Men's lacrosse hosts UMass Wednesday in CAA Semifinals

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The ninth-ranked Penn State men's lacrosse team hosts the fourth-seeded UMass Minutemen on Wednesday (May 1) afternoon in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship Semifinals at 3 p.m. The Nittany Lions are on a nine-game winning streak and in search of their first postseason win. No. 2-seed Drexel and third-seeded Towson square off in the nightcap. Both games can be seen free of charge on

Tickets for each session will be $8 for adults and $5 for students. Students from participating schools will receive free admission with a valid ID. Groups of 15 or more will be charged $4 if purchased in advance at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office. Otherwise, groups are $5 the day of the event. The BJC Ticket Office is open 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Fans can call the box office Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. as well at 1-800-NITTANY (648-8269). Parking for the event will be free in Lot 44. Fans can access Lot 44 by using Dauer Drive off University Drive or Porter Road.





Game 15: May 1, 2013 // 3:00 p.m. // Penn State Lacrosse Field // University Park, Pa.

VENUE: Penn State Lacrosse Field (turf; 1,000)
LAST MEETING: March 16, 2013 PSU 7-5 (at Amherst, Mass.)
NEXT GAME: Possibly May 3, CAA Final at Penn State

• Penn State looks for its first postseason win & 10th straight win vs. UMass
• PSU can set a new single-season wins mark (11 in 1995) against the Minutemen
• UMass had to win its last two games of the year & get help to qualify for CAAs
• The Nittany Lions defeated UMass, 7-5, in CAA opener at Amherst
• The road team has won the past five meetings in the series since 2009
• PSU is a CAA Championship tournament game for the third consecutive year
• Lions defeated Hofstra, 16-7, behind five Jack Forster goals on Saturday
Jack Forster was named CAA Co-Player of the Week for his efforts at Hofstra
• Forster is riding a 26-game point streak dating back to Mar. 3, 2012
TJ Sanders, Steve Aitken and Forster tallied hat tricks at Hofstra
Austin Kaut made 10 saves vs. HU and has .714 save percentage in last 9 games
• Kaut is one of 25 nominees for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award
• If Penn State beats UMass, the Nittany Lions will host Drexel or Towson on Friday

Needing to win its final two CAA games and losses by Hofstra, Saint Joseph's and Delaware, UMass (7-7, 2-4 CAA) qualified for its fourth straight CAA Championship. A preseason top 10 team, Massachusetts started 3-0, but lost seven of its next nine games amid injuries and offensive difficulties. Those problems have been solved, however, and the Minutemen earned a tough 9-8 win at Hofstra on April 20 and a resounding 16-8 victory over Delaware on Friday.

The UMass offense scores 9.36 goals per game, while allowing nine goals a game. The Minutemen passing game is efficient as 64.9 percent of all goals come off an assist. On special teams, the man-down defense is excellent, allowing a goal just 23.3 percent of the time, while scoring 37.5 percent on the man-up.

The Minutemen lead the CAA in faceoff winning percentage (57.3) with Joe Calvello winning 58 percent of the time. From there, the offense is centered on reigning CAA Player of the Year Will Manny, who missed five games due to a broken thumb. Manny averages two assists a game and has 31 points in just nine games. His main targets are Kyle Smith (29 goals, 18 assists), Grant Whiteway (23 goals) and Connor Mooney (20 goals). In goal, freshman Zach Oliveri has an 8.53 goals-against average while saving 56.3 percent of the shots on goal.

Penn State and UMass have faced each of their fellow CAA rivals once with a two non-conference matchups with Bucknell and Lehigh as part of their common schedule. Penn State is 6-1 against those opponents, while UMass is 3-4. PSU's lone loss was to Lehigh, which UMass defeated. PSU beat four teams UMass lost to: Bucknell, Drexel, Saint Joseph's and Towson.

