By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With two big wins over Northwestern and Illinois, the Penn State women's soccer team swept its first Big Ten home weekend.

"Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday is the longest and toughest stretch of our season and to end it with three wins is massive," said head coach Erica Walsh.

The team is known for playing its best at Jeffery Field. In the last three years, the Lions have only lost two home games.

"It's the atmosphere here; it's perfect, said midfielder Salina Williford. "We get so excited playing here because of how much support that is in the community. We owe it to the people who come watch us to put on a show."

The first game of the weekend was against Northwester, and the Lions played strong and defeated the Wildcats, 4-1.

 "I think we came out with a fire under our tail tonight," said senior Kori Chapic.

With goals scored by Raquel Rodriguez, Chapic, Megan Schafer, and Williford, the entire team was on fire.

"The first 25 minutes was some of the best soccer I've seen in a long time," Walsh said. "We talk about this being the best place to play college soccer and in that first half, I absolutely felt it."

Rolling off of the momentum of Friday's game, the Lions faced their second Big Ten team of the weekend, llinois, on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams came out extremely strong displaying solid defense and the first half of the game remained scoreless.

The first goal of the game was made by freshman Frannie Crouse in the second half. Emily Hurd passed it over from the left side of the box to the middle, allowing the Lions to make the scoreboard.

Only 47 seconds after the team scored, Illinois tied the game.

Motivated for a win, the team used the Fighting Illini's goal to keep their aggression up.

"It's very hard when they come back that quickly," Crouse said. "You just have to keep your composure and never stop trying. We fought tonight and came out with a great win."

The team continued to take shots to try to regain its lead.

Then with 83:11 on the clock, Selina Williford saved the day with her goal to ensure the Lion's win.

"It's very humbling to score another goal," Williford said. "I credit my entire team because they are always keeping me going.

"I always want to keep improving. As a team, we never want to feel like we're content. We always want to feel like we're still moving and not taking our foot off the gas."

Last year, Williford primarily played defense but has been making her way up the field this season.

Williford just recently had her first career goal but proved this weekend she is a force to be reckon with on offense.

"Salina Williford has been the best surprise so far this season," Walsh said. "She played back for us last season, but this is the best I've seen her play."

Alongside Williford, the 2014 women's soccer team is packed with talented players who have been helping the team continue its winning streak.

"I think one of the biggest strengths about this team is that we're taking players off the bench and they're delivering," said Walsh. "Every player on this team is playing their best and it's such a great feeling as a coach knowing those players on the bench can always help lift the team."

After three home games this week, the Lions hit the road to face Minnesota.

The team is keeping its intensity up for every game and is looking strong as the Big Ten season continues.

Said Walsh, "This team believes right now."

Conway Ready for Nittany Lion Experience

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By Julie Bacanskas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following each on-ice session, freshmen Scott Conway heads into the team locker room inside the beautiful Pegula Ice Arena.

The facility, which helped convince Conway to attend Penn State, is merely one of the reasons he has found himself in State College this year. Now, the forward is excited for the season to begin and more than ready to get his first real taste of hockey as a Nittany Lion.

Although he grew up in England, Conway has been playing hockey in the states for a few years now. He will once again find himself a long way from home and from his family this season.

The freshman currently holds dual citizenship in Great Britain and in Canada, the home countries of both his parents.

"My mom's English, and my dad's Canadian," Conway explained. "My dad played hockey in the states and in Canada. At an older age, he moved over there to play hockey in England. That's where he ended his career and met my mom, so that's how it happened."

Despite being away from home, the forward knows with certainty that choosing Penn State was the right decision for the advancement of both his hockey and academic careers. Almost immediately following Conway's first tour of the arena and of campus, he was hooked on the university and all that it had to offer.

"I had a tour around campus," said Conway. "It was actually my first visit, and looking at the facilities, it was unbelievable. The weight room just got put in the day before I came here, so I was pretty excited to see that with all the weights and stuff in there.

