PISCATATAWAY, NJ – Penn State’s Nate Whitaker had two goals and two assists – including what proved to be the game-winning goal – as the Nittany Lions withstood a furious Rutgers fourth-quarter rally to claim a 8-7 victory over the Scarlet Knights in men’s lacrosse on Saturday at Yurcak Field." />
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Penn State Edges Rutgers in Men’s Lacrosse Action, 8-7
  • Posted on April 23, 2005 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATATAWAY, NJ – Penn State’s Nate Whitaker had two goals and two assists – including what proved to be the game-winning goal – as the Nittany Lions withstood a furious Rutgers fourth-quarter rally to claim a 8-7 victory over the Scarlet Knights in men’s lacrosse on Saturday at Yurcak Field.

    With the win, Penn State (7-4, 4-1 ECAC) takes possession of the Friendship Cup, which was established nine years ago by alumni from both institutions. Rutgers (4-7, 1-3 ECAC) was led by junior goalie Greg Havalchak (Corning, NY), who made a season-high 17 saves.

    After the Scarlet Knights had successfully battled back from a 6-2 second-quarter deficit to draw within one, 7-6, Whitaker took a pass from John Eremus with 4:05 to play in the fourth quarter and gave PSU a two-goal cushion. That insurance goal turned out to be the difference, as Devon Britts (Scottsville, VA) scored with 3:06 to play, but Nittany Lion goalie Chris Courteau made a critical save on a shot with less than two minutes remaining that preserved the victory.

    The Nittany Lions, averaging over 10 goals per game entering the contest, had a five-goal spurt in the first quarter to take a 5-1 lead. Sean Battoni (Ringoes, NJ), who finished with a team-high three points (two goals, one assist), got Rutgers on the scoreboard first (12:46, first quarter), but PSU scored five times in a four-minute span, aided by face-off specialist Greg Gurenlian, who won seven-of-eight draws in the opening period.

    Rutgers received second-quarter goals from Colin Checcio (Wayne, PA) and John Flanagan (Smithtown, NY), but trailed by three, 7-4, at intermission. The only goal in the third quarter came form Battoni, making the score 7-5 with 12:26 to play.

    The Scarlet Knights converted on a key man-up opportunity when Jamie Lovejoy (Holbrook, NY) scored off a feed from Chris Doctor (Skaneateles, NY) with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter, but RU cold never muster the tying score.

    Penn State won 15-of-18 face-offs and held a 40-28 edge in groundballs. The Nittany Lions outshot RU 41-25, but Havalchak kept Rutgers in the game by saving 17 shots, including eight in the third quarter alone. His counterpart, Courteau, made just two stops.

    Rutgers returns to action next Saturday, April 30, when it travels to Washington, DC, to face third-ranked Georgetown at 1:00 p.m.

                               Lacrosse Box Score (Final)
                              2005 Rutgers Men's Lacrosse
                 Penn State vs Rutgers (Apr 23, 2005 at Piscataway, NJ)
    
    
    
    Penn State (7-5, 4-1 ECAC) vs.                    Score by period       1  2  3  4  Tot
    Rutgers (4-7, 1-3 ECAC)                           -------------------------------------
    Date: Apr 23, 2005  Attendance: 859               Penn State..........  5  2  0  1 -  8
    Weather: Cloudy, windy                            Rutgers.............  2  2  1  2 -  7
    
    
    Penn State SCORING: GOALS: Nate Whitaker 2; John Eremus 1; Will Cutler 1;
    Patrick Heim 1; Brian Boyle 1; Will Jones 1; Matt Radecic 1.
    ASSISTS: Max Van Arsdale 2; Nate Whitaker 2; John Eremus 1.
    
    Rutgers SCORING: GOALS: BATTONI, Sean 2; GAINES, Matt 1; FLANAGAN, John 1;
    CHECCIO, Colin 1; LOVEJOY, Jamie 1; BRITTS, Devon 1.
    ASSISTS: BATTONI, Sean 1; DOCTOR, Chris 1; GAINES, Matt 1; RODGERS, Austin 1.
    
    
    
    
    Shots by period       1  2  3  4  Tot
    -------------------------------------
    Penn State.......... 13 12 11  5 - 41
    Rutgers.............  6  8  4  7 - 25
    
    Ground balls by prd   1  2  3  4  Tot
    -------------------------------------
    Penn State.......... 11 11  9  9 - 40
    Rutgers.............  7  9  3  9 - 28
    
    Face-offs by prd       1     2     3     4    Total
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Penn State..........  7-8   4-4   2-2   2-4  - 15-18
    Rutgers.............  1-8   0-4   0-2   2-4  -  3-18
    
    Clears by period       1     2     3     4    Total
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Penn State..........  2-2   4-4   4-5   5-6  - 15-17
    Rutgers.............  4-5   5-7   4-7   5-5  - 18-24
    
    Extra-man opps         1     2     3     4    Total
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Penn State..........  0-0   0-1   0-0   0-0  -  0-1
    Rutgers.............  0-1   0-0   0-1   1-1  -  1-3
    
    
    Saves by period       1  2  3  4  Tot
    -------------------------------------
    Penn State..........  0  0  0  2 -  2
    Rutgers.............  4  4  8  1 - 17
    
    Turnovers by prd      1  2  3  4  Tot
    -------------------------------------
    Penn State..........  3  3  3  6 - 15
    Rutgers.............  3  5  4  3 - 15
    
    
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