No. 9 Penn State Tops No. 19 Ohio State for Creator's Trophy

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COLUMBUS, Ohio The ninth-ranked Penn State men's lacrosse team used a six-goal run spanning two quarters to capture its second Creator's Trophy in an 11-8 victory over No. 19 Ohio State at Ohio Stadium Saturday afternoon. Penn State (3-1) won its 14th straight true road game.

The Nittany Lions received four goals and an assist from the NCAA Division I leading scorer Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) along with a five-point outing from Kyle VanThof (Penfield, N.Y.) to pace the PSU attack.

Sturgis, who came into the game averaging a ntion-leading 6.0 points a game and 4.67 goals per game continued his torrid pace with his fourth game of five or more points. He was 4 for 6 shooting and picked up a ground ball for good measure. Sturgis has twice been named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week for his outstanding play. Sturgis has 18 goals and 23 points through four games with an outstanding shooting percentage of .643.

As for VanThof, he earned his second game with four or more points following a two-goal, two-assist game against Loyola (Feb. 15). VanThof is third on the team with 11 points on six goals and five points.

Penn State went on a 6-0 run over a span of 10:13 in the second and third quarters, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 7-2 advantage. Penn State's stifling attack held Ohio State (1-3) to just 28 shots on the afternoon and didn't allow the Buckeyes to score for over 19 minutes to open the wide margin. Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) made nine saves, including six second-half stops. Kaut also picked up seven ground balls in the winning effort.

The Buckeyes led 2-1 early in the second quarter on goals from David Planning in the first quarter and Carter Brown in the second, sandwiching Tom LaCrosse's (Canandaigua, N.Y.) second tally of the year. VanThof tallied the first of his two assists on the play early in the second. OSU led 1-0 after the opening 15 minutes.

The Nittany Lions' 6-0 run started with a Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ont.) with 5:41 left in the first half. Craig streaked through the Buckeye zone defense and was fed by fellow Canadian TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.) for his first collegiate goal.

Penn State took its first lead of the day on Sanders's first goal and 10th of the season as the Lions again carved the Buckeye defense. Sturgis tallied his fifth assist of the year on the play with 4:32 to go in the second quarter.

VanThof gave Penn State a 4-2 lead entering halftime on an unassisted run through traffic with a top-right corner shot, his fourth of the year with just 1:43 remaining in the period.

The Nittany Lions came out firing in the early stages of the second half on consecutive goals by Sturgis, Brian Prestreau (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Sturgis again. All three goals came in the first 3:32 of action for the 7-2 Penn State lead.

Back-to-back Ohio State goals trimmed the PSU lead to a pair at 7-5 with 1:51 remaining in the third, but Sturgis fought back with his 10th career hat trick and third of the season, putting away a pass from VanThof with 63 ticks left.

OSU's Jesse King would try to will his Buckeyes to victory, scoring his second and third goals in successive fashion to open the fourth quarter as the Penn State lead dwindled to two goals, 8-6, with 9:09 left. Those goals capped a 4-1 Buckeye run.

VanThof extended the lead to three on his fifth of the year before King reeled it back to a couple goals with 5:00 to go. VanThof struck back with his first hat trick of the season and the second of his career with 2:16 left in the game for a 10-7 lead.

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