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Moments & Takeaways From the Ohio State Victory

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9518826.jpegBy Arielle Sargent,

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football's thrilling 24-21 win against No. 2 Ohio State in front of the Penn State White Out crowd of more than 107,000 was nothing short of spectacular Saturday night. 

A quick scan of the stat sheet doesn't reflect all the usual numbers and figures of a historic performance though, as the Nittany Lions gritted out their first win against a Top 2 team at home since toppling No. 2 Nebraska, 27-23, in 1982. 

Inside of the stat sheet, here's a look at the five impact moments and the collection of Nittany Lions who helped engineer the comeback win against the Buckeyes.

Key Chunk Plays
As Head Coach James Franklin mentions nearly every week, maintaining an advantage in explosive plays is key to success in any game. Penn State posted 10 plays of 20 or more yards against Ohio State, limiting the Buckeyes to six in the victory, including just two in the first half. 

Penn State ended the first half with a critical scoring drive to arrive within 12-7 moving the ball 74 yards on seven plays in just over a minute. Trace McSorley found Chris Godwin on third-and-8 for 19 yards before connecting with DaeSean Hamilton with less than 30 seconds to play in the half to position Penn State on the 20-yard line. McSorley then hit Godwin again, this time for 20-yards in the end zone and his third touchdown catch of the season. 

Sparking the fourth quarter comeback, Penn State moved the ball 90 yards in less than 1:30 on five plays, highlighted by Barkley's 37-yard dash before Saeed Blacknall's 35-yard grab put McSorley in position for the 2-yard touchdown rush. 

Perhaps no chunk play was bigger than Grant Haley's 60-yard touchdown return off of the Ohio State blocked field goal attempt though, as he scooped the ball and hauled into the end zone for the winning touchdown. 

"Knowing Grant, I was assuming he wasn't going to get caught," McSorley said. "The kicker was getting on him. I told him if you would have gotten caught by the kicker I would have never let you live that down."

More from Haley, who returned Penn State's first touchdown off a blocked field goal since at least 1960, below.

Allen's Blocked Field Goal 

Penn State blocked its first field goal since the quadruple overtime victory against then-No. 18 Michigan in 2013, as Marcus Allen leapt into the air to block Tyler Durbin's 47-yard kick attempt late in the fourth quarter.

Allen said postgame that his first career blocked field goal attempt came on the second try, as he jumped high and over in the first quarter before receiving an adjustment from special teams coordinator Charles Huff.

"I said 'where am I supposed to be to block the kick,' and he said, 'if they are on the right hash, they are going to try to kick it onto the defense's left guard because it's on the uprising,'" Allen said. "I went with the adjustment Coach Huff gave me and I blocked it." 

Brown Blocks First Career Punt
True freshman linebacker Cam Brown blocked his first career punt to mark the first blocked punt for a Nittany Lion since Von Walker did so against Michigan last year. A six-foot-five linebacker, Brown reached his hand high to swat the Ohio State punt attempt as Troy Apke swooped in for the recovery. Penn State's field goal on the next drive lifted the Nittany Lions within four, 21-17 with less than 10 minutes to play. 

"Coach Huff told me to go get a punt earlier and block it and I was so close so I thought I had to go again, but he called off the block the second time and my instinct told me to go," Brown said. 

Hear more from Brown below. 
Cabinda and Bell Return to Lead Linebacker U
Returning to the lineup after missing the last few games due to injury, linebackers Jason Cabinda and Brandon Bell both made major statements in their return Saturday. 

Bell led the team with a career-high 18 tackles, while Cabinda finished second on the team with 13. The disruptive duo combined for 3.0 tackles for loss with one sack each. Bell sacked Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett once in the first quarter, while Cabinda brought Barrett down for a loss of 13 yards in a critical third-and-10 situation on Ohio State's final drive of the game. 

Hear more from Cabinda following his first game back.

Dangerous Defensive Line

Nittany Lion defensive ends Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan were key components in Penn State's ability to control the line of scrimmage. Schwan combined with Sickels for a 9-yard sack in the third quarter before pairing up with defensive tackle Kevin Givens to follow Cabinda with Penn State's second consecutive sack in the final Buckeye scoring attempt, clinching the victory. 

