Penn State keeps inventing ways to beat the University o Maryland Baltimore County lacrosse team.
Yesterday, the Nittany Lions used a rather ugly-looking play to score a goal with 1 minute, 12 seconds left in the game to turn back the Retrievers, 11-10, at UMBC Stadium.
"It may have been the worse play of the day," said Penn State coach Glenn Thiel of senior midfielder Jim Laverty's deciding goal. "But we scored. Laverty is supposed to be a creator, not a goal-scorer."
With a game-high six goals, Laverty, a senior midfielder, showed himself to be quite a goal-scorer yesterday as Penn State (5-3) made it five straight victories over UMBC (5-3) by a combined total of eight goals.
With the game tied at 10-10 and the clock ticking down, Laverty somehow wiggled through a hole in the UMBC defense in front of the net and got off the deciding shot before the Retrievers could stop him.
Off balance, Laverty sort of shoveled the ball into the goal after taking a quick, low pass from sophomore midfielder Pete Makover.
Makover was double-teamed and was falling to the ground as he got the ball to Laverty.
Laverty found the opening even though UMBC was concentrating its defensive efforts on halting him.
"At halftime we said we wanted to keep Laverty off the ball," said UMBC coach Dick Watts. "He had four goals at halftime and was rolling. I think we slid a little prematurely on the play and that allowed him to get open."
Laverty said of his sixth goal of the day: "There was a lot of confusion on the play. We wanted to keep the ball away from whoever Chris Cain [UMBC senior defenseman] was playing. He took Makover, and that gave me a chance to get the ball. I know UMBC must hate us by now for all these close wins."
Penn State has won three straight at UMBC by one goal (13-12 in 1987 and 1989 and now 11-10).
UMBC had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds when Jamie Batley blistered a shot on goal as time was running out.
Batley's shot was stopped by Penn State goalkeeper Jamie Morse, who came on in the second half to replace starter J.J. Pearl. Morse made six saves and restricted the Retrievers to three goals after they had scored seven on Pearl in the first half.
The final Penn State goal came a little less than a minute after UMBC's Brian Lamey had an excellent opportunity to break the 10-10 tie.
Lamey was on the front end of a UMBC fast break and had a virtual one-on-one opportunity to score against Morse. But Penn State defender Mark Dardaris knocked the ball away from Lamey as he prepared to take aim.
"That was a big play and it hurt us, but I'm pleased with the way we played, overall," Watts said. "We're a young team, and the kids gave 100 percent. We had a lot of freshmen going against their juniors and seniors."
Penn State 4 3 2 2 -- 11
UMBC -- -- 4 3 1 2 -- 10
Goals: PS--Laverty 6, Makover 3, Peddy, Bailer; UMBC--Batley 2, Duncan 2, Arthur, Lamey, Marohl, Smith, Pfeiler, Walker; Assists: PS--Makover 2, Lehman, Kutufaris; UMBC--Marohl 3, Lamey 2, Pasko, Walker; Saves: PS--Morse 6, Pearl 3; UMBC--Bailey 17; Shots: PS 49; UMBC 35; Penalties: PS 4; UMBC 4; Faceoffs: PS 15; UMBC--9.