The theme from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" is on the play list before UMBC lacrosse games.
Penn State supplied the first quality and the Retrievers the latter two last night, as the Nittany Lions continued their late-season surge with a 15-5 victory at UMBC Stadium. The largest margin of victory in the decade-long series had been four goals.
It was the third straight win for Penn State (5-5), which can notch its eighth straight winning season and its fourth consecutive ranking in the final USILA poll -- it's No. 19 -- if it can beat Delaware Saturday.
UMBC (6-6) finishes at Virginia Saturday and Maryland May 8, and the Retrievers, after two straight 10-5 campaigns, appear headed for a losing season.
Half a dozen injuries have led to just as many players working out of position, and the necessary cohesion hasn't been there.
"It's just unbelievable," UMBC coach Dick Watts said. "We're telling them what to do, but we just can't seem to execute. We're not creating any breaks, and Penn State out-hustled us."
Watts has complained about a lack of intelligence in the Retrievers' play, and a sequence late in the first quarter added to his litany.
After losing the first six faceoffs to Penn State, UMBC won a draw, but Jeremy Tracy lost possession. Jason Smith got called for a push and unsportsmanlike conduct, and the Retrievers' top goal-getter headed to the penalty box for two minutes and
then the bench.
Things didn't get any better in the second period, despite Penn State's Mike Quinn's getting caught on a stick check. UMBC started the period with a man advantage for three minutes, but in that time the Retrievers committed two penalties and never got off a shot.
Chris Marcus helped the Nittany Lions to a 17-6 bulge in faceoffs, and the Nittany Lions also won the ground-ball race, 67-51.
Midfielder Ben Hood had three of his four goals in the first quarter, when Penn State raced to a 6-1 lead. Jason Johnson, a freshman out of Loyola High, had 13 saves and allowed three goals in 51 minutes.
Jamie Batley and Smith each had two goals for UMBC. Batley has 56 points and Smith 34 goals.