The men’s lacrosse team faced the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions at Homewood Field last weekend. Having lost their previous game against the University of Maryland, the Jays came out with a chip on their shoulders.
However, the Nittany Lions quickly showed why they are the 12th-ranked team in the nation. Not even a minute into the game, attackman Mac O’Keefe scored an unassisted goal. Less than three minutes later, attackman TJ Malone went solo for a goal of his own, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead.
This early deficit did not faze the Jays. Before the first half’s end, the Jays would go on to score six goals while only allowing one, giving the Jays a 6-3 lead to start the second half.
During this run, graduate student midfielder Cole Williams put Hopkins on the board with an unassisted goal at around the nine-minute mark in the first period. Junior midfielder Jack Keogh added another Hopkins goal.
Senior attackman Connor DeSimone found junior attackman Joey Epstein for the Jays’ third goal of the day. DeSimone joined the party himself with a goal of his own with less than three minutes to play in the first period.
After a Penn State goal early in the second period, DeSimone scored two unassisted goals 10 minutes apart from each other. This offensive outburst from the Jays would continue into the second half.
Sophomore midfielder Jacob Angelus found the back of the net 38 seconds into the third period. Senior long stick midfielder Conner Delaney assisted on another Epstein goal to bring the score to an 8-3 Hopkins lead. But the Jays weren’t finished.
Williams scored his second goal of the game around the eight-minute mark of the third period. Epstein earned an assist with his pass to junior midfielder Garrett Degnon, who fired a shot through the net. Ten seconds later on the game clock, Delaney assisted on a goal from junior short stick midfielder Alexander Mabbett.
Keogh found Degnon near the net for yet another goal. Before the third period’s end, DeSimone scored his fourth goal of the game, compliments of Epstein.
During this period, Hopkins held Penn State to zero shots. The Nittany Lions would score three more goals in the fourth period, but their efforts were not enough to overcome the blowout.
The Jays came out on top with a final score of 13-6; the win puts them at a 2-2 record.
The Jays victory also puts them at 10-3 all-time against the Nittany Lions. It also marks first-year head coach Peter Milliman’s first win at Homewood.
As for individual performances, Epstein is now two points away from scoring 100 career points. Degnon extended his streak, now having scored in 10 straight games.
Degnon credited his preparation and teammates for the offensive streak.
“The biggest thing for me in terms of preparation has been scouting the opposing team's goalie,” he said. “Knowing their go-to moves and tactics when it comes to seeing shots helps me a lot. My teammates do a great job getting me shots, so when the chance comes to shoot, I like being comfortable knowing the goaltender.”
Degnon also shared what he thought was the reason for the team’s success against Penn State.
“Last week, we realized we could compete with anyone, just would have to play a full 60-minute game. Our approach this week was if we pieced together a full 60, we’d come out victorious,” he said. “We would definitely like to carry that with us moving forward, playing consistently for a whole game.”
The Jays will return to action when they play the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights at Homewood on March 20.