"Coach [Keith] Fisher took me up to the student section, right at the top, and it was an unbelievable view up there. He took me around campus too, and it was so pretty. I couldn't say no."

Last season, the 6-foot forward found himself competing for the USHL's Indiana Ice, a team he helped lead to the Clark Cup title during the 2013-'14 season.

Conway tallied 33 goals during the year and was tied for first in the league with a plus-40 rating. Additionally, he recorded the first four-goal game in the team's history, demonstrating his dominance on the ice.

"I think a lot of it is mental toughness, on and off the ice," Conway explained of his personal success and the success of his previous team. "I think our coach did a nice job last year of making us do the little things right, and I'm hoping to bring that to this team this year."

Conway is also looking to help the Lions skill-wise this season. He is a forward that likes to not only work the corners and take pucks to the net, but he also keeps his eyes focused, looking for open teammates to make plays.

Even with his past experiences, Conway knows making the jump from junior hockey to the collegiate level will be a process, and he has already begun to experience some of the changes that go hand-in-hand with the transition.

"I feel like a lot of sticks go flying everywhere in college hockey compared to junior hockey," Conway said. "The guys in college hockey are a lot stronger than the guys in junior hockey and a lot more physical. The tempo is pretty much the same, but I'm excited to play some games here."

Looking forward, Conway is anxiously awaiting the moment he gets to put on his jersey, lace up his skates and take the ice at Pegula Ice Arena for his first game as a Nittany Lion. He has a few dates circled on his calendar, but there is not a single game the freshman is more excited for than the season opener.

"Definitely the home opener," Conway said. "My dad is coming to the first game, and I have a couple friends that are too. I'm really excited to play in front of them. The student section sold out in like three minutes, so I'm pretty pumped about that too."

Fencers Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Women In Sport

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fn_blog_1.jpgBy Jennifer Hudson, Student Athlete Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's fencing team participated in multiple events during the 50th Anniversary of Women in Sport earlier this month.

The weekend kicked off with a Friday reception at the Nittany Lion Inn, followed on Saturday by a breakfast at the All Sports Museum and a tailgate at Medlar Field before the UMass football game. Sunday concluded with a brunch and ceremony of the Women in Sports 50th Anniversary at the Bryce Jordan Center.

A few members on the current team volunteered for each event and were able to meet and talk to the alums of the team.

There were five decades of women's fencers that were represented at the events, the 1960s-2000s, so it was inspirational for everyone to learn about the fencing team then and now.

"Getting to know the alumni is always a great experience," said Clarisse Luminet, captain of the women's team. "Because of my position within the fencing team and my role as a captain, it was great to get feedback from their own experiences as leaders, and understand how that role has changed in 50 years."

Johanna Hall, a current assistant coach and Penn State fencing alumna (Class of '88), played a big role in organizing the event for everyone to enjoy.

"It allowed us to connect with former fencers as well as meet others on the team who paved the way for the program," said Hall. "Being recognized during the football game and being able to share that with hundreds of other women athletes from Penn State was very special."

Another alum, Beth Alphin, former head coach (1968-'85), was flattered she had the opportunity to speak at the Sunday brunch about coaching at Penn State "back then".

Like Alphin, the fencing alumni enjoyed themselves and even had the chance to meet up for a fencing dinner on Saturday evening.

"It was a true joy to see so many of the fencers and hear how their lives have progressed since Penn State," said Alphin. "I enjoyed watching them reconnect with each other. It should come as no surprise that upon meeting them it was as if no time had passed. We were family then and still today. I think my very favorite thing was watching the smiles and hearing the familiar laughs of people who were so much a part of my life for a few years."

The next time the current Penn State Fencing team will reconnect with the former fencers is April 18, 2015 in the annual alumni meet and team banquet.

