Men's lacrosse hosts Delaware Saturday

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team will host Delaware for a Saturday afternoon tilt at Penn State Lacrosse Field. The 25th edition of the Penn State-Delaware rivalry will feature Lacrosse for Literacy, a student-athlete run initiative for a book donation to a local library. Fans are encouraged to bring books tailored to children in grades 2-6 for donation at the game.

PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (5-6, 1-2 CAA) vs. DELAWARE BLUE HENS (6-7, 0-3 CAA)
Game 12: April 19, 2014 • 1 p.m. • Penn State Lacrosse Field • University Park, Pa.
VENUE Penn State Lacrosse Field (Turf; 1,000)
LIVE COVERAGE Live Video ($) | Live Stats
SERIES RECORD Penn State leads 17-7
LAST MEETING 4/20/13, Penn State 13-7 (at Delaware)
NEXT TIME OUT Saturday, Apr. 26 vs. #12 Hofstra, Noon
Penn State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME NOTES
• Penn State searches for its fourth straight win over Delaware on Saturday afternoon
• The Nittany Lions and the Blue Hens meet for the 25th time
• PSU nearly pitched its first shutout in 47 wins in an 8-1 win over No. 19 Towson
Austin Kaut had 11 saves and didn't allow a goal in 58-plus minutes
• Kaut earned his fifth CAA Player of the Week honor for his play at Towson
Mike Sutton was named CAA Rookie of the Week for the second straight week
• Freshman duo Dan Craig and Mike Sutton have tallied 15 points in past 4 games
• PSU ranks 8th nationally in faceoff winning percentage led by Drake Kreinz (10th)
Shane Sturgis is 6th all-time at Penn State with 149 points, needing 5 points to reach 5th
Austin Kaut is second in school history in saves (664), 30 behind Drew Adams (694)
• Delaware has dropped five of its past six games following 12-9 loss to St. Joe's

SCOUTING THE BLUE HENS
Delaware (6-7, 0-3 CAA) enters Saturday's game having lost five of its last six games following a 12-9 home loss to Saint Joseph's this past Saturday. SJU scored the final four goals of the game to overcome a fourth quarter one-goal deficit. UD's offense was led by Dan Keane with three goals and an assist, while Beau Jones added three assists and a goal.

Keane leads the team in goals (21), followed by Brian Kormondy (15) and Steve DeLargy (13). Delaware has three other double-digit scorers in Tom Holland (11), Logan Aunon (10) and Jeff Heath (10). Jackson Finigan (13 assists) leads the team in helpers, followed by Kormondy (10) and Jones (10).

Starting goalkeeper Conor Peaks allowed seven goals and had one save in just 11:23 of game time against Saint Joseph's, giving way to Chris Herbert who made six saves against five goals against in 48:37. For the season, Peaks (6-6) has started all 13 games with a 9.22 GAA and a .538 save percentage.

The Blue Hens are even in scoring margin with 199 goals for and 119 goals against this season. On special teams, the Delaware converts 31.6 percent of its man-up opportunities, while allowing 31.2 percent of its man-down attempts. Tyler Barbarich controls the faceoff X with a 64.3 percent rate and 72 ground balls. Barbarich ranks fourth nationally in faceoff win percentage.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. DELAWARE
All-Time Series: 17-7
PSU Streak: 3 wins
First Meeting: 5/13/64, PSU 8-5
Last Meeting: 4/20/13, PSU 13-7
Last PSU Win: 4/20/13, 13-7
Last DEL Win: 4/30/10, 14-10
Largest PSU Win: 18-3, 5/18/68
Largest DEL Win: 17-10, 4/20/77
PSU at home vs. DEL: 6-5
PSU Goals vs. DEL: 322-255

LAST FIVE MEETINGS VS. DELAWARE
4/20/13: W, 13-7 - A
4/21/12: W, 13-9 - H
4/23/11: W, 13-3 - A
4/30/10: L, 10-14 - H
4/3/02: W, 16-8 - H

PENN STATE STYMIES TOWSON
The Nittany Lions were just 54.7 seconds from their first shutout in 47 years as Penn State downed No. 19 Towson, 8-1, Saturday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Senior goalkeeper Austin Kaut saved all 11 Tiger efforts before giving way in the final 1:11 of the game.

Reigning CAA Rookie of the Week Mike Sutton and sophomore TJ Sanders each scored two goals to pace the offense.

