No. 11 Penn State Tops Towson to Stay Perfect in the CAA

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Buoyed by 1,037 fans and a five-goal showing from freshman TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.), the 11th-ranked Nittany Lions defeated Towson, 10-8, at Penn State Lacrosse Field on Saturday afternoon. Sanders shined and Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) pitched in with four points on a goal and an assist in a battle of first-place Colonial Athletic Association teams.

Penn State (9-3, 4-0 CAA) won its seventh-straight game thanks to a 6-1 run spanning the second and third quarters for an 8-4 lead. Despite a spirited Towson (7-6, 3-1 CAA) comeback effort, a highlight-reel goal from Forster and Sanders's fifth tally of the day staved off the Tiger attack.

Rounding out the Penn State attack was Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) who notched three points on two goals and an assist, while Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) had a two-point day with a goal and an assist. Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) won the battle of top goalkeepers, making nine saves. Towson's Andrew Wascavage had 11 stops. The two netminders came into the game third and fourth in national save percentage, respectively.

“It's nice to walk off the field, knowing our seniors in potentially last home game, were as winners,” Head coach Jeff Tambroni said afterward. “It's good for them. The CAA has been a very tough conference for us. Towson is a very good team and I think we're fortunate to be in the position that we are.

“A lot of these games could have gone either way, but I think the poise and leadership of our team has gotten us over the top. Hopefully we'll learn from this winning streak we're on right now and continue to stay hungry and prepare a little better than we did this week.”

Sanders opened the scoring ledger just two minutes into the contest with a goal from Nick Dolik. The Tigers had the better start to the game earning a 2-1 lead after one period due to Brian Bolewicki and Greg Cuccinello tallying goals.

Penn State fought back in the second period as Sanders scored his second of the game to tie the contest at two. The man-up goal was assisted by Pat Manley (Arnold, Md.) a little less than 90 seconds into the period. Andrew Hodgson put the Tigers back on top seven minutes later to give Towson its final lead of the game at 4-3.

From there it was a Penn State flurry of goals ignited by defender Tyler Travis (Geneva, N.Y.). Travis Crane (Parkville, Md.) checked Cuccinello and Travis picked up the loose ball, hustled down the field and dished to Sturgis who sat on the close right wing to beat Wascavage with 3:28 to play in the half for a 3-3 deadlock. The helper by Travis was his first point of his career and the second to come from the Penn State defense this season.

A minute, 16 seconds later, Sanders dodged a defender and tip-toed the crease for his third goal of the game and a Penn State lead the Nittany Lions would never relinquish. The two teams headed into halftime with PSU leading 4-3.

Sturgis continued the run to 3-0 on a Forster helper as Sturgis's close-range effort made the score 5-3 with 9:30 to go in the third period. After a Towson penalty, Dolik struck for Penn State's second man-up goal of the game, helped by Sturgis, for a 6-3 Nittany Lion lead with 8:34 remaining. PSU went 2 for 3 on the man-up.

After a Towson answer Sanders tallied his fourth marker of the game, his sixth game with four or more goals scored, to regain Penn State's three goal lead at 7-4 with 6:19 to go in the third. Midfielder Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.) found the score sheet with a left-handed rocket from the right wing for the largest lead of the game at 8-4 with 2:10 left in the frame. Both Penn State goals were assisted by Forster.

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2013-04-13



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