No. 12 men's lacrosse travels to No. 4 Notre Dame Saturday

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 12th-raned Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team puts its 12-game road winning streak on the line at No. 4 Notre Dame for a Saturday contest at Arlotta Stadium. The last two Penn State-Notre Dame games have gone to overtime.

Game 3: February 22, 2014 • 3:00 p.m. • Arlotta Stadium • Notre Dame, Ind.
VENUE Arlotta Family Lacrosse Stadium (Turf; 2,500)
COVERAGE Live Video (free) | Live Stats
SERIES RECORD Notre Dame leads 15-5
LAST MEETING 2/24/13, ND 10-9 (OT) at Holuba Hall
NEXT TIME OUT Saturday, March 1 at No. 17 Ohio State
Penn State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

• Penn State faces its second ranked opponent at No. 5 Notre Dame
• The Nittany Lions and Fighting Irish face off for the 21st time, 18th straight year
• Notre Dame has won 10 of the last 11 meetings; Penn State won last meeting at ND
• Penn State looking for 13th straight true road win. Streak started Feb. 26, 2012 at ND
• Nittany Lions coming off disappointing 12-11 overtime setback to No. 12 Loyola
• Penn State scored final four goals of regulation to force overtime, LU scored 19 seconds in OT
Shane Sturgis tallied 5 points on 3 goals and 2 assists to lead all players vs. Loyola
Kyle VanThof notched career-high 4 points on 2 goals and 2 assists
Erik Myers posted his first two-goal game of his collegiate career
TJ Sanders tallied 2 goals vs. Loyola and has a scoring streak of nine-straight games
Drake Kreinz picked up 12 ground balls vs. LU and has won 61.2 of face-offs in 2014
• Nittany Lions face five straight ranked foes from Feb. 15 to March 15
• Penn State travels to No. 17 Ohio State and No. 4 Denver. Penn State returns home March 15 vs. No. 14 UMass for first of four straight at home

No. 4 Notre Dame (1-0) hosts its home opener against the Nittany Lions following a decisive 19-7 victory over Jacksonville Sunday in Florida. Sophomore Matt Kavanagh, last year's hero at Holuba Hall, tallied a game-high six points on three goals and three assists. Fellow attackman Conor Doyle pitched in with three goals of his own, while Eddy Lubowicki scored twice and dished an assist in the rout. Last season, Kavanagh led the Irish with 32 goals and 16 assists, while Doyle had 20 and 10. Junior Jim Marlatt returns after his 20 and 12 season, scoring a goal and an assist against the Dolphins. Junior Conor Kelly earned his first career start in net and made four saves with four goals allowed.

The 2013 Fighting Irish were NCAA Quarterfinalists behind a staunch defense that allowed just 8.31 goals per game and causing 101 turnovers in 16 matchups. Senior Liam O'Connor is once again the first-choice faceoff man, winning 19-of-25 draws (76 percent) against Jacksonville after winning 52.3 percent of his faceoffs last year. O'Connor led the team in ground balls (44) and picked up 15 against the Dolphins.

All-Time Series: 5-15
Penn State Streak: 1 loss
First Meeting: 3/18/89, Penn State 9-1
Last Meeting: 2/24/13, ND 10-9 (OT)
Last Penn State Win: 2/26/12, 4-3
Last ND Win: 2/24/13, 10-9 (OT)
Largest Penn State Win: 9-1, 3/18/89
Largest ND Win: 17-7, 2/29/04
Penn State at ND: 2-7
Penn State Goals vs. ND: 156-206
Jeff Tambroni vs. ND: 4-4

2/24/13: L, 9-10 (OT) - H 2/26/12: W, 4-3 (OT) - A 2/27/11: L, 2-6 - H 2/28/10: L, 8-12 - A 2/22/09: L, 8-13 - H Note: Penn State and Notre Dame have met every year since 1997 and 19 of the last 20 years dating to the 1994 season. This year's matchup will be the 18th straight season in the series.

A furiour fourth-quarter comeback wasn't enough as No. 9 Penn State lost 12-11 in overtime to visiting No. 12 Loyola Saturday, Feb. 15. The Greyhounds held an 11-7 edge early in the fourth quarter before Penn State tied the game with 63 seconds left to force overtime. Nevertheless, Loyola's Nikko Pontrello scored 19 seconds into the extra frame to give the `Hounds their first win of the year.

