Mac O’Keefe has scored more goals than anyone in Penn State lacrosse history, but none were bigger than his last one Saturday night.
In sudden-victory overtime TJ Malone found an open O’Keefe and he let one of his trademark underhand shots go. There was only one place the ball it was going to end up: the back of the cage.
In one of the best lacrosse games in recent memory Penn State won its first Big Ten Championship with an 18-17 win over Johns Hopkins.
Take a look at that GAME-WINNER!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/GANyqRk6Fu— Penn State Mens Lacrosse (@PennStateMLAX) May 5, 2019
The fun ride that has lasted all spring long just keeps on getting better.
At halftime it looked in doubt. Penn State trailed for just the second time this season, it was previously 0-1 in those situations.
But for a team that almost never plays from behind, they handled it as well as they could have.
An offense that has wowed the lacrosse world all spring long did even more of it on Saturday night, even as the Hopkins offense was rolling in its own right. One behind the back highlight-reel goal after another was deflating for a Blue Jays' defense that was trying to slow the Nittany Lions down after getting completely routed in the first matchup between the two teams this season.
Ament makes history
Grant Ament now belongs in the NCAA Record Books.
Ament recorded his 78th assist of the season on Saturday night to become the NCAA single season assist record holder. Here was the history making moment.
Ament has been the best distributor in college lacrosse all season long leading the best offense in the country. Now he’s broken one of the all-time greats record, Llye Thompson who held the all-time mark with 77 assist on a single season.
With Gerard Arceri having some struggles once again, Jake Glatz came in and was effective to help feed the Nittany Lions explosive offense. In a tight game every possession was critical and Glatz going 10-of-18 was a big part of Penn State's winning effort.
While he wasn’t able to get a key win in the final minute to drain the clock, he did win what ended up being the biggest face-off of the game to start overtime. After the win Glatz nearly scored himself to end overtime immediately. While the shot didn’t go Penn State never relinquished possession and O’Keefe ended the thriller before the Johns Hopkins offense even had a chance of their own.
Two big runs
Penn State’s offense had two big hot streaks that really propelled it to the conference crown. To start the game the Nittany Lions ran out to a 4-1 lead. Then after halftime down three, they scored five straight goals to race out to a two-goal lead.
While both offenses were scoring regularly for most of the game in the high scoring shootout, the two big runs really propelled the Nittany Lions. It put nine goals on the board in a little under 10 minutes of game play.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is on ESPNU on Sunday night at 9 p.m. The Nittany Lions have the No. 1 seed all but locked up and will definitely host a home game at Panzer Stadium next weekend.