May 2, 2009

Courtesy of Georgetown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Georgetown junior Rickey Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Forks) scored with a half-second left in regulation to tie the game, but Penn State's Rob Forster scored his fourth goal of the game with 58 seconds in the second overtime period, lifting the 20th-ranked Nittany Lions to a 12-11 win over No. 16 Georgetown in front of 1,456 fans on Senior Day at the Hilltop.

The Hoyas close out the 2009 season with a 7-7 overall record and a 3-4 record in the ECAC, while Penn State won its sixth-straight game to improve to 9-5 and 4-3. Saturday's game was another thriller between the two teams, who faced each other for the final time as members of the ECAC League, with Georgetown joining the BIG EAST Conference for the 2009-10 year. It was the second-straight season the game went to overtime and it was the fourth time in the last five years the game was decided by one goal.

Georgetown led 8-6 in the latter stages of the third quarter after an unassisted goal from Scott Kocis (Huntington, N.Y./ Huntington), but Penn State scored three-straight goals to tie the game at 9-all. Freshman Zack Angel (Park Hall, Md./St. Mary Ryken) took a feed from Craig Dowd (East Northport, N.Y./Northport) to give Georgetown a 10-9 lead with 6:53 left, but goals from Matt Loy and Earl Ross gave Penn State an 11-10 lead with 5:35 remaining in the game.

Penn State had the ball late in the game, but Georgetown junior Chris Nixon (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) forced a turnover and junior Barney Ehrmann (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) picked up the ground ball with just over a minute left. The Hoyas put a pair of shots on the goal in the final seconds of regulation that were blocked, but Mirabito scooped up the ball and put it past Penn State goalie Drew Adams with a half second left to force overtime.

Both teams had chances in the first overtime, with Georgetown junior goalie Jack Davis (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) making three big saves and shots from junior Andrew Brancaccio (Bethesda, Md./Georgetown Prep) and Kocis went wide and were saved as the period closed.

In the second overtime, the Hoyas had three shots – one apiece from Brancaccio and seniors Jake Samperton (Bethesda, Md./Landon) and Dan D'Agnes (Manhasset, N.Y./Chaminade) – in the opening minutes, with the final one saved by Adams. After a Georgetown turnover with 1:28 left gave Penn State the ball, the Nittany Lions called a timeout and Forster scored with 58 seconds left to give the visitors the win. Davis appeared to make a diving save on the shot, but the ball squirted out of his stick and into the net before Nixon could push it out for the save.

The Hoyas had jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Samperton scored the first of his three goals just 45 seconds into the game. Goals from Brian Shea and Forster gave Penn State a 2-1 lead, but Kocis and D'Agnes each scored during the middle of the quarter to give Georgetown a 3-2 lead heading to the second. A goal from Matthew Mackirdes tied the game at 3-all just 18 seconds into the second quarter, but Samperton scored his second goal at 12:06 to give the Hoyas a 4-3 lead. The teams went into the half tied at 4-all after Forster scored with 2:47 left.

It was a high-scoring second half with each team scoring seven times. The Hoyas took their biggest lead in the opening minutes of the second half when Brancaccio and sophomore David Shriver(Timonium, Md./Boys' Latin) scored, giving the Hoyas a 6-4 lead. Penn State pulled to 6-5, but a goal from Mirabito off a feed from Kocis made it 7-5. Chris Hogan tallied a goal with 8:20 left in the third to make it 7-6, but Kocis scored an unassisted goal to make it 8-6.

The Nittany Lions pulled to within 8-7 at the end of the third and added two more in the first three minutes of the fourth to take a 9-8 lead. Samperton scored with 11:14 to play, tying the game at 9-all and setting up the late game drama.

Kocis paced the offense with two goals and two assists, while Samperton added three goals and Angel had a goal and two assists. Georgetown out-shot Penn State, 54-46 and won the ground ball battle, 42-26, but the Nittany Lions won 15 of 28 face-off attempts.