Here are a list of accomplishments our Penn State women's fencing team has achieved over the years:

- 2 AIAW Team Championships

- 1 AIAW Individual Champion

- 1 NCAA Women's Team Championship

- 13 NCAA Men's and Women's Combined Team Championships

 - 9 Individual NCAA Champions (14 titles)

- 54 All-Americans (121 times)

- 11 World Championships participants (to 26 championships)

- 12 World University Games participants (to 15 championships)

- 3 Olympians (to 5 Olympiads)

- 8 Pan Am Games participants (to 11 Games)


The Penn State Women's Fencing team would like to recognize all of the alums who participated this weekend. It was great to meet you all and we hope to see you visit again soon!


Beth Alphin

Jana Angelakis

Margot Summers

Raquel Berg

Alyson Van Alstyne

Nicole Glon

Adrienne Eiss

Eleanor Reigel

Sandra Jablonski

Mary McGuire

Pamela Resetar

Sue Lympany

Hope Meyer

Johanna Hall

Jenni Blat

Sarah Kuzio

Nancy Sell

Hanne Skattebol

Cynthia Lyons

Jane Nagel

Kate Wulf

Jennifer Hudson is a senior on the women's fencing team.

By Matt Allibone, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Penn State men's soccer team set a school record on Sunday against Michigan.

Well technically, the record belongs to Andrew Wolverton. The senior goalkeeper notched his team record 29th career shutout as the Nittany Lions defeated Michigan 1-0. 

At the same time, it goes a bit deeper than that. While Wolverton has been a lynchpin for the Nittany Lions for four years, shutouts are the ultimate mark of team play. It takes solid defense, enough offense and great goalkeeping to pull one off. 

On Sunday, the Nittany Lions received all of that. Connor Maloney scored his conference-leading seventh goal, the backline allowed just four shots on net, and the goalkeeper known as "Wolvie" made a terrific diving save to preserve the win. 

"I told the whole team after the game, I'm going to make sure in the record books and in the media guide, that all of their names are next to Andrew's for playing in front of him for this shutout," head coach Bob Warming said. "Our team is a team and it takes a whole team to get a shutout and Andrew understands that." 

Against the Wolverines, Penn State's defense certainly earned that right, but it wasn't as if Wolverton didn't also earn the mark for himself.

With 8:50 remaining and the Lions holding on to a one-goal lead, Michigan forward Tyler Arnone took a pass from James Murphy and fired a shot from 18-yards out to the right corner of the net.

For a moment, it seemed as if the ball was headed in. Then came the hand of the sprawling 6-foot-6 goaltender, knocking the ball away and keeping the shutout intact. 

"We don't give him a whole lot to do so it was great to see him make a play when he had to," Warming said jokingly. "It was a great save, and that's what he trains for. Eventually, when you're playing against great talent they're going to break through and you're going to need to make a save."

The defense would take over in the final minutes, as the Wolverines would bring their entire team up in a final last-ditch attempt to tie the game.

Randy Falk and Kyle MacDonald would both make big stops to prevent Michigan from getting a shot on goal before the clock finally hit zero.

Having given up two goals and ten shots on goal during Wednesday's 6-2 win over Penn, the Nittany Lions and their backline of Eli Dennis, Mike Robinson and Mason Klerks were extra motivated to get back to the play that had led to just one allowed goal in the team's first seven games.

"I'm so proud of the team for playing great team defense," Warming said. "We always have a game plan but I didn't need to say anything special to them. There were plenty of things we wanted to get done today because playing in the Big Ten is always tough."

In true Penn State fashion, the game would go into halftime tied 0-0, until the Nittany Lions finally got on the board in the second half thanks to none other than Maloney.

The sophomore entered the game with six goals in the first eight games of the season, and he produced once again, taking a beautiful cross from senior Mikey Minutillo and putting it past Adam Grinwis from six yards out to get the Lions on the board 11 minutes into the second half.

While Maloney has clearly been Penn State's most effective goal-scorer this season, Warming again maintained that his team doesn't have to become dependent on any one player.

Once again, the Nittany Lions win as a team, and Maloney's ability to score depends on his teammates putting him in the right position to get the ball in the net.

