Massachusetts Daily Collegian

CAA men’s lacrosse squads Drexel and Penn State dropped close nonleague games over the weekend

By Yoni Monat

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The Drexel men’s lacrosse team’s comeback attempt against vaunted No. 7 Virginia fell just short in a non-league game on a frigid 28-degree afternoon in Philadelphia.

The Dragons dropped an 11-10 decision on a goal by Cavaliers senior attackman Mark Cockerton’s with 15 seconds remaining on Sunday for their first loss of the season.

Cockerton’s late unassisted tally past Dragon redshirt freshman goalkeeper Cal Winkelman marked the third one-goal victory for Virginia over Drexel in as many seasons.

“I was kind of getting double, triple teamed the entire way,” Cockerton told LaxMagazine.com. “I saw some net and just put it in there. It was pretty excited.”

Winkelman replaced Wil Gabrielsen, who started in net for the Dragons, at halftime. Facing a 9-5 deficit late in the third quarter, Drexel (0-1) mounted a surge to claw back into the game. Junior attackman Nick Trizano opened the flurry with an unassisted goal, beating Virginia goalie Matt Barrett with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.

Freshman attackman Cole Shafer added three consecutive goals for the Dragons, the final of which coming off of a T.J. Foley pass to tie the score at 9-9 with eight minutes, 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

Winkelman and Gabrielsen held down their respective forts until 2:56 of the fourth when Cockerton found the back of the net for the first time in the game. Trizano answered 59 seconds later with his second goal, before Cockerton finished off the Dragons with his late game-winner.

One bright spot for the Dragons was the stalwart play of Nick Saputo, with the junior winning 19 of his 25 face-off attempts and tallying 15 ground balls, the latter equaling a career high.

Cavaliers coach Dom Starsia enjoyed his 250th career victory, as Virginia improved to 3-0 on the young season. Both the Cavaliers and Drexel suit up next on Saturday, with Virginia hosting Rutgers and the Dragons traveling to Albany to face the Great Danes.

PSU rallies late

Trailing by four goals in the final period, the No. 12 Penn State men’s lacrosse team stormed back to force overtime against No. 10 Loyola, but the host Nittany Lions dropped the decision in the extra period, 12-11, on Saturday in University Park, Pa.

Penn State’s T.J. Sanders scored on the man advantage against Greyhound (1-1) goalie Jack Runkel with just under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Erik Myers scored nearly six minutes later, trimming the Nittany Lion (1-1) deficit to 11-9.

With the squads at equal manpower inside of two minutes, Penn State’s Shane Sturgis received a pass from Steven Bogert on the fast break and tallied his ninth goal of the season. Drake Kreinz then won a face-off for the hosts, and Kyle VanThof fed Myers, who delivered the equalizing tally at the 1:03 mark.

With the 1,067 Penn State-partisan patrons cranking up the decibel level, Loyola’s Nikko Pontrello silenced the masses with the game-winner just 19 ticks into overtime.

Penn State controlled many facets of the matchup against Loyola, including an advantage in shots (41-30) and ground balls (29-21), but never led during the game.

The Nittany Lions continue their early-season stretch of drawing highly-touted opponents when they travel to No. 4 Notre Dame on Saturday. Loyola hosts Towson on Wednesday.

Yoni Monat can be reached at [email protected]

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