While several of the Winter sports teams are garnering a lot of well-deserved attention and praise, we’d like to take a moment to add some lacrosse coverage to your wrestling/hockey/basketball. The Nittany Lion lacrosse team, fresh off their greatest season in program history in which they earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Final Four for the first time, will begin their season this coming Saturday, February 1st, when they host Lafayette.
The team returns virtually every key cog from last year’s breakout performance, including ace goal-scorer Mac O’Keefe, dime-dropping assist leader Grant Ament, and goalkeeping stalwart Colby Kneese, amongst several other key contributors. This explains why the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 1 the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll, just slightly ahead of defending NCAA champion Virginia. Expectations are at an all-time high in Happy Valley, and rightfully so, as it seems that anything short of winning the school’s first-ever national championship will be seen as a disappointment.
This isn’t to say the road to a championship will be an easy one. Far from it actually, as seven of the team’s thirteen regular season games will be against teams currently ranked in the Top 20 of the aforementioned Inside Lacrosse poll, including Yale (3rd), at Penn (6th), Cornell (11th), Lehigh (19th), Maryland (4th), at Ohio State (12th), and at Johns Hopkins (13th). If the Nittany Lions are able to win all but one or two of those games, they have a pretty good shot at earning the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year.
Given how much positive feedback we got here during our coverage of the team’s run to the Final Four, we’ve decided to start from the beginning of the season, much to the satisfaction for all you lacrosse enthusiasts that read this blog. Our goal will be to provide a recap of each game and when warranted, have a few stand-alone posts. We’re quite excited to cover the program’s quest to make history, and we hope you are, as well.