Hopkins men’s lacrosse faced off against the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions on the stormy Saturday evening of April 16. The Blue Jays proved too much for Penn State, recording a 13-10 victory for their second win in the Big Ten.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, nursing a 4-3 lead at the end of the first. However, the Hopkins offense clicked in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 9-3 by the end of the half. Senior midfielder Garrett Degnon led the offense, recording five goals by halftime
The second half saw Degnon score his sixth goal in the third quarter, making the game 11-4 and putting the game out of reach for Penn State. The seven-goal deficit was too much for Penn State, and their offense was shut down by the Hopkins defense.
Degnon led all players with a career-high of six goals, the most goals for a Hopkins player since senior attackman Joey Epstein’s six-goal performance against Towson University earlier this year. Epstein, sophomore midfielder Brendan Grimes and junior midfielder Jacob Angelus each scored two goals. Graduate student attackman Connor DeSimone recorded six assists, the most by a Hopkins player since 2017.
In an email to The News-Letter, Degnon reflected on his performance.
“I was able to score so many goals on Saturday night solely because of my teammates. Week in and week out my teammates are always looking for me to shoot,” he wrote. “Angelus, [graduate student midfielder Jack] Keogh, DeSimone and Epstein to name a few are always doing all the hard work for me to just finish the play by catching and shooting. We were able to play selflessly and I found myself in the right spot.”
Degnon also explained the team’s game plan for the matchup.
“The team's game plan heading into the game day Saturday was playing with confidence. We’ve shown a handful of times this year that we can play with anyone and just need to execute for 60 minutes to come out victorious,” he wrote. “We played a little different of an offense this week which gave us a boost and new confidence. Selling out and making selfless plays was the team's game plan.”
Hopkins finishes their regular season tomorrow with a home game against the University of Maryland Terrapins, considered the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse. Degnon gave some insight into the team’s mentality heading into the matchup.
“The team [is] obviously very excited for this weekend's matchup with Maryland,” he wrote. “This rivalry has existed for over a hundred years and this game is always a tilt. They are a very skilled team so we must work hard and prepare all week long, but [we are] overall feeling confident.”