No. 9 men's lacrosse hosts No. 12 Loyola Saturday at Holuba Hall

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The ninth-ranked Penn State men's lacrosse team welcomes No. 12 Loyola to Holuba Hall for a Saturday showdown of former ECAC rivals. Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m. between the ranked foes.

#9 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (1-0) vs. #12 LOYOLA GREYHOUNDS (0-1)
Game 2: February 15, 2014 • 1:00 p.m. • Holuba Hall • University Park, Pa.
VENUE Holuba Hall (Indoors, turf; 1,250)
COVERAGE Live Stats
SERIES RECORD Penn State leads 29-22-1
LAST MEETING Feb. 28, 2009, Loyola 7-8 (at PSU)
NEXT TIME OUT Saturday, Feb. 22 at No. 5 Notre Dame
Penn State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

PARKING INFORMATION
Fans attending the men's lacrosse game can park for free in Orange Lot F near Holuba Hall or Orange Lot C off McKean Road for free. If lots are full, additional parking can be found in the East Parking Deck located off Bigler Road and Curtin Road. Parking at the Nittany Apartments or Pegula Ice Arena is strictly prohibited. Fans should give themselves extra time to arrive on campus with multiple events going on in the same area. Men's basketball hosts Iowa at the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. and men's hockey hosts Michigan State at 3:30 p.m.

The Limited Bag Policy is in effect for this contest. Contents brought to the game must be in a clear, gallon-sized bag or a jacket.

GAME NOTES
• Penn State faces its first ranked opponent when No. 12 Loyola visits Happy Valley
• The Nittany Lions and Greyhounds face off for the 63rd time; Penn State leads 29-22-1
• Loyola has won the last four meetings and 11 of the last 13 games since 1983
• Penn State and Loyola were members of the ECAC from 2005-09
• Nittany Lions coming off record-setting 22-7 win over Michigan
• Penn State scored the most goals in a game since 1994 against the wolverines
Shane Sturgis scored six goals and an assist to earn CAA Player of the Week
TJ Sanders scored five goals for the fourth time in his career vs. Michigan
Kyle Baier scored a hat trick in his first collegiate start
Drake Kreinz won 68% of his faceoffs and added two points in collegiate debut
Austin Kaut was strong with six saves and allowed just three goals
• Nittany Lions face four straight ranked foes from Feb. 15 to March 10
• Penn State travels to No. 5 Notre Dame next week before traveling to No. 14 Ohio State and No. 4 Denver. PSU returns home March 15 vs. UMass for first of four straight at home

SCOUTING THE GREYHOUNDS
No. 12 Loyola (0-1) lost a wild heartbreaking 14-13 game at No. 7 Virginia on Thursday, Feb. 6. Loyola trailed 12-4 entering the fourth quarter and proceeded to score the next nine goals to take a 13-12 lead with 17 seconds remaining. Nevertheless, Virginia scored at the buzzer to force overtime and the Wahoos finished the Greyhounds off. Eight different Greyhounds contributed to Loyola's scoring with five scoring two goals apiece. Of the 13 goals, 10 came from the starting attack or starting midfield. Last year's leading scorers, midfielder Matt Sawyer (36 goals in 2013) and Justin Ward (27), tallied two goals and one goal, respectively. The balanced attack featured five Greyhounds with three points Nikko Pontrello, Brian Schultz and Brian Sherlock joining Ward and Sawyer on that list. Freshman midfielder Dennis Romar scored twice off the bench to be named Patriot League Rookie of the Week.

Loyola went 2-for-3 on the extra-man and was 12-for-13 on clears. At the faceoff , junior Blake Burkhart started, but went 2-for-10 before freshman Graham Savio went 11-for-18 to end the game. Defensively, Loyola is led by U.S. National Team member Joe Fletcher, the only collegiate player on the 30-man roster. In net, Jack Runkel made his 33rd consecutive start, but was pulled after 41:29 of action as he gave up 11 goals and made just three saves. Pat McEnerney allowed three goals, including the game-winner, and made one save. Runkel has a 8.15 collegiate GAA with a .538 save percentage, while boasting a 27-6 record and the 2012 NCAA title.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. LOYOLA
All-Time Series: Penn State leads 29-22-1
PSU Streak: 4 losses
First Meeting: 4/26/46, PSU 17-3
Last Meeting: 2/28/09, LOY 8-7
Last PSU Win: 3/5/05, 16-14
Last LOY Win: 2/28/09, 8-7
Largest PSU Win: 23-5, 4/30/75
Largest LOY Win: 1988, 15-7; 1985, 13-5
Tambroni vs. LOY: 1-0

LAST FIVE MEETINGS VS. LOYOLA
2/28/09: L, 7-8 -- H
3/1/08: L, 4-7 -- A
3/3/07: L, 9-10 -- H
3/4/06: L, 6-9 -- A
3/5/05: W, 16-14 -- H (at Holuba Hall)

NITTANY LIONS ROUT MICHIGAN
No. 9 Penn State scored the first 10 goals on Saturday (Feb. 8) at Holuba Hall en route to a 22-7 win over future Big Ten rival Michigan. Shane Sturgis tallied a career-high six goals and TJ Sanders scored five goals for the fourth time in career in the win. Kyle Baier added his first career hat trick, while redshirt-freshman faceoff man Drake Kreinz went 15-7 at the X while scoring his first career goal and assist. In all, 11 Nittany Lions scored a goal and 13 earned a point. Goalkeeper Austin Kaut saved six shots in 39:45 of work as Penn State built up leads of 8-0 after the first period, 11-1 at halftime and 18-4 after three quarters.

