Forster Scores Five to Lead No. 8 Penn State Over Hofstra

Penn State and Hofstra each had 36 shots but the Nittany Lions picked up 36 ground balls to Hofstra's 28 and won 14 of 25 face-offs.

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. A potent Nittany Lion attack clinched a perfect regular season in Colonial Athletic Association play at Hofstra in a 16-7 victory on Saturday night at Shuart Stadium in front of 3,625 fans. Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) tallied five third-period goals to eclipse the 50-point mark for the first time in his career. Forster became the first Nittany Lion to tally 50 or more points since 2002 when Will Driscoll notched 55.

Penn State (11-3, 6-0 CAA) is riding a nation-leading nine-game winning streak entering Wednesday's CAA Championship semifinal with Massachusetts. UMass earned the final spot in the CAA Championship with Hofstra and Saint Joseph's losses. That game will be played at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday at Penn State Lacrosse Field.

In all, three Nittany Lions tallied at least three goals as TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.) and Steve Aitken (Wayne, Pa.) had a hat trick each, while Forster added his five. Forster had a six point night with an assist, both marks are season highs. Goalkeeper Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.), who was named as one of 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award on Friday night, saved 10 shots and allowed just four goals.

The Nittany Lion offense was relentless, scoring the most goals against Hofstra (7-7, 2-4 CAA) since a Feb. 27, 2010 loss to Princeton (17-14). Hofstra came into the game as the best team in the country in scoring defense, allowing a shade over seven goals per game. Also, Penn State scored its most goals of the 2013 campaign and matched a 16-goal Michigan on Feb. 18, 2012.

Penn State rushed out to a quick four-goal halftime lead with five straight markers from Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.), Travis Crane (Parkville, Md.), Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), and Sanders. LaCrosse tallied his seventh multi-goal game of the year.

Down 1-0 early in the first, LaCrosse found some open space in the middle of the field and rifled a shot top shelf to knot the score at one. After a lengthy Hofstra possession and a Kaut save, the junior Tewaaraton Award nominee fired a long clearance to Crane. The co-captain hurried down field and buried the go-ahead goal with 5:29 left in the first.

Sanders doubled the lead 42 seconds into the second stanza, faking out a defender on the near left crease and beating HU goalie Chris Selva near post for a 3-1 lead. Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) connected with a cutting Dolik as the senior midfielder one-timed the pass past Selva for a 4-1 lead with 7:40 remaining in the half. LaCrosse doubled his scoring output with exactly two minutes remaining, firing a rocket into the top left corner of the goal to culminate Penn State's 5-0 first-half run.

The second half started much like the first as Hofstra tallied the first goal, this time coming off the stick of Adrian Sorichetti, cutting the lead to three at 5-2. Sanders responded with 12:05 left in the third with his 36th goal of the season with Kyle Zittel (DDD) assisting the effort.

The Pride and Nittany Lions traded another set of goals by Sam Llinares of HU and Forster with 10:05 left. Forster completed the natural hat trick with a goal at 8:59 and a curling effort around the left side of the cage at 8:23 to give Penn State a 9-3 lead before Hofstra called timeout. The natural hat trick was the 14th of Forster's career and sixth of the season.

Forster's mastery of the Hofstra defense continued when he tallied his fourth in a row with 7:10 remaining in the third for a 10-3 lead. That goal gave him his 50th point and he would tally point No. 51 nearly three minutes later for an 11-4 lead. The five-goal game was one shy of his career best notched against St. John's on April 11, 2009.

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