The Penn State lacrosse team proved why they are ranked 14th in the nation, defeating St. John’s by a score of 13-3 Saturday at DaSilva Field, as the Red Storm (4-7, 0-5) is still without their elusive first conference (ECAC) win of the season.
Tom Michaelsen prolonged his season-long goal-scoring streak and Rob Gannon led the Red Storm with his eighth and ninth goals of the season. However, Penn State capitalized with a superb team effort, getting goals from nine different players. Nate Whitaker paced the Nittany Lions with four goals, three coming in a third quarter which Penn State controlled. Brian Boyle also turned in a solid effort with two goals and four assists.
The Red Storm never got going, as Penn State came out flying to take a 3-0 lead just over seven minutes into the contest with goals from Pat Heim, Matt Radecic and Whitaker. But St. John’s stayed in the game, getting on the board with only six seconds left in the first quarter on Rob Gannon’s first goal of the match.
The second quarter proved to be even, with a shot count of 7-6, advantage Penn State, and a Nittany Lion lead of only 6-3. Although Penn State jumped out with two quick goals to start the quarter, St. John’s countered with two of their own, keeping the game well within reach. Tom Michaelsen continued his goal scoring streak at 8:00, and Rob Gannon followed up shortly after with his second of the game
However that was all that St. John’s would be able to muster on the scoreboard, as Penn State went on to dominate the Red Storm in the third quarter. Penn State got on the board early with a man-advantage goal from John Eremus. After a Rob Forrester goal with 8:39 remaining in the quarter, Whitaker single handedly defeated the Red Storm, scoring his second, third, and fourth goals in a four minute period to close out the quarter, two of them assisted by Brian Boyle.
After a goalie change to start the fourth quarter, St. John’s held the Nittany Lions to only two goals, coming from Brian Boyle and Tommy Zichelli. However, the Red Storm still could not solve Penn State goalie Drew Adams, finishing the game with no second half goals.
Although the score was lopsided, St. John’s put up a solid first-half fight before completely falling apart in the second. In addition to not netting a single goal in the second half, St. John’s was out shot 14-7, compared to 15-12 in the first half. Penn State also dictated the game in all other major aspects, collecting two more ground balls than the Red Storm and, most notably, winning 14 of 20 face-offs.