"Something we like about our team is that everyone can score goals and we can score in a variety of ways," Warming said. "Mikey [Minutillo] can score, Mark [Wadid] can score, Kyle [MacDonald] can score, Owen [Griffith] can score. We just kept fighting and fighting and eventually we were going to get one in."

Monday Notebook: Nittany Lions Begin First Bye Week

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10384729.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions went back to work with a normal schedule on Sunday afternoon with meetings and practice at the Lasch Football Complex.

Penn State reviewed the Northwestern game before turning the page onto the first of two bye weeks during the 2014 season. The Lions take a 4-1 overall record (1-1 Big Ten) into the week following Saturday's game against Northwestern.

"The bye week couldn't come at a better time," said head coach James Franklin. "We have to spend some more time cleaning some things up there. Special teams, I did not think we were consistent. We had a chance to flip the field on punt team a couple times and weren't able to do that. On defense, I thought overall, we played solid, but we did not tackle as well as we have in previous weeks. We were throwing shoulders, not wrapping up, things like that. Again, I take full responsibility and we will get it fixed."

The Nittany Lion defense remains among the nation's elite in the NCAA stat rankings. Through five weeks, Penn State sits No. 2 nationally in rushing defense. The Lions have allowed just 60.2 rushing yards per game. Penn State leads the Big Ten in rushing defense.

Additionally, the Nittany Lions sit 10th in total defense (288.8 ypg), 12th in scoring defense (14.6 ppg) and eighth in red zone defense (0.647).

Penn State will focus on corrections and improvements during the bye week before shifting gears into preparations for Michigan. The Nittany Lions collide with the Wolverines inside Michigan Stadium on Oct. 11 in Ann Arbor (7 p.m. on ESPN2).

Lions in the Stat Rankings
In addition to the defensive stat rankings, several Nittany Lions are among the leaders in national and conference statistical categories. Here is a weekly breakdown of Penn State players in the stat rankings:

QB Christian Hackenberg - Hackenberg is sixth in the nation in passing yards (1,477) and 19th in the nation in passing yards per game (295.4 ypg). He leads the Big Ten in passing yards.

WR DaeSean Hamilton - Hamilton is 11th nationally (first in the Big Ten) in receiving yards with 502. He ranks 17th in the nation and first in the Big Ten with 7.2 receptions per game.

WR Geno Lewis - Lewis ranks 12th in the nation in receiving yards and second in the Big Ten with 495 on the season. He is third in the Big Ten with 5.8 receptions per game.

DT Anthony Zettel - Zettel ranks second in the Big Ten 1.4 tackles for loss per game.

LB Mike Hull - Hull leads the Big Ten in solo tackles per game at 6.4. He ranks second in the Big Ten in tackles at 10.6 per contest.

K Sam Ficken - Ficken is seventh in the nation and first in the Big Ten in field goals made per game at 2.00.

Final Numbers

Take a look through some standout numbers from the Northwestern game.

102,910 - Saturday's attendance (102,910) was the largest figure for a non-primetime game in Beaver Stadium since Nov. 12, 2011.

4,398 - With 221 yards of total offense, Christian Hackenberg now has 4,398 yards of total offense, which is the 10th highest mark in Penn State history.

213 - Kicker Sam Ficken now has 213 career points. He sits eighth on the all-time Penn State list.

41 - Jesse Della Valle notched the longest punt return of his career on Saturday. His 41-yard burst topped his previous career-high of 31 yards against Syracuse in 2013.

16 - Senior linebacker Mike Hull set a new career-high with 16 tackles against Northwestern. It marked the highest total by a Penn State player since Gerald Hodges had 19 against Illinois in 2011.

8 - Linebacker Jason Cabinda became the eighth true freshman to play for the Nittany Lions on Saturday.

- Defensive end Deion Barnes equaled his career high with six tackles against Northwestern on Saturday.