In total, the Penn State defensive line combined for 7.0 of the Nittany Lions' 11.0 tackles for loss, which is the most the Buckeyes have surrendered since giving up 11.0 against Alabama on Jan. 1, 2015. The defensive line also accounted for 4.0 of Penn State's 6.0 sacks, led by an all-around career high effort from Sickels (9 tackles, 2.50 sacks and 3.5 TFL), who entered in the second half. Entering the game, the Buckeyes had yielded just five sacks on the season. The Nittany Lions had five sacks in the second half alone and six total.

VIDEO: Postgame Players - Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Nittany Lions Trace McSorley, Chris Godwin, Saquon Barkley, Brandon Bell, Jason Cabinda and Grant Haley recap the stunning Nittany Lion 24-21 victory against No. 2 Ohio State at home in Beaver Stadium. 

VIDEO: Postgame James Franklin - Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin recaps the thrilling Nittany Lion 24-21 victory against No. 2 Ohio State at home in Beaver Stadium. 

Beaver Stadium Extra - Penn State vs. Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Go behind the scenes with Penn State Athletics on football gameday for exclusive interviews and a closer look at team arrival, Nittany Lion honorary captains, special recognitions and more. 

Team Arrival in a Penn State White Out Crowd
Penn State football pulled up just after 5:30 p.m. greeted by a Penn State White Out crowd and Nittanyville campers before heading into Beaver Stadium. Follow the Nittany Lions as they make their way into the stadium. 

360-Degree Fireworks Debut at Beaver Stadium!
For the first time in program history, fireworks illuminated the sky above Beaver Stadium in a full 360-degree display for Penn State White Out fans in the stands.

Honorary Captain: Penn State Football Alumnus Michael Robinson
 Current NFL Network broadcaster and founder of the Excel to Excellence Foundation, Nittany Lion standout Michael Robinson is this evening's honorary captain. The 2005 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year guided the Nittany Lions to the 2005 Big Ten Championship and an overtime win in the 2006 Orange Bowl.
An eight-year NFL veteran, Robinson played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. A 2011 Pro Bowl selection, he helped Seattle to a Super Bowl championship in 2014.

Honda Sports Award Recognition with Raquel "Rocky" Rodriguez 
Former Penn State women's soccer national champion Raquel "Rocky" Rodriguez returned to Happy Valley to receive recognition for being selected as a finalist for the 2015-16 Collegiate Athlete of the Year Award. Rodriguez was one of three finalists selected by a voting of nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools for consideration for the Honda Cup, presented by the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) program.
Rodriguez earned numerous awards during her final campaign in 2015-16, capping off her career with the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy, presented to the top collegiate soccer student-athlete nationally.

Undefeated 1986 National Championship Penn State Football Team Returns
Penn State's undefeated 1986 national championship team returned to Beaver Stadium for a special recognition. The 1986 season was capped by Penn State's dramatic 14-10 victory over No. 1 Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

Hear from former Nittany Lion running back DJ. Dozier on what it means to be back in Happy Valley.

The 1986 team produced many Penn State household names, including team captains Shane Conlan, John Shaffer, Bob White and Steve Smith. The squad also produced four All-Americans, as linebacker Conlan, tackle Chris Conlin, Dozier and defensive tackle Tim Johnson all were honored. Conlan, who made two interceptions in the title win over Miami, was a two-time first-team All-American.

Fans Test Out LionVisionVR 
Nittany Lion fans got a chance to test out Penn State's newest virtual reality channel, LionVisionVR prior to Saturday's game.

2016 Gameday Live - Penn State vs. Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to our live, interactive coverage of the Penn State football season. The Nittany Lions are set to host second-ranked Ohio State under the lights in a Penn State White Out at Beaver Stadium! Follow along with us for live in-game updates and exclusive content.
Live Blog Penn State vs. No. 2 Ohio State


By Zach Reagan, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State found itself in yet another double overtime match last night, and Friday night they were able to earn a victory, 3-2, over Rutgers on THON Night.

Penn State junior Aymar Sigue scored the game-winner late in the second overtime, which marked his second overtime game-winner of the season. In the last few games, Sigue and the rest of the forwards have had countless opportunities to score. Late in the second overtime, head coach Bob Warming told Sigue to go in and score; he did just that. Sigue helped the Nittany Lions bounce back from a late second half equalizing goal from Rutgers on a wet, dreary, windy night at Jeffrey Field.

"It just shows our persistence as a team," said Sigue. "Even though we could have done better defensively at the end of the second half, we still pulled through. As a team, we pulled together and said we're not going to lose at home. We were determined to keep our undefeated streak at home."

