Friday couldn’t have gone much better for Penn State senior lacrosse celebrity Mac O’Keefe.
The attacker broke the NCAA’s all-time aims record in the second period of the Nittany Lions’ 14-13 overtime win over the Michigan Wolverines, a portion of a six-goal day, and scored the game-winning goal with three seconds left in the extra period.
O’Keefe entered the match with 211 career goals, one behind the listing. He tied former Duke star Justin Guterding fast, scoring only 2 minutes, 10 minutes into the first phase.
He broke the record in the 7:33 mark of the next period.
“I kind of blacked out at the present time, to tell the truth,” O’Keefe said. “But, it was very special. It was really special. There’s been lots of build-up. I have not tried to let it affect me too much but to do it now and after the game to reflect a bit, and watch these videos from all those folks congratulating me. It’s really amazing and I like to share this moment with my loved ones and all my teammates and move on out there, and hopefully win some games after this.”
O’Keefe, who graduated in 2020, was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA because his senior season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also set the record in his 64th career sport, 11 games quicker than Guterding, who held the record since 2018.
Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni lauded O’Keefe’s ability to have a”killer instinct” and”great humility” concurrently, which the coach described as a”rare mix.”
“It was a storybook kind of ending today for both us and him,” Tambroni said. “In order to do this in the home, to be in a position to do this on Senior Day, to have the ability to score a match winner. I believe such moments prefer the hardworking young men or women of the world.
“It’s no surprise that young man has put himself in the position to be here now and then took advantage of it. A lot of us may be in this place and be overwhelmed by the moment. Therefore, I don’t think that it could have gone any better, but I also don’t think it couldn’t have been any more appropriate for your young guy.”