The #1 Ranked, Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) opened the road portion of their 2029 DI Men’s Lacrosse season and faced the challenge of the #18 Villanova Wildcats (0-1) on a chilly Saturday afternoon.
Villanova hung in with the juggernaut Lions for a short bit.
Jack Kelly (4g,1a) opened the scoring off a nice feed from TJ Malone and Penn State had a 1-0 lead at 11:44.
Villanova answered when Eric Overbay (1g) and Keegan Khan (3g) got the home team in front, 2-1.
Mac O’Keefe turned playmaker to assist on a Malone (1g,1a) tally and a taut battle was on.
The back and forth continued with Matt Campbell (3g) for Villanova and Kelly sharing net benders to keep the game even, 3-3.
With just over a minute remaining, Dylan Foulds (3g) put the Lions up by a 4-3 score.
Patrick Daly (2g) countered and the first came to a close, 4-4.
O’Keefe made it 5-4 before PSU ripped three goals in only :58 seconds supplied by Nate Butler (1g), Foulds and Gerard Arceri (1g) to put Penn State in a groove.
Thirty seconds would elapse before Grant Ament (3g) stole the spotlight with a pair of goals in the span of :28 to give Penn State a 10-4 lead.
Corey McManus (1g) put an end to the run and Villanova looked to get on the comeback trail.
Not so fast was the Lions reply and the half ended after Jack Traynor (1g) converted an O’Keefe set up and O’Keefe (4g, 3a) bagged another and PSU was large and in charge, 12-5.
At 10:52, Campbell scored and was followed a minute and fourteen seconds later by Khan’s second.
The partisan crowd started thinking a comeback would happen.
Their joy suffered a blow when O’Keefe hit the net just :39 later. It was the final goal of the quarter and the combatants went to the final 15:00 with Villanova facing a huge uphill battle, trailing 13-7.
Patrick Daly cut it to 13-8 but Penn State slammed the door and an exclamation point on the proceedings with goals from Kelly, Ament and O’ Keefe to get the final to 16-8.
Dis and Dat: In their two games, Penn State has outscored the opponents. 35-19.
O’Keefe has now notched 10 goals with 3 on the man up.
Gerard Arceri was, once again, dominant from the “X”, 21 of 32.
Loose balls were tilted to the victors, 34-18 and shots on goal went the same way, 31-19.