1 - Walk-on Von Walker made his first career start for the Nittany Lions at linebacker on Saturday. He had three tackles against Northwestern.

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By Tyler Feldman, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Recording an assist on the team's first goal of the season and scoring two unassisted goals at first glance may seem like an offensive upperclassmen's opening to the 2014-15 season.

However, it was freshman defenseman Bella Sutton who produced the previously described 'dazzling performance' in her Penn State debut to lead the Nittany Lions to a 5-2 victory over Western in Friday's exhibition at Pegula Ice Arena.

"My teammates definitely rallied around me and gave me the confidence that I could step into the role of being that offensive defenseman when I could be," said Sutton. "It's really good to have their support. It's always been in my blood wanting to join the rush and take it when the opportunity presents itself."

 The Shoreview native took advantage of a first period 5-on-4 power play to set up Laura Bowman with a beautiful pass en route to the very first Blue and White goal of the game.

It only makes sense that Bowman scored the first goal of the season. The sophomore assistant captain was named to the 2013-14 All-CHA Rookie Team after leading the Nittany Lions with ten goals last season.

Just three minutes after Bowman buried the biscuit, Sutton joined the offensive rush following an odd ricochet off the boards behind the Western net to notch an unassisted goal on a slick wraparound to push the Nittany Lions ahead, 2-0.

Sutton wasn't done after just one period of play. Rather she used a blistering snap shot from the slot to tally her second unassisted goal of the game to give Penn State a 3-1 lead with 12:13 remaining in the second period.

"I'm really, really proud of her," said junior captain Shannon Yoxheimer. "She played awesome. Her performance says a lot about her character because she is so hard working. She's a stay-home 'D' when she needs to be and then when she can join the play she doesn't hesitate and good results happen."

Sutton chose Penn State due to its rich balance of academics and athletics, but it was her vision and footwork that led to head coach Josh Brandwene recruiting her to the Blue and White.

"She's a tremendous athlete and an even better teammate...She's a terrific two-way defender with great footwork," said head coach Josh Brandwene.

The Nittany Lions pulled away 3:25 into the third period when junior Hannah Hoenshell scored on a pass from freshman Irene Kiroplis to give Penn State a 4-2 advantage.

Penn State refused to slow down as Emily Laurenzi shot a crisp pass to junior line mate Micayla Catanzariti for a top-shelf beauty past the glove of Western's goalie to give the Blue and White a commanding 5-2 lead nearly nine minutes into the final period.

The Mustangs managed to muster two goals past Penn State junior goalie Celine Whitlinger in the second period, but it wasn't enough to skate by the well-orchestrated Nittany Lions.

Although Friday's game was an exhibition, a three-goal win to start this season shows just how progressive this program is under Brandwene.

"The mindset is to build and get better," said Brandwene. "This is an incredibly coachable group that is hungry to learn and get better."

Next up for the Nittany Lions will be a competitive weekend series October 3-4 in Minneapolis, Minn., where Penn State will faceoff against Minnesota on Friday and St. Cloud State on Saturday.

"When we get our opportunities on the power play we are going to have to get the puck to the net and take those chances because Minnesota is a very good team, and we know that when we get those opportunities we are going to have to capitalize," said Yoxheimer. 

VIDEO: James Franklin Postgame vs. Northwestern

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin addresses the media following Saturday's game against Northwestern.

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VIDEO: Postgame Player Remarks vs. Northwestern

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several Nittany Lions addresses the media following Saturday's game against Northwestern.

2014 Photo Blog - Penn State vs. Northwestern

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to's coverage of the 2014 football season. Check back often for an inside look at the Lions' Big Ten home opener against Northwestern in Beaver Stadium.


2014 Game Blog - Penn State vs. Northwestern

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to's live, interactive coverage of the 2014 football season. Tune in for live blog coverage from all 12 games on the schedule. Today, the Nittany Lions open the Big Ten home schedule with a matchup against Northwestern.

Live Blog 2014 Game Blog - Penn State vs. Northwestern

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