The Nittany Lion defense clicked from the onset, shutting down the Tigers, who came in having won seven of its previous eight games en route to its No. 19 ranking. Towson was kept off the board for the first 59 minutes, while the Nittany Lions steadily built its lead and were in control all night.

The shutout was eliminated on a Mike Lynch score to push off Penn State's 12th all-time shutout and its first shutout since April 15, 1967 against Colgate.

Penn State earned a 3-0 lead through three different Nittany Lion scorers: Nick Aponte, Dan Craig and Pat Manley. Aponte's early tally just 3:47 into the game was fed by Kyle VanThof, while Craig's goal was assisted by Erik Myers.

In the second period, it was the Sutton show as the freshman as he scored both goals of the frame including his third extra-man tally in his past two contests. Both were unassisted markers with 13:48 and 6:35 remaining in the period as the Nittany Lions held a 5-0 lead into the halftime break.

Shane Sturgis notched his 26th goal of the year with an unassisted tally 3:28 into the third quarter. His goal proved to be the only one by either team in the quarter as Penn State led 6-0 after 45 minutes.

Penn State quickly made the score 7-0 as Sturgis assisted the first of Sanders' back-to-back tallies just 1:05 into the fourth quarter. The assist, Sturgis' 149th point of his career, moved him into sixth all-time at Penn State in the record book. He sits only five points behind Keith McGuire (1974-77) for fifth place.

The Nittany Lions broke a stretch of games where they lost five of six games by playing disciplined, possession-style lacrosse. Penn State won 9-of-13 faceoffs buoyed by Drake Kreinz who went 9-for-12 with three ground balls. Most importantly, PSU only committed eight turnovers Saturday night after committing 21 in each of the past two losses to Villanova and Drexel.

Penn State out-shot the Tigers 34-23 for the game, while winning the ground ball battle, 21-18. Kaut's counterpart, Tyler White, matched his 11 saves. PSU also went scored on its only man-up opportunity while preventing the Tigers on their lone chance.

PSU improved to 8-14 all-time against Towson in the final CAA road game for the Nittany Lions.

FIFTY-FOUR SECONDS FROM HISTORY
Since April 15, 1967, when PSU shutout Colgate, Penn State has won 326 games including Saturday's at Towson. The 8-1 decision at Towson was the third game where the Nittany Lions allowed a single goal and the first since March 18, 1989 against Notre Dame (9-1). For Towson, its lone goal prevented its first shutout since 1970.

KAUT, SUTTON EARN CAA WEEKLY HONORS
Following a perfect goalkeeping display, senior Austin Kaut was named Colonial Athletic Association Co-Player of the Week, while freshman Mike Sutton was tabbed Rookie of the Week for a second straight time on Monday, April 14.

The Nittany Lions used a historic goalkeeping performance from Kaut (11 saves, 0 goals against) in an 8-1 win over No. 19 Towson on Saturday. Coupled with Kaut, Sutton's two-goal night helped Penn State ease past the Tigers, who scored their fewest goals since 1970. The Nittany Lions were 54.7 seconds away from its first shutout since 1967 as Towson scored when Kaut was out of the game.

Kaut was locked in from the onset, saving three Towson shots on net in each of the first three periods. Penn State's defense was so dominant that the Tigers had just six possessions in the first half resulting in four turnovers and six shots that were saved.

Penn State led, 5-0, at halftime, following Sutton's back-to-back tallies in the second quarter. Sutton, who was earned his first conference laurel last week with a five-goal showing at Drexel, scored an even strength goal for a 4-0 lead only 72 seconds into the quarter before adding an extra-man goal seven minutes later. Sutton has seven goals in his past two games and three man-up goals.

CLIMBING UP THE LEADERBOARD
Austin Kaut has made his stamp in the Penn State record books with the majority of the 2014 season remaining. In net, Kaut ranks in second place all-time in saves with 664, needing 30 saves to catch Drew Adams (2006-09), who is the all-time saves leader with 694. Kaut will need to average 15 saves in the final two games to surpass Adams. Offensively, Shane Sturgis holds onto sole possession of sixth all-time at Penn State in points scored with 149. He is six points behing Keith McGuire (1974-77) for fifth place, while five assists behind Luke Oglesby (64, 2000-03) for ninth place in career assists. Sturgis (90 goals) is also three tallies behind Bill Hess (93, 1956-58) for 12th all-time in career goals.