The Nittany Lions (7-6-2, 4-3-0 Big Ten) look to be playing their best soccer of the season, especially when they play on their home turf. Penn State holds a 7-2-1 record at Jeffrey Field. Penn State hasn't suffered a home setback since Sept. 27 against Temple.

Aside from playing well, Penn State has played three-straight double overtime games and eight games needing overtime. At this point of the season, the Nittany Lions are playing with even more determination in order to overcome exhaustion and injury.

"We are exhausted but we're a proud team," said Warming. "We kept battling tonight. I'm pleased to see how proud they are and determined they were for this one not to get away."

Team captain Connor Maloney repeated the same line as his coach.

"We're absolutely exhausted," said Maloney. "Yesterday, actually coach got us a couple massages. We were feeling good. We weren't going to feel absolutely 100 percent but we did all we could do to recover from the game a couple days ago. We did that well and played another double overtime game and got the win. This team is rolling right now. We're very happy but we're very exhausted."

Maloney was assisted off the field early in the second half with an ankle injury from a rough Rutgers slide tackle but his grit allowed him to get back on the field and ultimately score an important goal in the game.

"I didn't want to stay on the bench," said Maloney. "I hate watching from the sideline when I'm injured. I went back out there, gave it all I got and luckily I got a goal."

Maloney is a leader for Penn State and it rubs off on the rest of the team, especially freshman forward Frankie De La Camara. De La Camara feeds off of Maloney's ultra-competitive personality during training. He's caught up to speed of college soccer as he's been getting more playing time.

De La Camara, a prolific goal scorer from Florida, found the back of the net for his first career collegiate goal. Freshman Pierre Reedy dribbled into the middle of the box, passed it over to an open De La Camara on the left side of the box who took a shot from 18 yards out into the middle of the net.

"I'm finally getting a lot of minutes late in the season," said De La Camara. "It was big for the team that I scored. It was a great run by Pierre and I did the rest."

"Honestly, we have seen him score," said Warming. "This is no exaggeration; we have seen him score 100 of those in training, that same shot."

Despite long, physically taxing games, the Nittany Lions are getting contributions from players young and veteran. The common element of all is the will to win.

"The pride and determination to represent Penn State, to be the team that wins the tough, close game, that's those guys," said Warming.  "There's no coaching in that. That's them making the decision to do it and they're doing it."

Penn State looks keep up its winning ways and to get some much needed recovery before its Senior Night home regular season finale against Wright State on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto and follow the team on the various social media platforms.


By Jack Dougherty, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State continues to churn out successful players who flourish in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).


Last season, 11 Penn State alumni suited up for seven different NWSL teams. Only North Carolina (15) and Florida State (14) had more representatives across the league.


Although collegiate soccer is the peak of most women's athletic careers, for some it's just a stepping stone. For those 11 former Nittany Lions, their experiences at Penn State readied them for their toughest challenge, the step up to the professional level.


Yes, technically they are former Nittany Lions. The transition from student to alumnus is a strange one for sure. But, even though every player must leave Penn State at some point, Penn State will never leave them.


Blue and White still courses the veins of all 11 women. It's evident in the way they still communicate, the way they support each other, and the ties they still have staked forever on Jeffrey Field.



They are representing Penn State in the professional game and instilling the values they picked up in State College all over the country.


Most recently, Raquel (Rocky) Rodriguez and Britt Eckerstrom have entered the NWSL and carried the Penn State torch to Sky Blue FC and the Western New York Flash, respectively. They were both drafted earlier this year and have already made their mark one season in.


Their old head coach Erica Dambach watched the two Penn State legends all summer on YouTube as much as she could. Dambach still communicates with both women and was even at the draft for their big moment.


"One of the most amazing feelings as a coach is to watch that all play out, especially all the way through from the recruiting process to being at the draft and knowing that when they started with Penn State eight years prior that that was their goals and their dreams," Dambach said. "To know that we were just a small part of helping those dreams is the most gratifying thing that you can imagine."


Rodriguez was chosen second overall in January's draft by Sky Blue FC and wasted no time asserting herself in the league. She was voted Rookie of the Year after an impressive first season, becoming the first Sky Blue FC player to win the award.


"It means a lot because it's such a huge honor," Rodriguez said. "There's so many rookies that are competing for that and so many of them, if not all, are amazing soccer players. It motivates me to keep training harder, and it tells me that hard work pays off."


Rodriguez said she never expected to win the award and that it was a humbling accomplishment she will always cherish.



