In a wild back-and-forth game the Penn State Nittany Lions were able to prevail and punch their ticket to championship weekend.
This game was an offensive clinic as both teams just kept taking shots at each other all game long. While Penn State was able to get a big halftime lead, Loyola pushed through and put together a strong run in the second half. Penn State weathered the storm, kept their offense humming, and secured the win.
Penn State was ld by Mac O’Keefe with 9 goals to led the way for the Nittany Lions, tying an NCAA tournament single-game record. Jack Kelly had 5 points (5G,1A) while Grant Ament tallied 9 points (1G,8A). In cage Colby Kneese made 12 saves.
Pat Spencer led Loyola with 11 points (6G,5A) while John Duffy, Aidan Olmstead, and Dan Wigley each had 2 goals. Jacob Stover made 19 saves in cage for the Greyhounds.
Penn State got off to a strong start with Mac O’Keefe putting the Nittany Lions up 2-0 early on in the first. Pat Spencer answered for Loyola to cut the lead to 2-1 with 10:45 in the first.
After Jack Kelly’s outside snipe put Penn State up 3-1, Loyola caught fire. The Greyhounds went on a five-goal run to take a6-3 lead late in the first. It wouldn’t be long before Penn State answered right back with two-goal run of their own.
With Loyola up 6-5 heading into the second quarter, Penn State took over completely. The Nittany Lions could not be stopped as they went on a five-goal run through the first half of the quarter to take a 10-6 lead. The Nittany Lions were running all over the Greyhounds defense, dominating possession, and scoring at will.
Late in the second Loyola finally got their first set possession of the quarter and Pat Spencer found the back of the net to give the Greyhounds a little life. Penn State ended the half with a four-goal run to put them up 14-7 heading into halftime.
The Greyhounds somehow found some energy coming out of halftime as they got the scoring started. After some back-and-forth play with both side trading goals Loyola started to put it all together, going on a five-goal run to help cut the Penn State lead to 17-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
Penn State got their mojo back in the fourth as they scored four unanswered and held Loyola scoreless. The Nittany Lions took control down the stretch to secure the 21-14 win and punch their ticket to championship weekend.