State College, Pa. - March 8, 2006 - The Penn State Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team, under the guidance of veteran head coach Glenn Thiel, grabbed an impressive 11-10 victory over No. 14 Dartmouth in a game played at St. Paul's School in Baltimore, Md. Penn State, which has been besieged by injuries early in the season, got its first victory of the 2006 campaign.
Jumping out to an early lead, the Nittany Lions out-scored Dartmouth 5-1 in the first period, including four unanswered goals to start the game. Junior
Brian Boyle (Derry, N.H.) scored first off an assist from freshman Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.). Senior Nate Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.) kept his career-long scoring streak alive with a goal off a Boyle assist (Whitaker has now scored in 45 straight games). Senior Greg Gurenlian (Springfield, Pa.) put Penn State up 3-0 off a John Eremus (Rosemont, Pa.) assist. Forster then scored off a feed from Whitaker and the Lions were up 4-0 less than nine minutes into the game. Dartmouth got on the board when Luke Antal scored off a Nick Bonacci assist at the 4:34 mark, but Forster and Gurenlian combined to answer right back and Penn State led 5-1 at the end of one period.
Whitaker scored again at the 14:33 mark, again from Forster, before Dartmouth began a second period comeback. The Big Green got goals from Brad Heritage and Bonacci to cut the Nittany Lion lead to 6-3. Eremus put Penn State up 7-3, thanks to an assist from Pat Heim (Wayne, Pa.), but Dartmouth would answer with two more goals before the half, one from Heritage and another from Ryan Danehy. The late Big Green surge sent the game to the half with Penn State up 7-5.
Dartmouth tied the game in the third period, getting a goal at the 9:49 mark from Bonacci and another from Heritage at the 5:37 mark. Seeing its four-goal lead gone, Penn State answered with two quick goals. Whitaker took a Heim feed to the net with 4:54 to play and Bubba Scott (Rockville, Md.) scored unassisted with 3:40 left in the third to put Penn State back up 9-7. Bonacci would cut the lead in half with a solo goal at the 3:25 mark, cutting the Lion lead to 9-8 heading into the fourth period.
Tim Daniels tied the game for Dartmouth less than two minutes into the final period, but Penn State would not be denied. Junior Matt Radecic (Mission Hills, Kan.) scored unassisted at the 11:12 mark and Eremus scored unassisted at the 10:11 mark to put Penn State back on top 11-9. Alec Hufnagel would score a late goal for Dartmouth (with 4:56 to play), making Eremus' goal the ultimate game-winner. Penn State did a solid job of killing time down the stretch and the Nittany Lion defense, led by freshman goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) held firm as Dartmouth had possession as time expired.
Whitaker ended the game with three goals and an assist while Forster added two and two. Eremus also had a multi-goal game with two goals and an assist. Adams was once again solid in the net with 14 saves. Bonacci led Dartmouth with three goals and two assists while Heritage added three goals.
Gurenlian controlled the face-offs this time out, winning 11 of 19 and helping Penn State to a 14 to nine edge in that department. Darmouth did outshoot Penn State 41-38.
The Nittany Lions are now 1-2, 0-1 ECAC. Dartmouth is now 3-1. Penn State will visit Ohio State on Saturday for a 12 p.m. game against the Buckeyes in Columbus.
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