For its second year in program history, Penn State will enter Big Ten play.
A team’s conference record is all that counts when it comes to seeding for the Big Ten tournament, so each team will start with a clean slate.
The No. 18 Nittany Lions will face Ohio State at noon Sunday in Ohio Stadium .
After the Lions (6-3) toppled then-No. 1 Denver in a 15-10 victory last week in Dallas , coach Jeff Tambroni talked to the Lions about not letting their emotions run too high.
Freshman attackman Grant Ament said it will be humbling to play against other teams in the conference. The Lions are focused on keeping their heads down and staying hungry, he added.
“Beating Denver was a very exciting feeling, but as most things are in lacrosse, you kind of have to have a short memory and not necessarily focus on what was great, but take away what was good and apply it to our game plan this week,” Ament said.
Instead of working on anything new, the Lions are refining their skills, senior TJ Sanders said. After sharpening both ends of the field, Sanders feels confident going into the weekend.
The Lions noticed the Buckeyes (5-5) are a physical team, similar to themselves, and have big defenders as well as crafty offensive players.
“Ohio State is going to be coming out firing for us,” Ament said. “We’re just focusing on doing our thing and imposing our will on them, as opposed to the opposite.”
The Lions are 2-1 on the road , compared to the Buckeyes’ 4-2 record at home .
For the Buckeyes, Carter Brown leads the team in scoring with 13 goals, compared to Sanders’s 20 goals .
Ament leads the Lions in the assists category with 20 , while Austin Shanks leads the Buckeyes with 13 .
Sophomore Ryan Keenan , who registered a hat trick against the Pioneers , said the Lions are looking to play their hearts out and get a win. In conference play, the intensity is much higher because every game counts, Keenan said.
For Sanders, any time he beats a team of the caliber of the Pioneers, it adds confidence, but since it was only one game, he is focused on the rest of the season ahead of him.
“It’s never going to be an easy out against [Ohio State],” Sanders said. “You know you’re going to have to bring your best every time you’re playing a team like that. We just really got to focus on us and make sure we’re playing our game and not theirs.”