State College — Needless to say, Penn State was excited to head back to the friendly confines of its home turf Sunday for the first time since March 4th. Penn State lacrosse took on Ohio State as the Nittany Lions looked to snap a two-game losing streak. Riding high after a three-game win streak against top-10 opponents, the Lions (5-3, 0-1 Big Ten) were stunned by Marquette at a neutral site two weeks ago. That was followed up by a closely contested loss to No. 2 Maryland.
Panzer Stadium hosted this crucial top-15 Big Ten showdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes (5-4, 1-0 Big Ten). Ohio State is coming off a massive win against an excellent Rutgers team. But on Sunday, it appeared as if Penn State lacrosse bested its demons, as it trounced Ohio State by a final score of 17-9.
Slow start for both sides
The first quarter of this game felt like a sluggish noon kickoff in football. Ohio State broke the ice first just over a minute to take a 1-0 lead. But junior attacker Jake Morin got Penn State on the board to tie the game just 55 seconds later.
But that would be all the scoring for quite some time. It would be almost nine minutes before either team found the back of the net again. Star sophomore attacker Matt Traynor collected a pass from his brother, Jack, and broke the scoring drought to give Penn State their first lead at 2-1.
Penn State tacked on another with senior midfielder Grant Haus’s first goal of the year late in the quarter. Ohio State quickly cut the deficit down to one. In the dying seconds of the first quarter, senior attacker Jack Traynor netted one giving the Lions a 4-2 lead heading to the break.
Ohio State falls apart
Similar to the first quarter, Ohio State quickly opened the scoring. Penn State would answer back on a delayed penalty situation with senior midfielder Mac Costin’s tenth goal of the season to extend the lead back to two.
During the ensuing man-up time, graduate student Kevin Winkoff extended the Lions’ lead to three goals. The Buckeyes would quickly string two goals together to cut the lead back to one. The teams would trade goals after that, with Matt Traynor picking up a hat trick in the process.
But Ohio State started to get undisciplined after that point. The Buckeyes would take two penalties toward the end of the half. In both man-up situations, Penn State scored. This extended the lead to 10-6, which Penn State lacrosse would take into the locker room for halftime.
Lions keep their foot on the gas
Penn State wasn’t content to sit on its four goal halftime lead. The Nittany Lions would score the first five goals of the second half, ballooning the lead to nine. Mac Costin scored two of these goals, making him the second Nittany Lion of the day with a hat trick.
The teams would trade goals to end the third quarter, giving Penn State a 16-8 lead ahead of the final frame. Both teams added a goal late in the fourth, but the Lions easily won 17-9.
Massive showdown looming for Penn State lacrosse
Penn State lacrosse will stay home for a colossal clash against top-10 Johns Hopkins at 7:00 p.m. next Saturday. The game will be televised on Big Ten Network.
ICYMI: Penn State hockey announces non-conference schedule
The first portion of the Penn State hockey schedule was released this week.
With football just days away and the summer heat still present, not many people are thinking about hockey right now. That is, except for the administrators working on scheduling the upcoming 2023-2024 Penn State hockey campaign.
There is still a lot of work to be done, as the whole Big Ten schedule has yet to be announced, but the first pieces of the Penn State schedule were released this week. It is a typical Penn State hockey non-conference schedule, full of cupcake opponents and lacking a marquee matchup. Let’s break it down.
October 7th @ Long Island
Penn State will travel to Long Island to play one of Division I hockey’s newest foes. Long Island University started its hockey program in the 2020-2021 shortened season and has yet to make much noise. Long Island played two games at Pegula Ice Arena in 2021, both of which were Penn State wins. This is an odd trip for a program like Penn State to make, as the Nittany Lions will play in a community ice rink with almost no seating capacity. Long Island is almost guaranteed a bottom-20 finish, so this is a must-win for Penn State.
October 13/14 @ Clarkson/St. Lawrence
Penn State will continue on the road with a two-game Upstate New York ECAC road trip against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Nittany Lions made the same trip in 2017 to open the season, splitting the two games. Clarkson looks to be a contender in the ECAC this year, while St. Lawrence will likely slot in its typical spot near the bottom of the conference. A road win against Clarkson could look very nice on Penn State’s resume come March.
October 20/21 vs. AIC
Continuing the rerun of the 2017 schedule, Penn State will open the home portion of its schedule against AIC. The only time these two teams met was an October 2017 series, in which the teams split. Since then, AIC has been a consistent contender in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and even notched a few NCAA Tournament wins. Still, this is a series Penn State will want to sweep.
October 26/27 vs. Alaska-Anchorage
This Thursday/Friday series will see Alaska-Anchorage travel to Pegula for the first time since 2016, in which it was swept by the Nittany Lions. Alaska-Anchorage is another perennial bottom-dweller, and a loss could damage Penn State’s postseason hopes.
November 24/25 vs. Lindenwood
Even though the schedule looks like Penn State will have a month off, the Nittany Lions won’t. Big Ten play will kick off the first weekend of November and fill the gap between non-conference series. Lindenwood played its first Division I season last year, and this will be the first meeting between the two schools. Again, this is another must-win for Penn State.