The game featured five ties, but Penn State never gained the lead throughout the afternoon. Shane Sturgis was impressive once again with three goals and two assists for a game-high five points. Kyle VanThof posted a career-high four points on two goals and two assists, while Erik Myers notched his first two-goal game. TJ Sanders pitched in with two markers of his own.

For the third straight year, a Penn State men's lacrosse student-athlete was named a nominee for the Senior CLASS Award. Goalie Austin Kaut was one of 20 nominees named to the list Thursday morning.

Kaut follows the footsteps of Matthew Mackrides (2012) and Nick Dolik (2013) as candidates for the award and hopes to match or surpass Mackrides' finalist honor. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, which focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their play for in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in the community. Ten finalists will be named midway through the season and put on the official ballot.

Kaut is majoring in business management and has a 3.29 cumulative grade-point average and a two-time honoree of the Academic All-Big Ten team.

Most teams fare better at home, but not the Nittany Lions. Penn State excels on the road, especially in true road games. With last year's win at Hofstra to close the regular season, Penn State has ticked off a school-record 12 straight true road wins. In 2013, Penn State went 7-0 on the road after going 5-0 in 2012. The Lions' last road loss was Apr. 30, 2011 at Hofstra. Penn State has won 14 of its last 15 true road games. Included in that 12-game winning streak: an upset win over then No. 2 Notre Dame Feb. 26, 2012, which kicked off the streak. Penn State has also defeated four straight ranked foes on the road dating back to that win over the Fighting Irish in 2012.

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. This week's game at No. 4 Notre Dame will be the second of five straight ranked opponents after last week's loss to No. 12 Loyola. Next week, Penn State travels to No. 17 Ohio State (March 1) and No. 5 Denver (March 10) before hosting No. 14 UMass (March 15). Following a non-conference game against Dartmouth (March 18), Penn State hosts No. 11 Albany (March 22) and Villanova (March 30).

Penn State's success last year revolved around the number 10: as in goals scored and goals allowed. When Penn State tallied 10 or more goals the Nittany Lions were 10-2. More importantly, when Penn State allowed less than 10 goals, Penn State went an unblemished 11-0. All five losses came when allowing at least 10 goals and only once did Penn State yield a victory (15-12 vs. Denver on Feb. 19). So far this year, Penn State is 1-0 after allowing just seven goals in a victory over Michigan, but 0-1 after allowing more than 10 goals to Loyola. Penn State is 1-11 under Jeff Tambroni when allowing 10 or more goals with the lone win coming last year vs. Denver (15-12).

Austin Kaut has made his stamp in the Penn State record books with the majority of the 2014 season remaining. In net, Kaut now ranks in a tie for third all-time in saves with 564, matching Kevin Keenan (1996-99). He only needs seven saves to catch Joe Guterding (571, 1979-82) for second. 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.

The game vs. Loyola produced Shane Sturgis's eighth hat trick. In all, Penn State features seven scorers who have tallied hat tricks in their careers: TJ Sanders (10 times), Sturgis (8), Tom LaCrosse (3), Gavin Ahern (2), Kyle Baier (1), Kyle VanThof (1) and Steve Aitken (1).

TJ Sanders 10 Shane Sturgis 8 Tom LaCrosse 4 Gavin Ahern 2 Kyle Baier 1 Steve Aitken 1 Kyle VanThof 1

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.

Penn State is ranked 12th by both nationally recognized preseason polls as announced on Monday, Feb. 17. In the preseason, the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse rankings pegged Penn State seventh, while the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) had Penn State ranked ninth, tying the highest preseason ranking in school history (1992).

Shane Sturgis' goal just six seconds into the game vs. Michigan tied the fastest marker in NCAA history to start a season. The previous mark was set by Delaware's Alex Smith Feb. 12, 2005 against Saint Joseph's.

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.

Penn State travels to No. 17 Ohio State with a shot at redemption following last year's 10-9 overtime loss at Penn State Lacrosse Field. A win over the Buckeyes would secure Penn State's second Creator's Trophy, a competition between Penn State, OSU and Michigan. 

Last Updated February 21, 2014