Penn State is one of the many schools that offer a lacrosse team for both men and women. Penn State had had lacrosse teams since 1978 when George W. Dickerson became head coach with the formation of a Men’s team.
Under Dickerson’s leadership, the Men’s team hired a few assistant coaches and developed a schedule featuring teams from across the country. He also began a tradition of hosting the annual Penn State Classic, played in front of over 10,000 people, and broadcast on television every year.
After Dickerson retired, Eric Lang took over as head coach in 1999. Under Lang’s leadership, the Men’s team began to recruit nationally and had a successful 2004-05 season.
The success continued under Lang, who was named Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year in 2005 and had both the Men’s and Women’s teams qualify for their first NCAA tournament in 2008. He also started the women’s lacrosse program during Lang’s time at Penn State.
Penn state men’s lacrosse
The Penn State Men’s Lacrosse program currently sits at the top of Division I with a 13-3 record, and has made its first appearance at the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships in the last three years. The team is led by head coach Joe Paterno, who has over 40 wins and a 186-127 career record.
The current roster consists of 23 players from 14 different states across the country. There are 7 Seniors, 6 Juniors, 3 Sophomores, 1 Freshman, and four walk-ons. The Penn State Lacrosse program holds a 14-game winning streak at home. In 2005 the team had its highest win total in school history with 13 wins, including ten wins in a row during the same season.
In 2008 the team finished with 67 goals, which is the most scored by a Penn State Lacrosse team in one season. In 2010, under 2nd-year head coach Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions placed second in both the CAA conference and the NCAA Tournament (losing to top-ranked Duke). The team made another NCAA appearance in 2011.
Penn State Women’s Lacrosse
The Penn State Women’s Lacrosse program began in the Fall of 2007. The inaugural team was coached by Heather Rink and comprised a mix of transfer students and walk-ons. In its first year playing at the Division I level, the women’s lacrosse program finished with a 7-10 overall record while playing some tough teams like Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and Delaware.
Head coach Heather Rink is currently in her 5th season as head coach for the Nittany Lions, with an overall record of 43-27 (.610). Under her leadership, Pennsylvania State has been consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally.
In 2009 Penn State was ranked as high as number 8 nationally. The current roster consists of 24 players representing all over the country, with 8 Seniors, 11 Juniors, and 5 Sophomores. In 2010 the team won their first CAA conference tournament and received a bid in the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, making the Nittany Lions’ first appearance in the NCAA tournament since joining Division I in 2007.
Penn State is one of the nation’s most successful women’s lacrosse programs. The team plays a unique lacrosse style, focusing on constant movement up and down the field and fast pace attacks.
The current roster consists of 24 walk-ons, six transfers, 11 first-year students, six sophomores, and seven juniors. Penn State plays in the Colonial Athletic Association conference against Virginia (women), Maryland, Lehigh, and Hofstra.
Shenanigans are an annual event sponsored by Lehigh University in which both teams play each other on consecutive days at different times within a week. In 2009 Penn State won their first-ever Shenanigans game 17-3 and had since gone on to win three more.