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LI's Mac O'Keefe sets NCAA men's lacrosse goals record

Penn State's Mac O'Keefe gets ready to take

Penn State's Mac O'Keefe gets ready to take a shot in the second quarter during a game against Stony Brook on Feb. 16, 2019 at LaValle Stadium. Credit: Bob Sorensen

The NCAA men’s lacrosse career goals record has switched hands, but is staying on Long Island. Mac O’Keefe, the former Syosset star who now plays for Penn State, scored his 213th goal on April 17, passing Duke’s Justin Guterding, who played for Duke from 2015-18 and at Garden City during his high school years.

O’Keefe, a grad student, needed 64 games to break a record that it took Guterding 75 games to set. O’Keefe graduated in 2020, but was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA because his senior season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I sort of blacked out in the moment, to be honest," O’Keefe told "But, it was very special. There has been a lot of buildup. I haven’t tried to let it affect me too much, but to do it now and after the game to reflect a little bit, and watch those videos from all those people congratulating me, it’s really awesome."

O’Keefe continued his record-setting season Saturday, scoring two goals in Penn State’s 10-9 win over No. 15 Ohio State. O’Keefe has scored in 42 consecutive games, the most among active players. He leads the Nittany Lions with 27 goals this season. Penn State will wrap up its regular season on Saturday against Johns Hopkins.

On Monday night, O'Keefe was selected with the No. 6 pick by the Chaos Lacrosse Club in the Premier Lacrosse League's College Draft.

"A lot of kids nowadays play lacrosse for a lot of different reasons, Mac always played because he loved to play," said John Calabria, O’Keefe’s high school coach. "…I don’t think that I’ve ever coached a kid that loved it [as much]. It was all he wanted to do in his free time."

Calabria said O’Keefe has a natural ability to finish plays.

"His ability to shoot and score, obviously that gets a lot of recognition," Calabria said. "But I think, you could ask anyone who ever coached Mac, he’s the first one in the practice, the last to leave, and doing the extra things to improve his skill set. He’s always trying to figure out different ways to manufacture offense."

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