No. 16 Penn State Downs Delaware to Secure CAA #2 Seed

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 21, 2012 No. 16 Penn State secured the No. 2 seed for the upcoming CAA tournament with a 13-9 victory against Delaware at the Penn State Lacrosse Field on Saturday evening.

The Nittany Lions improved to 8-5 overall (4-1 CAA) with their fourth straight win and, as the CAA's second seed, will host a conference semifinal match-up on Wednesday, May 2. Penn State also secured its second straight CAA tournament berth with the victory.

Sophomore attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown) collected a career-high six points (4g, 2a), while classmate Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.) set a career high with three goals. Senior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square) registered his fourth straight three-goal contest, and sophomore Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) added a multi-goal game (2). Classmate Austin Kaut (Morton) made four saves.

Penn State out shot Delaware (6-8, 1-4 CAA) by a 37-24 margin and collected 29 ground balls to the Blue Hens' 22. The Nittany Lions finished 2 for 3 with the extra man and 15 for 17 on clears, while Delaware was 1 for 1 and 11 for 14, respectively.

In a fast-paced first half, Delaware opened the scoring before Forster, who extended his goal-scoring streak to nine games, and Mackrides struck in a 1:27 span to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead. The Blue Hens knotted the game at 2-2 with 6:51 left before Sturgis collected Nick Dolik's (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) pass and scored with 3:01 remaining.

In the second quarter, Delaware outscored the Nittany Lions by a 4-3 margin. After the Blue Hens made it a 3-3 contest with 12:08 left, Ahern tallied his ninth goal of the season with 7:34 on the clock. Delaware then struck for two quick goals with 6:57 and 5:33 left to take a 5-4 lead before Mackrides answered for the Nittany Lions with 3:03 remaining. Delaware took its last lead of the game at 6-5 with 1:45 left before Ahern tied the game 51 seconds later.

The Nittany Lions opened the third stanza with three straight goals as they grabbed a 9-6 lead with 4:04 left in the frame. LaCrosse tallied just 55 seconds into the quarter before Mackrides added a man-up marker with 6:22 remaining. Sturgis then scored with 4:04 left before Delaware closed the gap to 9-7 with 2:29 left. Sturgis tallied again with 1:28 remaining before Delaware scored its man-up marker with 27 seconds left in the frame.

In the fourth quarter, Delaware made it a 10-9 game with 11:26 left, but the Nittany Lions scored the game's last three goals. LaCrosse tallied with 7:32 remaining in the game before Sturgis scored his final goal and 15th of the season with 4:04 left. LaCrosse then closed out the scoring with 2:07 on the clock to account for the 13-9 final.

The Nittany Lions will close the regular season on Saturday, April 28 when they host Hofstra for their Senior Day match-up at noon.

* * * *

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Delaware saw its three game win streak - and its post-season tournament hopes - vanish Saturday night as host and No. 16 ranked Penn State pulled away over the final eight minutes to post a 13-9 Colonial Athletic Association victory at Jeffrey Field.

Two-time defending CAA champion Delaware (6-8, 1-4, CAA), which had won each of its last two games by double digits, needed a win to stay in contention for one of four berths in the upcoming CAA Tournament but could not pull off the win after cutting a second half Penn State lead to just one goal with 11:26 left to play.

The Hens will close out the season next Friday, Apr. 27, when they host top-ranked and undefeated Massachusetts (12-0) at 7:00 p.m.

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2012-04-21



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