"She's a winner. She makes other people better; better players, better people. They broke the mold with that one. She's the best and that smile is so infectious it just makes every day better," Dambach said on her former star. 


Rodriguez and her infectious smile started in 17 games, scored one goal on 22 shots and added one assist in her inaugural season.


For the last three weeks Rodriguez has been back in her home country of Costa Rica for some postseason vacation time. She has also been practicing with the Costa Rica national team as well.


Rodriguez will be returning to State College this weekend to begin her internship with Penn State Athletics on Monday. Dambach said she won't hesitate to use Rodriguez as a volunteer assistant coach while she's around.


Eckerstrom, who was drafted 26th overall by the Western New York Flash, played in three games in her first season. She posted the lowest goals allowed average of the three goalkeepers on the Flash in 2016.


After bringing Penn State its first National Championship, Eckerstrom clearly wasn't finished winning titles. Eckerstrom and the Flash won the NWSL Championship game, 3-2, against the Washington Spirit earlier this month.


Eckerstrom said her favorite part of her first season was being able to see old friends like Rodriguez, Whitney Church on the Spirit and Mallory Weber on the Portland Thorns.


"Obviously you're always busy in the middle of the season, but we're always talking to each other, giving each other a little congrats or a hard time for something," she said.  "I watch all the games so I'm always pumped to see them doing well."


Now in a backup role, Eckerstrom has learned how important it is to be a good teammate on the bench. Her supporting cast at Penn State was always there for her, so she is making it her mission to pay it forward and do the same for her teammates this year.


"When the camera panned to the bench and you see Britt Eckerstrom she's at the edge of her seat screaming her head off right there with her team," Dambach said. "All of the things that her teammates did for her while she was here that she never took for granted."



Rodriguez and Eckerstrom have both followed the Penn State team closely all season, just as the team has followed their success. There's constantly a back-and-forth between former and current players that sets the Penn State culture apart from others like it.


Both had words of advice for the team as it's getting closer to beginning its road to repeat.


"Just be bold," said Rodriguez. "In a team sport, you just got to trust your teammates, and as long as everyone does their part, as long as everyone is bold and not afraid of anything, they can win. Just go for it."


"Don't let any outside voices set some sort of expectation for the team," said Eckerstrom. "I think your belief in everything should come from the team, and as far as you guys want to take it is as far as you guys can go."


Just as much as Rodriguez and Eckerstrom keep up with the team, the same goes both ways.


Charlotte Williams, who grew up in New York rooting for the Flash, went to Eckerstrom's first start as a pro to support her old teammate.


"The connections you make throughout the years, it never leaves," Williams said. "Once you're a part of this family you're a part of it forever. Even though they left, they're always going to be a part of the Penn State family."

Gameday Central | Gameday Blog | Game Notes Press Conference Roundup Wednesday Practice Updates Coach Limegrover Q&A Monday Notebook Nittany Lions in the NFL

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Gameday has nearly arrived as Penn State remains home for its third consecutive outing, hosting No. 2 Ohio State under the lights at Beaver Stadium Saturday. 

Back from a restful bye week, the Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-1) are recharged and ready for a Penn State White Out, squaring off against the Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0) in a Big Ten East matchup set to broadcast live on ABC at 8 p.m.

Entering the week with wins in all four home outings this season, the Nittany Lions outlasted Minnesota, 29-26 in overtime, before downing Maryland, 38-14, both at home prior to the bye week.

Surrounded by a crowd decked out in white attire, the fan-favorite Penn State White Out will also return for another year, set to create its historically unrivaled environment, as per tradition.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of concession discounts and other college football games on the stadium video boards. All gates (except Gate C) open at 6 p.m. with Gate C opening at 6:30 p.m.

In his fifth season at the helm of the Ohio State program, head coach Urban Meyer has guided the Buckeyes to a 6-0 mark on the year, including a perfect 3-0 record in Big Ten play. Ohio State is fresh off a 30-23 comeback win in overtime at then-No. 8 Wisconsin last week in its first of four consecutive night games.

Entering Saturday's matchup averaging 49.3 points per game, Ohio State is also limiting its opponents 12.8 points per game, having surrendered just one rushing touchdown to date, coming against the Badgers last week.

The Buckeyes head to Happy Valley having won each of their last 20 road games, a school record that stands as the longest stretch nationally.

In a series that dates back to 1912, Ohio State holds an 18-13 lead in the all-time series. In the last meeting in Happy Valley, Penn State used a second-half rally to force overtime, before falling short in double overtime, 31-24.