IT'S BEEN ALMOST 20 YEARS SINCE...
The Nittany Lions scored the most goals since a 21-7 victory over Lafayette on March 26, 1994. Prior to that, Penn State scored 25 goals against Kutztown April 8, 1990 in a 21-goal romp.

The six goals by Shane Sturgis were the most by a Penn State player since 2009 when Jack Forster notched the feat vs. St. John's on April 11, 2009. Sturgis tallied seven points in the game, a career high and the most since Forster tallied eight against the Wolverines Feb. 16, 2011. The 15-goal margin was the largest since a 20-4 victory over Stony Brook on April 8, 1995.

THE FIVE-GOAL MAN: TJ Sanders
Sophomore TJ Sanders scored his fourth five-goal game of his career against Michigan. Sanders' five-goal outing against the Wolverines was the first since April 13, 2013 vs. Towson, a 10-8 Penn State victory. No one else on the current Penn State roster had scored five goals or more in a game until Shane Sturgis scored six against UM.

LIGHTS KAUT
Last season's Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award winner as the nation's top collegiate goalie, senior Austin Kaut will be relied upon as the backbone of the Nittany Lion defense. Kaut registered the nation's third-best goals-against average (7.37), while making a career-best 194 saves. His dominance showed through by making 10 or more saves in 12 games along with three 16-save showings. His .610 save percentage ranked second in the nation en route to CAA Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors.

This season started on a positive note with a six-save, three-goals against showing vs. Michigan on Saturday. Kaut played a shade under 40 minutes before giving way to redshirt-freshman Connor Darcey.

CLIMBING UP THE LEADERBOARD
Austin Kaut has made his stamp in the Penn State record books with the 2014 season remaining. In net, Kaut now ranks fourth all-time in saves with 558. He only needs eight saves to match Kevin Keenan (564, 1996-99) and 13 to catch Joe Guterding (571, 1979-82). Drew Adams (2006-09) is the all-time saves leader with 694. If Kaut continues his career pace of 11.9 saves per game, he'd surpass Adams in mid-April.

HAT TRICK HEROES
The first game of 2014 featured three Nittany Lions who scored a hat trick including a newcomer to the list in Kyle Baier. In all, Penn State features seven scorers who have tallied hat tricks in their careers: TJ Sanders (10 times), Shane Sturgis (7), Tom LaCrosse (3), Gavin Ahern (2), Kyle Baier (1), Kyle VanThof (1) and Steve Aitken (1).

TJ Sanders 10
Shane Sturgis 7
Tom LaCrosse 4
Gavin Ahern 2
Kyle Baier 1
Steve Aitken 1
Kyle VanThof 1

PENN STATE RANKED IN TOP TEN
Penn State is ranked seventh and ninth by both nationally recognized preseason polls as announced on Monday, Jan. 27. The Warrior/Inside Lacrosse rankings peg Penn State seventh, while the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) has PSU ranked ninth, tying the highest preseason ranking in school history (1992).

The Nittany Lions have continued their rise to national prominence under fourth-year head coach Jeff Tambroni following the program's third NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013. Penn State faces a challenging schedule with six opponents being ranked in each poll.

RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
Penn State will once again feature one of the toughest non-conference schedules in Division I lacrosse. The Nittany Lions face six teams ranked in the USILA Coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media polls this season. Using the coaches poll alone, the Nittany Lions see three top 10 teams and five in the top 15. Beginning next week, PSU faces four straight ranked opponents in No. 12 Loyola, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 14 Ohio State and No. 4 Denver, with the last three of those coming on the road. Just two non-conference games are to be played against unranked teams: Michigan (Saturday) and Dartmouth (March 18). March 22-April 12 presents another set of challenges when No. 10 Albany and No. 20 Villanova come to Happy Valley before PSU hits the road for its only two road CAA games at Drexel and Towson.

NITTANY LIONS PICKED TO WIN CAA AGAIN
Penn State was predicted to win the Colonial Athletic Association for a second straight year it was announced Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 22) in voting conducted by the coaches.

The Nittany Lions, which went 6-0 in CAA play last season and has won its past 11 regular-season games, received 23 points including three first-place votes. Trailing Penn State in the preseason poll was Towson (21 points, 2 first-place votes) and Drexel (18, 1) in second and third, respectively. UMass (12), Hofstra (11) and Delaware (5) rounded out the six-team order.

Penn State's CAA regular-season title was just its second conference trophy (ECAC, 2005) and the first outright championship. The 2014 season will serve as the final year in the CAA before the Nittany Lions enter the Big Ten in 2015. The Nittany Lions will not participate in the CAA Tournament due to conference by-laws pertaining to departing members.

NEXT TIME OUT
Penn State travels to No. 5 Notre Dame with a shot at redemption following last year's 10-9 overtime loss at Holuba Hall. PSU plays its next three games on the road against teams ranked in the top 15: No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 14 Ohio State and No. 4 Denver.

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Last Updated February 13, 2014