Men’s lacrosse head coach Jeff Tambroni stressed the need for better face-offs after The Capital Lacrosse Invitational in which Penn State split a pair of exhibition games on Sunday.
“[Face-offs] are such an important part of the game,” Tambroni said. “It makes a huge difference on who controls possession of the game.”
Sunday’s scrimmages against Johns Hopkins University and North Carolina in Bethesda, Md. were the Nittany Lions’ first games against another schools this year. Though official scores were not kept, Penn State lost to Johns Hopkins, 13-7, and then defeated UNC, 17-10.
“The team started out slow, and Hopkins came with a lot more energy than us and dominated most of the game” Tambroni said of the first contest.
A lack of face-off wins and a quick first goal from Hopkins dug the Lions into a hole early.
But in the second game, the Lions seemed to take notes from the Hopkins defeat. Penn State came out ready for the Tar Heels.
Through the increase of face-off wins, the Lions were able to control the possession of the play through most of the game.
“The team seemed to have much more focus and were winning more face-offs than the last game,” Tambroni said. “It was good to end the day on a high note.”
The official lacrosse season will not start until January, which gives the team plenty of time to improve on face-offs and other factors of the game.
“Right now senior Danny Henneghan is having a lot of success [in face-offs], but we have younger guys that will need to improve,” Tambroni said.
Tambroni also said that assistant coach Chris Doctor would work with the players to improve their face-off skills.
The Landon School and The Boiardi Foundation hosted the Capital Lacrosse Invitational. Five teams participated in it, including Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, North Carolina and Team USA
The day started with a free youth lacrosse clinic, followed by the collegiate games and ended with a Team USA scrimmage.