Men's lacrosse coach Tambroni notches 200th win with victory over Johns Hopkins

March 28, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State men's lacrosse head coach Jeff Tambroni earned his 200th career win Sunday as the Lions defeated Johns Hopkins 11-8 at Panzer Stadium. A total team effort helped the Lions improve to 2-4 in the Big Ten and overall, while the Blue Jays left Happy Valley with the same record at 2-4, 2-4.

Tambroni is 200-98 in 21 seasons as a head coach, including a 91-58 record in 11 seasons at Penn State and 109-40 in 10 seasons at Cornell. His .671 winning percentage ranks sixth among active NCAA Division I coaches. He ranks second all-time in men's lacrosse wins at Penn State, while his .611 winning percentage at Penn State is the best in program history.

Sunday's win came over a Johns Hopkins team that stifled the Lions' offense in a 13-6 win when the teams met just two weeks ago. This time, the Lions received solid contributions in every aspect of the game on their way to a win in the rematch.

Colby Kneese highlighted the numerous standout performances by Penn State, making 15 saves on 23 chances. His .652 save percentage was easily his best of the season. Kneese came up big in the final 15 minutes of play, making five saves in a quarter that began with the Lions holding a slim one-goal lead at 8-7.

Penn State's two faceoff specialists kept Kneese from seeing more shots than he did, giving the Lions possession 78 percent of the time with wins in 18 of the 23 faceoffs. Gerard Arceri went 15-19, while Jake Glatz won three of his four attempts.

It was a familiar face leading the offense for the Lions as Mac O'Keefe led the team with five points on four goals and one assist. He has 206 goals in his career, putting him just seven shy of breaking the NCAA Division I record for career goals. O'Keefe now sits in a tie for second with Zack Greer (Duke, 2005-08).

And yet another veteran player came through for Penn State on defense. The Lions had seven caused turnovers on the day, led by Nick Cardile with three. The team captain also contributed three ground balls.

Sunday's game was close throughout with the largest lead by either teaming topping out at three. Penn State scored four straight goals, including two by Dylan Foulds, in the second quarter, but Johns Hopkins had a 3-1 advantage in the third quarter and scored the first goal of the fourth to tie the game.

Playing in front of a small but loud home crowd, Penn State took the momentum from there and never looked back with a goal by O'Keefe off an assist from Jackson Reynolds that put the Lions up 9-8 with 9:55 left to play. O'Keefe scored again with 4:42 left on the clock, this time off an assist from Dylan Foulds, and Jack Traynor completed the scoring 28 seconds later with an assist from TJ Malone.

Kneese was outstanding in a key stretch of play in the fourth quarter. After Penn State took a 9-8 lead, Kneese made three saves in less than a minute, the last coming with 6:33 showing on the clock. O'Keefe made it a two-goal game just under two minutes after that last save.

Offensively, Malone was right behind O'Keefe with four points on two goals and two assists. He now leads the team in points with 24 and assists with 10. He and O'Keefe share the team lead in goals with 14. Foulds and Traynor each tallied two goals and one assist, Jackson Reynolds finished with two assists, Mark Sickler had one goal, and Jake Morin contributed one assist.

Right behind Cardile's three ground balls were John NostrantSam SweeneyDan ReaumeGrant HausBrett Funk and Reynolds with two apiece. O'Keefe, Bobby Burns, Sweeney and Haus each caused one turnover.

Penn State didn't score the first goal for the first time this season as Jacob Angelus found the back of the net for Johns Hopkins 1:09 into the contest, but the Lions countered with the next two scores. Sickler tied the game with 5:15 left in the quarter, and O'Keefe scored just over a minute later to give the Lions the early lead.

Johns Hopkins was paced by Cole Williams with two goals and one assist.

The one noticeable negative for Penn State was its turnovers. Despite the big gap in faceoff wins, the teams  matched each other with 39 shots due in large part to 22 turnovers by the Lions. The Blue Jays turned the ball over 14 times.

Last Updated March 28, 2021