January 6 vs. Army
The final non-conference game of the regular season will be against Army on January 6th at Pegula. This will mark the first time Army has come to Pegula since the building’s opening night in October 2013. Army has never been much of a threat on the ice, and there is no reason to see that changing this year, likely with another bottom-20 finish.
ICYMI: Happy Valley United joins national NIL collective group, aims at revenue-sharing model for athletes
The association’s founding could lead to a profound change in the college athletics structure.
This week, Penn State’s new primary collective, Happy Valley United, joined six other organizations nationwide to form a national NIL collective group known as The Collective Association (TCA). One of the main objectives of TCA will be creating a revenue-sharing model for college athletics that does not require the athletes to become university employees. The move, which could profoundly impact Penn State athletics and beyond, comes as new national guidelines from the NCAA and the federal government could affect the operation of NIL collectives moving forward.
Penn State collective is one of seven founding members of The Collective Association
Wednesday, Pete Nakos of On3 reported that Happy Valley United was one of the seven founding members of the new national NIL collective group, TCA. The collective group, spearheaded by Spyre Sports Group of Tennessee, has three guiding principles according to Nakos: become a voice for athletes and their interests, create a forum for collectives to share NIL best practices, and provide a unified voice for collectives across the country. The seven founding members and institutions are as follows:
- Florida State – The Battle’s End
- Georgia – Classic City Collective
- Michigan – Champions Circle
- Mississippi – The Grove Collective
- Penn State – Happy Valley United
- Tennessee – Spyre Sports Group
- USC – House of Victory
One of TCA’s first objectives will be to open a dialogue between collectives and the NCAA. Specifically of interest here is the memo released by the NCAA in June that essentially directs universities to adhere to NCAA guidelines when they conflict with state law regarding NIL and athlete compensation. TCA also plans to advise collectives on new federal guidelines from the IRS that would strip the tax-exempt status of many collectives nationwide.
However, one of the most important steps that TCA plans to take is to release a revenue-sharing model framework allowing college athletes to be paid for their services. Under this model, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, athletes could receive compensation without becoming university employees.
Happy Valley United provides a unified voice for Nittany Lions athletics
The formation of TCA is just the latest in a series of headlines made by Happy Valley United in recent weeks. In June, Happy Valley United was created through a merger of Penn State’s two most prominent NIL collectives, Success with Honor and Lions Legacy Club. The group now provides a cohesive message and a unified path forward for Penn State in NIL, which was previously lacking.
— Happy Valley United (@HappyValleyUtd) July 14, 2023
Happy Valley United has been extremely active in organizing events across the region in the last month. Some of the more noteworthy events include meet-and-greets with student-athletes at Arts Fest in State College this weekend and the “We Are! At the Shore” event, featuring several Penn State football players in Avalon, New Jersey, later this month.
Join @PennStateFball student-athletes and legends for a night of food and fun, all supporting the team's NIL! See you there!
— Happy Valley United (@HappyValleyUtd) July 10, 2023
The Penn State community has seemingly rallied behind the unified voice of Happy Valley United in the weeks following its formation. Recently, the group was mentioned in a call to action by Penn State football coach James Franklin in one of his boldest messages regarding NIL to date. “Every game week, we call for our #107kstrong. Together we are locked in, committed and show the tremendous power of the Penn State Community. We need everyone locked in on being 1-0 in the NIL race,” Franklin said in part.
Now, Happy Valley United is extending its reach beyond Penn State, looking to become one of the more influential NIL collectives in the country.
ICYMI: Multiple Penn State baseball standouts selected in 2023 MLB Draft
This week, multiple Penn State baseball standouts found their new professional homes in the 2023 MLB Draft.
The 2023 MLB Draft occurred this week from July 9 to 11, with 20 rounds of players selected to the thirty organizations of professional baseball. Among them were two former Penn State baseball standouts. One was starting shortstop Jay Harry, who put together three strong seasons in Happy Valley. The other was pitcher Daniel Ouderkirk, who has also been a significant contributor for the Nittany Lions. These selections marked the fourth time since 2016 that Penn State has had multiple draft picks in the same year.
Multiple Penn State baseball standouts taken in the 2023 MLB Draft
The first of the picks was shortstop Jay Harry, who has been nothing but productive for Penn State during his career. He served as the starting shortstop since arriving in Happy Valley and put in three seasons for the Nittany Lions. Starting 145 of 146 games played, Harry has batted .304 with 169 hits. Many of these hits were doubles, as he recorded 33 two-baggers in his career.
On Monday, Harry was selected in the 6th round by the Minnesota Twins organization. He was the first college player from Pennsylvania to be drafted this year.
— Penn State Baseball (@PennStateBASE) July 10, 2023
The second Penn State player taken in the draft was pitcher Daniel Ouderkirk. A grad student, he put in stellar numbers in his graduate season at Penn State, with 57 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. He also held opponents to a .240 batting average. Before coming to Penn State, he pitched two seasons at West Virginia. On Tuesday, the Seattle Mariners organization drafted Ouderkirk in the 18th round.
— Penn State Baseball (@PennStateBASE) July 11, 2023
With new coach Mike Gambino taking on the helm of the Penn State baseball program and a record of producing MLB draft picks, more players from Happy Valley are sure to continue on to the professional level.
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