Storm falls prey to Nittany Lions

St. John’s senior Drew Schanen’s goal with just under five minutes left in Saturday’s ECAC lacrosse match-up with Penn State capped a six-goal Red Storm run and tied the game at 11 apiece to send the Storm into their second overtime game this season.

The Storm were down by as many as six goals late in the third period when Schanen scored his second goal of the game to ignite the game-tying run again the Nittany Lions.

But Schanen’s team-leading four goals – what was his fourth hat trick performance of the season – would go to waste in the overtime period. Penn State freshman Matthew Mackrides beat junior goalkeeper Gavin Buckley to give the Nittany Lions a 12-11 victory.

With just over two minutes left in the extra frame, Mackrides picked up a ground ball in front of Buckley’s net and beat the Red Storm keeper on the put-back.

“It was a tough game and they are a good opponent,” said Buckley. “We stuck to our game plan and we fought back. They just ended up getting one more than us.”

Buckley had a career day in net for the loss and, along with his defense, played a vital role in the Red Storm’s comeback late
in the game.

The junior posted a career-high 19 saves against the Nittany Lions (6-5, 2-3 ECAC) and allowed just one goal in the second half.

After surrendering 45 shots from Penn State in the first three periods, the Storm’s
defense held the Nittany Lions to just five shots in the fourth period as Schanen and the offense were busy mounting their comeback.

Mackrides’ goal was just the second Penn State shot of overtime.

The Nittany Lions went on a six-goal run of their own that started with a minute left in the first period and included two goals from Jack Forster, who led all scorers with six goals in the game.

With Notre Dame, Hobart and Duke still left on their schedule, the Red Storm need to play the way they did in the second half against Penn State.

Nobody knows this better than the Storm’s head coach Jason Miller.

“When we get down, we know we’re going to fight.” the third-year coach said. “We know we can play hard and get back in the game.

We keep playing and keep playing, and that’s how we dig ourselves out of holes.”

After starting the season with four straight wins, the Red Storm have lost five of their last six, including four straight against ECAC opponents.