. 3 Massachusetts, 9-8, in overtime on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions dropped to 3-3 overall (0-1 CAA) in their conference opener.

Mackrides, who also added an assist, netted a hat trick for the first time since a four-goal outing against Saint Joseph's in 2011. Sophomore midfielder Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.) scored twice against the Minutemen for the third straight game, while classmate Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) recorded two points (1g, 1a). Senior attackman Jack Forster (Jenkintown), junior midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and sophomore attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown) tallied one goal each. Classmate Austin Kaut (Morton) made 10 saves.

In a back-and-forth contest, Penn State held a 4-3 first-quarter lead before Massachusetts, which improved to 7-0 (1-0 CAA), grabbed a 5-4 halftime advantage. The Nittany Lions stormed out of the half to take a 7-5 lead after three quarters before the Minutemen took an 8-7 advantage in the fourth. Following Mackrides' goal to even the game at 8-8, Massachusetts' Mike Fetterly scored with 2:52 left in the sudden-death overtime frame.

Both Penn State and Massachusetts recorded 35 shots, while the Minutemen collected 33 ground balls to Penn State's 29. The Nittany Lions were 15 for 18 on clears and 1 for 1 with the extra man, while Massachusetts was 15 for 16 and 0 for 5, respectively.

With the extra-man opportunity, Dolik opened the scoring with 11:21 left in the first when he redirected Mackrides' shot into the net. Massachusetts responded to take a 3-1 lead with three quick strikes in a 4:19 span. The Nittany Lions then closed the quarter on a 3-0 run to take a 4-3 advantage. LaCrosse scored with 3:15 remaining before Mackrides tallied 18 seconds later. Forster notched his eighth goal of the year with eight seconds left in the frame.

After nearly an entire quarter without a goal, the Minutemen struck twice in the final 34 seconds to take a 5-4 lead. Penn State dominated the third stanza, scoring the frame's only three markers to take a 7-5 advantage. LaCrosse tallied his second of the game just one minute into the period. With 12:44 left in the third, Sturgis gave the Nittany Lions a 6-5 lead when he scored off a feed from Ahern. Mackrides netted his second of the game with 4:03 left in the quarter.

The Minutemen outscored Penn State, 3-1, in the fourth as the game was tied at 8-8 after regulation. After Massachusetts third straight goal with 6:42 left in the fourth, Mackrides completed the hat trick with 5:30 remaining. In the overtime period, Fetterly's marker with 2:52 on the clock accounted for the 9-8 final.

The Nittany Lions will conclude their three-game homestand on Tuesday (March 20) when they face No. 11 Lehigh at 7:00 p.m. The game will mark Penn State's fifth straight against a ranked opponent.

* * * *

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Mike Fetterly scored 68 seconds into overtime to keep No. 3 UMass undefeated with a 9-8 win at No. 14 Penn State on Saturday afternoon. The Minutemen trailed Penn State 7-5 going into the fourth quarter, but rallied with three straight goals to end up forcing overtime. The game was the third consecutive to be decided by one goal and the second to go to OT.

The win improves UMass to 7-0 and 1-0 in the CAA, while the Nittany Lions fall to 3-3 and 0-1 in the league.

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