Boys Lacrosse Team Wins at Panzer Stadium

Senior Nate Price (Left) and junior Cooper Brushwood (Right) look on as their teammates take their turns during pre-game warmups.
Senior Nate Price (Left) and junior Cooper Brushwood (Right) look on as their teammates take their turns during pre-game warmups.
Noah Radio

On April 4, the State High Boys Lacrosse team took down Cumberland Valley under the lights at Penn State’s Panzer Stadium. The Little Lions brought an undefeated 4-0 record into the game and improved to 5-0 with a 13-9 victory.

Penn State built Panzer Stadium, one of the nation’s best college lacrosse facilities, in 2018. This season, State High’s boys and girls lacrosse teams got the opportunity to experience playing one game each in the 1,300-seat stadium.

“Emotions were high. We were thinking about this all week,” junior Owen Kissinger said about playing in the unique venue, “But we just tried to treat it like any other game and just enjoy it.”

For more information regarding the strong relationship between the State High Boys Lacrosse program and the Penn State Mens Lacrosse program, see this article from statecollege.com.

Cumberland Valley didn’t let the Little Lions enjoy it for long, jumping out to a lightning-quick 1-0 lead just 62 seconds into the game. State College senior Nate Price then brought the home crowd into the game with a quick goal of his own to even the score at one. The back-and-forth affair continued, with the Eagles taking a 2-1 lead courtesy of a goal by junior Jake Mitchell with 8:22 left in the first quarter.

After an action-packed start to the game, Panzer Stadium was ready for a competitive lacrosse game. The State High attack, however, had no such plans. The Little Lions, fueled by faceoff wins by Kissinger, went on a 5-0 run in the last seven minutes of the first quarter to create a four-goal cushion entering the second. Amidst the flurry of goals, Kissinger, Price, and Cooper Brushwood each scored once and Ty Salazer scored twice.

To begin the second quarter, Cumberland Valley sandwiched a goal by Salazer in between two of its own, bringing the score to 7-4. Trey Combs, the only freshman in the Little Lions’ lineup, nearly extended the State High lead, but his shot flew just wide. State College maintained possession after Combs’ shot, and Brushwood finished the possession with his second goal of the game less than a minute later to go up 8-4 with seven minutes left in the half.

Kissinger won the faceoff following Brushwood’s goal, and just 36 seconds after he netted his second, Brushwood scored his third goal of the game and extended the State High lead to five. The home crowd roared in approval, prompting Cumberland Valley Head Coach Phil Helms to call a timeout to settle down his team.

Helms’ timeout proved effective, as State College was held scoreless for the remainder of the first half. The Eagles added one to their total before the half, sneaking a shot by State High goalie Owen Baron to bring the score to 9-5.

Trouble popped up for State College in the third quarter in the form of a nearly 11-minute scoring drought. Cumberland Valley took advantage of the scoring lapse, climbing all the way back to just a one goal deficit, 9-8. Back-to-back turnovers from State High’s leaders, Brushwood and Salazer, at the four minute mark didn’t help the cause, but a save from point-blank range by Baron slowed the Eagles’ momentum.

Brushwood finally ended the drought with 1:17 to play with a goal from way outside the Cumberland Valley defensive shell. Brushwood’s goal sent the Little Lions into the third quarter break with a 10-8 lead.

Brushwood and Salazer combined to score nine of State College’s 13 goals in this game, and are two of the most prolific scorers in the Mid-Penn Conference. Kissinger said, “It’s great [to have scorers like Brushwood and Salazer], we can’t win games like this without them.”

Turnovers consumed the beginning of the fourth quarter, with both offenses making little progress. Brushwood again was the spark for State College, scoring his fifth goal of the game with 5:52 to play. Cumberland Valley, however, brought the deficit back to two just 14 seconds later with a goal of its own.

That was as close as the Eagles would get the rest of the way. The Little Lions added two more goals in the final four minutes to bring the score to 13-9, and the defense held strong despite a late Cumberland Valley push.

With an undefeated record still intact, the Little Lions are back in action on the road against Cedar Cliff on Tuesday, April 16, followed by a home game against Central Dauphin East at the North Turf on Thursday, April 18.

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    NancyApr 18, 2024 at 9:39 AM

    Awesome article!!! I felt like I was there, watching the game.

    Good luck to the lacrosse team the rest of the season.

    Reply