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Previewing Penn State’s 2020 men’s college lacrosse schedule

Penn State takes on three straight Ivy League opponents in nonconference play, all of whom finished in the top 12 in RPI last year.

Matt Dewkett

The Penn State Nittany Lions are the 20th team in our 2020 men’s college lacrosse schedule preview series and the third team from the Big Ten. Penn State finished 16-2 overall in 2019 and a perfect 5-0 in Big Ten play. Penn State won their first ever Big Ten Championship, their first ever NCAA Tournament game, and made their first appearance at Championship Weekend before falling short against Yale in the national semifinals.

Here’s their entire 2020 schedule:

Penn State’s 2020 Schedule

Date Road Team Home Team Special Notes
Date Road Team Home Team Special Notes
1/25 Penn State Army West Point Scrimmage
2/1 Lafayette Penn State First meeting since 1996
2/8 Penn State Villanova
2/15 Saint Joseph's Penn State First meeting since 2013
2/22 Yale Penn State
2/29 Penn State Penn
3/8 Penn State Cornell The Crown Lacrosse Classic (In Charlotte, NC)
3/10 Penn State Furman First meeting since 2017
3/21 Lehigh Penn State First meeting since 2013
3/29 Maryland Penn State Big Ten
4/5 Penn State Ohio State Big Ten
4/11 Penn State Johns Hopkins Big Ten
4/18 Michigan Penn State Big Ten
4/25 Penn State Rutgers Big Ten

Who’s In?

Who’s Out?

Penn State’s Opponents 2019 Average Win Percentage & RPI

Avg. overall win pct. Avg. nonconference win pct. Avg. conference win pct. Avg. overall RPI Avg. nonconference RPI Avg. conference RPI
Avg. overall win pct. Avg. nonconference win pct. Avg. conference win pct. Avg. overall RPI Avg. nonconference RPI Avg. conference RPI
.536 .540 .530 25.38 29.63 18.6

Circle These Dates

  • 2/22 vs. Yale: One of the best early season top-tier matchups in college lacrosse for the second straight season. Last year’s regular season battle was thrilling with the Bulldogs edging Penn State by a goal. They met again in the national semifinals where Yale won by four, giving the Nittany Lions their lone pair of losses on the year. TD Ierlan gave Gerard Arceri headaches in both matchups at the faceoff X.
  • 2/29 at Penn: This early season matchup didn’t get a ton of love last season and it still really doesn’t. It was a very even back-and-forth affair which saw Penn State get the win thanks to two goals from Nick Spillane to win it in the fourth. That would also be Penn’s final loss before the national quarterfinals to Yale. And the Quakers should be a tough test yet again this season.
  • 3/21 vs. Lehigh: These two teams haven’t met since the 2013 season when the Mountain Hawks pulled off a fourth quarter rally to beat the Nittany Lions in Chester. This season, Lehigh looks to take advantage and take back the Patriot League after coming up short last season. It could come down to the faceoff X with Arceri going against Conor Gaffney as well as Mike Sisselberger.
  • 3/29 vs. Maryland: The first Sunday night Big Ten game of the week will be a fun one. After an eight-goal outburst in the open quarter last year in College Park, Penn State then gave up seven in a row and see their lead get trimmed down to one. But a 3-0 run gave the Nittany Lions the cushion they needed for a huge win over the Terps. This could be another top five showdown when the calendar turns to March.
  • 4/11 at Johns Hopkins: Every Big Ten conference game should be competitive for Penn State. Their first three conference games are against teams that finished in the top 15 in RPI a year ago, with Hopkins finishing at 10 (one spot behind Maryland). The regular season matchup in State College was a blowout win for the Nittany Lions, but the Big Ten title game was a different story. Joey Epstein scored twice in a span of nine seconds to force overtime before Mac O’Keefe scored the game-winner.