EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – The No. 1 Penn State men’s team took down No. 8 Loyola Maryland 21-14, in the NCAA Quarterfinal on Sunday afternoon at Rentschler Field to advance to NCAA Championship Weekend for the first time in program history.
Penn State’s Mac O’Keefe and Grant Ament both recorded nine-point performances to lead the Nittany Lions offense that was clicking on all cylinders.
O’Keefe tied the NCAA Tournament single-game record with nine goals, setting a new personal best in the process. O’Keefe is now up to 75 goals on the season, moving him to third all-time in NCAA DI history, trailing Jon Reese (Yale, 1990) and Miles Thompson (Albany, 2014) who both have 82 in 18 games.
Ament finished the game with nine points on one goal and eight assists. The eight assists give him 91 for the season, becoming the first Division I player in NCAA history to surpass 90-plus assists, and is just two off the all-division all-time NCAA record of 93 set by Matt Richard (New England College, 2018).
Loyola took a 6-5 advantage after the first quarter of action.
The Nittany Lions used an explosive 9-1 second quarter to jump out to a 14-7 lead at the half.
Loyola countered in the third quarter with a 7-3 edge, but a two-minute locked-in penalty by the Greyhounds gave the Nittany Lions an extra man opportunity to open the final quarter.
Penn State would score four goals in the final quarter of action, holding the Greyhounds scoreless over the final 17 minutes of action.
With 25 goals in the first round against Maryland-Baltimore County and 21 in the win over Loyola, Penn State became the first team to score 20-plus goals in back-to-back NCAA Tournament games since Syracuse in 1990.
Penn State will play in a NCAA Semifinal on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, against Yale.