All-Time Series: 5-10
PSU Streak: 1 win
First Meeting: 4/1/00, PSU 11-8
Last Meeting: 3/16/13, PSU 7-5
Last PSU Win: 3/16/13, 7-5
Last MASS Win: 3/17/12, 9-8 (OT)
Largest PSU Win: 11-8, 4/1/00
Largest MASS Win: 18-8, 4/2/05
PSU Goals vs. MASS: 124-144

3/16/13: W, 7-5 - A
3/17/12: L, 8-9 (OT) - H
5/4/11: L, 9-10 (OT) - H
3/19/11: W, 8-7 - A
4/3/10: L, 8-10 - H

LAST TIME VS. UMASS (March 16, 2013)
Behind a four-goal performance from Jack Forster and 16 saves from Austin Kaut, Penn State defeated Massachusetts, 7-5, in comeback fashion. Down 5-4, Forster tied the game in the third, Kyle VanThof put the Nittany Lions ahead in the fourth and Forster sealed the game with an insurance goal a few minutes later. Joining VanThof and Forster on the scoring ledger was Nick Dolik and Kyle Zittel. Midfielder Tom LaCrosse added two assists and Gavin Ahern assisted on VanThof's game-winner. The win was Penn State's second straight at UMass.

A potent Nittany Lion attack clinched a perfect regular season in Colonial Athletic Association play at Hofstra in a 16-7 victory on Saturday night at Shuart Stadium in front of 3,625 fans. Jack Forster tallied five third-period goals to eclipse the 50-point mark for the first time in his career. Forster became the first Nittany Lion to tally 50 or more points since 2002 when Will Driscoll notched 55. Forster was named CAA Co-Player of the Week for his six-point game.''

In all, three Nittany Lions tallied at least three goals as TJ Sanders and Steve Aitken had a hat trick each, while Forster added his five. Forster had a six point night with an assist, both marks are season highs. Goalkeeper Austin Kaut, who was named as one of 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award on Friday night, saved 10 shots and allowed just four goals.

The Nittany Lion offense was relentless, scoring the most goals against Hofstra since a Feb. 27, 2010 loss to Princeton (17-14). Hofstra came into the game as the best team in the country in scoring defense, allowing a shade over seven goals per game. Also, Penn State scored its most goals of the 2013 campaign and matched a 16-goal Michigan on Feb. 18, 2012.

Tom LaCrosse (2), Nick Dolik, Travis Crane, and Tommy O'Neill rounded out the PSU scoring. Danny Henneghan won 14-of-21 faceoffs with six ground balls, while JP Burnside picked up five ground balsl of his own.

Penn State is enjoying a nine-game winning streak, which is the longest in the nation entering Wednesday. Duke's nine-game streak ended in the ACC Semifinals on Friday elevating Penn State to top of the list. The nine-game streak is the longest single-season win streak in PSU history and two off the all-time mark. The 1991-92 teams strung together an 11-game win streak from April 20, 1991-April 11, 1992.

The Nittany Lions captured their first outright conference title on Saturday with a victory at Hofstra. Penn State's only conference title in the NCAA Championship era (since 1971) came in 2005 when the Lions shared the ECAC title with Massachusetts. This is the third straight season the Nittany Lions have qualified for the CAA Championship. Penn State has never won a postseason game in NCAA (0-2) or CAA (0-2) play.

The Nittany Lions are having one of the finest seasons in the storied history of the program. If the team manages a win over Massachusetts, its 12th, that would set a new school record for wins in a season. Currently, this has matched the mark set in 1995 when Penn State went 11-2 finishing with a season-ending ranking of 11th in the USILA poll. A win on Wednesday also would match the most wins in back-to-back seasons (21) at Penn State.

Moreover, Penn State is looking for its first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 2005. If Penn State wins a game in the CAA Championship or happens to play in the NCAA Tournament, the Nittany Lions will play 16 games in a season for the first time in school history. 

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Last Updated July 11, 2014