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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Six

June 23, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight-day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The sixth blog of Penn State's day on Thursday, June 23 was written by redshirt-freshman Ibrahima Kouyate, redshirt-sophomore Dani Marks and senior Connor Maloney.

Day Six (Thursday, June 23) - Touring the Montreal Canadians Arena & Penn State vs. Lake Shore

Ibrahima Kouyate - R-Fr. - Midfielder

Today, as soon as we woke up we had an incredible breakfast inside the Residence Inn. After that, we had the opportunity to visit the Montreal Canadians hockey arena. This was only possible because of our wonderful alumni, coaches and Mr. Bergevin. The tour took about 75 minutes. As soon as we walked into the arena, we watched a 15-minute documentary about the history of the Montreal Canadians. The short documentary summarized the team's passion and pride for the beautiful game. 

During the tour we got the chance to see their amazing facility. They gave us the opportunity to go inside the Canadians locker room. We were all grateful because that is something that never happens. I loved the facility and I think all the players enjoyed being in such a magnificent environment. Before going into the locker room we got to see all 24 Stanley Cup trophies. That shows how dedicated this organization is to winning. Going into the locker room was significant because they had the team logo on the carpet. The tour guides made it clear to step around the logo. It makes sense to step around the logo because of the meaning that logo has, which is similar to what we have at Penn State, the logo represents what you are and who you are playing for. Therefore, you need to respect and honor it. Another significant part of the tour was reading the motivating quotes. One quote said "No Excuses Be a Winner." What I got out of the quote was to never make excuses, always be ready to compete and win. Always have that winning mindset and that fire in your eyes. 

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After we left the stadium we went to go get lunch. Since we were not familiar with the area, we walked around until we saw a restaurant that had English words on it. We went to a Deli and all got sandwiches and fries. It felt good being in one place and just bonding. I believe this trip is very beneficial because it is helping us build as a team. 

In conclusion the trip has been fantastic so far. Touring such a remarkable arena made our day even better at Montreal. This experience is teaching us a lot about one another and how we have to reach our teams goal. 

Dani Marks - R-So. - Defender

We started off our morning by walking as a team through Montreal, making our way to the Montreal Canadians Arena, the Centre Bell Arena. Once again passing through the beautiful, clean, lively, cultural city. We were lucky enough to receive a private tour of the arena, which taught us so much about the massive history of the Montreal Canadians. It was incredible for us to learn about the Canadians as a team. Our whole team was captivated by the history and success the franchise has reached. We are a team with high expectations, a team that strives for championships and we learned about a franchise that accepts nothing but championships. By learning about the Canadians' history, we, as a team, learned about the passion, dedication, love, and unity the Canadians had to show every day throughout their history in order to win the record 24 Stanley Cups they have won. 

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We all left the arena with pride because we all knew that just like there are so many people that follow the Canadians religiously, there are many that love and support us, Penn State, unconditionally. We saw how much the hockey franchise means to the people of Montreal and we knew that we represent something even greater that the most successful hockey franchise in the history of the sport. We all got a sense of how much power and pride is behind Penn State. 

We have a goal as a team. We love Penn State as a team. We represent Penn State as a team. We are proud of Penn State as a team. 

Connor Maloney - Sr. - Forward

During the day yesterday we were preparing and awaiting the game since it was a 9:30 p.m. kickoff. We knew it was going to be one of our hardest matches yet, but the theme of the day was about the alumni who provided us with an unbelievable experience that many people may never get in their lifetime and we are very fortunate for these alumni. It was around 8:30 and we were in the locker room playing some soccer tennis to have some fun before getting serious. Noah Pilato and I beat Ryan Gallagher and Sam Bollinger pretty badly.

It was kickoff time with a great temperature and all the guys ready and focused to do anything we can to get a win. The first half we played well and all guys worked hard. We had a couple of opportunities and some good sequences. At halftime all the guys were talking trying to figure out what we could do to be more successful because we knew that we could be much better. We hold each other to the highest standard possible and hold each and every person accountable for what they do. 

The second half we came out flying and were having chances right and left and pressuring like we hadn't even run in the first 45 minutes. The energy of the guys in the second half, on and off the bench, was one of the best I have seen from our team. We played a team named Lake Shore in the PQSL, who were a technical group. They went ahead 20 minutes into the second half but we did not put our heads down because we knew one was going to come. Surely enough with about 10 minutes to go Riley Grant whips in a great ball from about 35-yards right onto Robby Sagel's head for a game tying goal but we still weren't finished. That momentum created more chances for us in the last 10 minutes but we could not capitalize. It was a hard fought draw against a good side. The game ended at around 11:15 p.m. and was probably the latest finish to game for almost every guy on the team ever.

 

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