Penn State’s Historic Season Ends in NCAA Semifinal


Courtesy of Lexi Kranich

Penn State and Yale pause for a TV timeout in the third quarter.

Lexi Kranich, Staff Writer

On Saturday, May 25th, the Penn State Nittany Lions lacrosse team looked to continue their historic season against the Yale Bulldogs in the semifinal round of the NCAA lacrosse tournament. On the year, Penn State was 14-1, their singular loss was from Yale in February. The Nittany Lions were calling for a whiteout at Lincoln Financial Field with tweets and Instagram posts with the hashtag, “Whiteout the Linc.”

The first quarter was painful to watch for any Penn State fan, Yale’s Ted Ierlan won faceoff after faceoff and his team turned every scoring opportunity into actual goals. Before anyone could blink, the score was 10-1 with 2 minutes left in only the first quarter. Trailing 10-2 at the beginning of the second quarter, the Penn State Men’s Lacrosse offense that we have come to love all season made a triumphant return. Mac O’Keefe, Dylan Foulds, Grant Ament, and Gerard Arceri outscored Yale 7-2 in the second quarter to close the gap 12-9 going into the half. Penn State is about the only team in the nation that could erase that kind of deficit.

With momentum on Penn State’s side heading into the second half, Yale matched their aggression. Three goals were scored within the first 24 seconds of the half, two by Yale and one by Penn State. Gerard Arceri, Penn State’s faceoff man, engaged in many lengthy duels in the second half. Yale switched from Ted Ierlan to freshman, Joe Neuman, for two draws and Arceri won both and then two more against Ierlan. The third quarter began for Penn State with only a four-goal deficit. However, Yale began the fourth quarter like they did the first, winning faceoff after faceoff and turning every scoring opportunity into goals. Scoring three times in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, Yale closed like defending NCAA Champions. The comeback for Penn State was officially out of reach. Penn State fell to Yale, 21-17.

Despite a tough loss and being sent home much earlier than they wanted, Penn State’s Men’s Lacrosse team has a lot to be proud of. Their season win record was shattered this season with 16 wins,  along with their total goals in a season record, which was 221 in 1987, but they put away 323 this 2019 season. Most importantly, Nick Spillane, Nick Cardile, and Chris Sabia are the only three key players on this team graduating. Starters like Grant Ament, Mac O’Keefe, Dylan Foulds, Gerard Arceri, and Colby Kneese will all see themselves back next year. This team that brought Penn State Men’s Lacrosse it’s first ever Big 10 title and a strong NCAA tournament run will surely be back for revenge next year.

Yale fell to the University of Virginia in the National Championship on Monday, May 27 at Lincoln Financial Field, 12 to 9.