While Penn State’s showdown with Notre Dame was moved from the Penn State Lacrosse Field across the street to Holuba Hall due to the cold weather, it did not affect the intensity of the game or the crowd.
With three goals in the final minute, both sides were fired up heading into overtime.
Despite Tom LaCrosse’s final second goal, No. 8 Penn State fell to No. 3 Notre Dame Sunday afternoon in a back and forth, 10-9 overtime loss.
“My teammates got through. I realized there was no time left, so I couldn’t pass the ball so I just got through and put it on my left,” said LaCrosse.
The Fighting Irish came out swinging with two quick goals by Connor Doyle, but Penn State was not going to let them slip away that fast. Penn State’s TJ Sanders scored before the end of the first quarter.
Penn State’s offense was relentless in the second quarter, but the teams went into the half tied.
Each lead change in the second half did not last for long. Both teams were quick to answer each other’s goals, but no team’s lead exceeded two goals.
Many contributed in Sunday’s high scoring game for the Nittany Lions. Despite goals from Sanders, Kyle VanThof and Kyle Zittle, it was LaCrosse and Jack Forster who stood out, each scoring a hat trick.
“A lot of guys have just kind of stepped up when their numbers are called and we’re still learning,” said Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni.
Penn State held the lead with 26 seconds left to go in the game, but Notre Dame was not ready to give up. The Irish tied it up and immediately put in another goal off the faceoff to take the lead with less than 20 seconds left.
Faceoffs had been fairly even for the day, and Penn State needed to win one last time to have any chance of sending the game into overtime. LaCrosse found the net from a distance with less than a second to give the team a chance after Danny Henneghan won the draw.
“To win a face off and to have the poise, Tommy LaCrosse to have the poise knowing the clock is winding down, to get a good shot, not just a shot against the first team All-American goalie that says a lot about him, that says a lot about our team,” said Tambroni.
But Notre Dame’s Matt Kavanagh scored a heartbreaking winning goal to end the game in a single overtime.
“They kind of lost them off the ball. We played well as a defense today, but all it takes is once chance,” said Penn State goalie Austin Kaut.
With Penn State playing close games against Notre Dame the last three years — the last two going into overtime — Tambroni said he thinks this series could start to turn into a rivalry.
“I hope we can get to the point where they can consider us a rival. We haven’t been in that conversation in quite some time. Maybe if we keep improving,” said Tambroni.
Penn State will host No. 17 Ohio State next Saturday.