EMERGING OFFENSIVE WEAPONS
Freshmen Dan Craig and Mike Sutton were largely silent during the first seven games of the year. In fact, the duo combined to score just five points on three goals and two assists through March 18. The offensive output has changed in the past four games, as the freshman pair combined for 15 points on 12 goals and three assists. Last weekend against Towson, Sutton scored twice, while Craig chipped in with a goal.

DRAKE RAKES, COLE ROLLS
The faceoff tandem of redshirt-freshman Drake Kreinz and graduate student Cole Yeager has been an effective combination against some of the top faceoff specialists in the country. Two weekends ago, Kreinz and Yeager teamed up to take 19 of 30 draws against Drexel, who featured Nick Saputo, who came into the weekend as CAA Player of the Week and fourth nationally in faceoff win percentage. Saputo sputtered to a season-low 33 percent, winning just 6 of 18 faceoffs, against PSU. As a team Penn State ranks eighth nationally in faceoff winning percentage (61.9) with Kreinz checking in 10th (123-196, 62.8 percent). Yeager has won 61.8 percent (34-55) of his draw attempts with 16 ground balls, while Kreinz has 65 pickups, which is good for 26th nationally.

The Nittany Lions will have their work cut out for them as the nation's fourth-best faceoff specialist by winning percentage visits Happy Valley, Tyler Barbarich. A junior, Barbarich is 135-for-210, good for 64.3 percent. He also has 78 ground balls to his credit, picking up 6.0 per game, which is good for 25th in the nation.

RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
Penn State once again features one of the toughest schedules in Division I lacrosse and No. 19 Towson will represented PSU's seventh ranked foe. Penn State is 3-4 this season against ranked teams according to the USILA Coaches Poll. In all, seven of Penn State's 11 opponents played were ranked when the game was played. PSU has faced No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 9 Denver, No. 11 Loyola, No. 14 UMass, No. 18 Albany, No. 19 Ohio State and No. 19 Towson. One more potential ranked team looms as Hofstra is tied for 12th in this week's poll.

NITTANY LIONS AGAINST RANKED FOES
Penn State played its 214th game against a ranked opponent as it visited No. 19 Towson last week. The Tigers were ranked for the first time this season entering the game and came away with an 8-1 loss. Penn State now holds a 70-144 record against ranked teams. During Jeff Tambroni's tenure at Penn State the Nittany Lions have gone 9-13 with a 3-5 campaign in 2012, 4-4 showing in 2013 and 3-4 thus far in 2014. The Nittany Lions are 8-1 all-time against teams ranked 19th, the best winning percentage against any of the 20 ranked spots.

HAT TRICK HEROES
A new face joined the ranks of Penn State's hat trick corps as Mike Sutton tallied a five-goal game at Drexel on Saturday. His performance comes on the heels of two other Nittany Lions to join the list as Pat Manley and Dan Craig tallied their first career hat tricks against Albany three weeks ago. TJ Sanders tops the Penn State list with 12 hat tricks followed by Shane Sturgis (11), Tom LaCrosse (3), Kyle VanThof (2), Gavin Ahern (2), Kyle Baier (1), Steve Aitken (1), Craig, Manley and Sutton.

TJ Sanders 12
Shane Sturgis 11
Tom LaCrosse 3
Gavin Ahern 2
Kyle VanThof 2
Mike Sutton 1
Kyle Baier 1
Dan Craig 1
Pat Manley 1
Steve Aitken 1

THE POWER OF 10
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 PSU 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 more than 10 goals and earn victory (15-12 vs. Denver on Feb. 19). So far this year, Penn State is 5-2 when conceding less than 10 goals. Moreover, PSU is 0-4 this season when allowing more than 10 goals. PSU is 1-14 under Jeff Tambroni when allowing 10 or more goals.

THE FIVE-GOAL MEN
Mike Sutton's five-goal game two weeks ago against Drexel allowed him to join the exclusive Penn State scoring club that includes only TJ Sanders and Shane Sturgis. Sanders has four five-goal games and Sturgis tallied a six-goal game against Michigan and scored five more against Notre Dame this season.

NEXT TIME OUT: #12 HOFSTRA
Penn State hosts one of the hottest teams in college lacrosse next Saturday when 12th-ranked Hofstra visits Happy Valley for a showdown at Noon. Saturday will be Senior Day for 12 Nittany Lions. 

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Last Updated April 18, 2014