Penn State Surges in Second Half Past CSU

Penn State Surges in Second Half Past CSU

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State broke out offensively in the second half to break open a close contest and surge past the Cleveland State University lacrosse team, 16-5, Saturday afternoon at a mostly sunny but cool Penn State Lacrosse Field.

Freshman Michael Wilson notched two assists to post points in each of the first 10 games of his collegiate career. In doing so, he claimed the first double-digit point streak in the program's young history.

The Vikings won 11 of 24 faceoffs against the nation's third-best faceoff unit. Sophomore Danny Tesler put forth an admirable effort, winning eight faceoffs, collecting four ground balls and scoring a goal. Freshman Jack Dively also went 3-for-3 on faceoffs.

Penn State scored on three of its first five possessions, the final one of which was a man-up tally, to take a 3-0 lead after the opening quarter.

Cleveland State came storming back in the second quarter, scoring four of the game's next six goals.

The Vikings got on the board when freshman Jake Higgins beat his man and then found Wilson at X. Wilson hit a cutting Tristen Hanna, and the rookie slammed the ball home from close range.

After a PSU goal, Wilson, operating near the side of the cage, hit freshman Matt Manfredi with a cross-crease pass. Manfredi tiptoed around the circle before dumping the ball into the netting.

The Vikings kept momentum by killing off a one-minute penalty. Sophomore Sherwin Gersten then beat his man to goal-line extended before cutting back to gain an angle at goal. Gersten's shot beat the goalie five-hole.

After a Nittany Lion goal, Tesler came up big on the next faceoff. He sent the Lions' faceoff man tumbling to the ground, grabbed the ball and ripped a high shot after running into the box.

The Vikings had a couple of possessions with a chance to tie the game but were unable to do so. It appeared the game would reach the half with the margin at one, but PSU forced a failed clear in the waning seconds and was able to scored in transition as the buzzer sounded.

That strike proved to be a backbreaker for the Vikings as Penn State used the momentum to dominate the third quarter and put the game out of reach.

Sophomore Nick Wendel scored in the second half for CSU, his fourth straight game with a goal. He now has points in 16 of the past 18 contests.

Wilson now owns eight multi-point games this season and a trio of multi-assist efforts. Hanna scored for the second time in three games.

Freshman Stephen Russo was credited with 11 saves in the cage, his fourth straight game reaching double figures in that category.

Sophomore Isaac Atencio had two caused turnovers and a ground ball while freshman Casey Platenik had a trio of ground balls and a caused turnover. Freshman long-stick midfielder Michael Harris continued his streak of having at least one ground ball in each game this season.

Cleveland State scored within 15 seconds of a faceoff for the ninth time in the team's past 11 games.

The Vikings will return to action on the first full weekend of April as they host Hampton.