No. 14 Penn State Upended by No. 19 Drexel in CAA Semis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 2, 2012 Senior attackman Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square) scored his 100th career goal and junior midfielder Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) tallied a career-high four markers, but second-seeded Penn State fell to No. 3 Drexel, 13-11, in the CAA semifinals at the Penn State Lacrosse Field Wednesday night.

With two markers, Mackrides netted his 100th and 101st career goals to become just the fifth Nittany Lion in program history to reach the century mark. The Newtown Square, Pa., native now sits in a tie for fourth place on the program's all-time list.

The loss snapped the Nittany Lions (9-6) five game-win streak, while Drexel improved to 8-7 and advanced to the CAA final against top-seeded Massachusetts Saturday (May 5). Brendan Glynn and Robert Church led the Dragons with three goals each, while goalkeeper Mark Manos made nine saves.

Sophomore attackmen Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), who recorded four points (2g, 2a), and Shane Sturgis (Downingtown), who notched two goals, also added multi-point games for the Nittany Lions. Sophomore goalkeeper Austin Kaut (Morton) turned aside 11 shots for his ninth double-digit save performance of the season.

After surrendering the game's opening goal at 3:52, Penn State closed out the first frame on a 3-0 run. Sturgis tied the game at 1-1 before sophomore midfielder Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.) gave the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead with 2:17 remaining. Sturgis added his second of the game 54 seconds later as Penn State took a 3-1 advantage.

Dolik added to the Nittany Lion lead just 42 seconds into the second before Drexel tallied three straight markers to tie the game at 4-4. Following Ryan Belka's game-tying marker with 6:29 left, Ahern took Pat Manley's (Arnold, Md.) pass and gave Penn State a 5-4 lead with 4:29 left in stanza. Drexel's Church tied the game 1:14 later, and Mackrides tallied his 100th career goal with 2:01 left in the quarter to give Penn State a 6-5 lead.

In the third stanza, Drexel opened with four straight goals in the first 7:46 to take its largest lead of the game at 9-6. The Nittany Lions battled back as Dolik struck twice in a 2:17 span to make it a 9-8 game, but Church tallied again for Drexel with 26 seconds left in the frame to give the Dragons a 10-8 lead.

Penn State battled back in the final quarter with Dolik and Mackrides tallying in the frame's first 4:58 to tie the game at 10-10. Drexel's Glynn and Penn State's Ahern then exchanged goals before Drexel scored twice in the final 2:36 to account for the 13-11 final.

The Nittany Lions will learn their NCAA fate on Sunday (May 6) when the NCAA announces its 16-team field. The NCAA Selection Show will air at 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU.

2012-05-02



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