"This is a tremendous challenge that we're facing all together and we're going to need the stadium to be the most difficult environment in the history of college football come Saturday night," Franklin said.

What to Watch For - Penn State
1. Running back Saquon Barkley powered the Penn State rushing attack against Maryland, rushing for 202 of the Nittany Lions' 372 yards on the ground on a career-high 31 carries. Entering the week ranked fourth in Big Ten standings with 97.0 yards per carry, his nine touchdowns on the year is tops in the conference and 14th nationally. Last year, Barkley rushed for 194 yards on the road in Columbus in his first appearance against then-No. 1 Ohio State.

2. Meyer tabbed Penn State's deep group of wide receivers as by far one of the best groups his Buckeyes will face within the last two years. Each week a new Nittany Lion emerges from the talented group as 21 of Penn State's 49 long yardage plays have been through the air, with four resulting in a touchdown.

"We believe this is as good of a group of receivers that we've faced not just this year, but in a while," Meyer said earlier this week. 

3. Nittany Lion quarterback Trace McSorley has also continued to develop as a threat not only in the air, but also on the ground as he ran for a career-high 81 rushing yards on 18 attempts against Maryland, which came on the heels of totaling 73 yards on the ground against Minnesota.

"We need Trace to continue to be a factor in the run game with scrambles, with design runs, with all those things," Franklin said earlier this week. "That needs to be a part of what we do and who we are from here on out."

What to Watch For - Ohio State
1. Ohio State is led by veteran quarterback J.T. Barrett, who recently became the Buckeyes' career leader in touchdown passes with 61. Barrett also presents a dual threat as a key component in Ohio State's run game. While leading the conference with a 159.3 passing efficiency, he is also averaging 72.3 rushing yards per game with a team-high six rushing touchdowns on the year.

"He can beat you with his experience and he can beat you with his accuracy and decision making and he can beat with you his legs," Franklin said. "Week-in and week-out and he's shown that he's able to do that and has been a problem for people for the last three years."

2. Boosted by Barrett, Ohio State's total ground game is tops in the conference as its rushing offense is averaging 300.5 yards per game, which ranks fourth nationally. Running back Mike Weber is averaging 102 yards on the ground per game, which is second in the Big Ten, while half back Curtis Samuel's 7.35 yards per carry is slotted second. Samuel also presents a threat in the Ohio State passing game as well, averaging a team-high 67.2 yards per game, with three touchdowns on the year. 

3. The Buckeyes are both talented and athletic as a defensive unit, having allowed just six touchdowns on the year, which is the fewest among FBS programs nationally. In the Wisconsin win, four defensive ends registered a sack against the Badgers, totaling a season-high mark. Safety Malik Hooker also leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the FBS standings with four interceptions on the season. Ohio State is also tops nationally in red zone defense (.625). 


By Alyssa Palfey, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior twin cross country and track & field runners, Tim and John (Jack) McGowan, have been by each other's sides through it all.


The McGowan twins are from Northport, N.Y., and started their running careers around middle school after feeling slightly defeated trying out for other sports.


"I started running at 12 or 13. I only really cared about playing sports and music at the time," said Tim. "I walked into my lacrosse coach's office and he told me that I was "too small" to be on the team. I kept going out for other teams, but I was always the skinny guy."


When other sports didn't work out of the twins, they start running casually, and eventually found their place on the track team.


"My mom started encouraging me to run around the block to keep me occupied and out of trouble. My best friend told me to go for the track team, and by high school I just felt like I belonged," Tim added.


Tim ran all throughout high school and ended up being a 3,200-meter run state champion, a Long Island mile record holder, nine-time indoor county record holder, and five-time all-state. Nationally, he got third in the two-mile run at the 2014 New Balance Outdoor Nationals and was a six-time All-American.


John was a nine-time letter-winner in track and cross country, all-state and a three-time All-American. He finished 11th at the 2013 Nike Cross Country Championships and was a member of the 4xmile relay that broke the national record in 2014.


The twin brothers both ended up starting their collegiate running careers at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, but Tim quickly felt like he didn't belong there.


"There were some really nice people there, but pretty soon it was clear that it wasn't for me. I wanted a serious environment with teammates that will push me," said Tim. "Things aren't always what you think they will be and pretty soon I was training alone or just with Jack."


The first year running at Roger Williams was a huge wake up call for Tim and made him question his future in the sport.


"I felt pretty lost and disconnected from the sport. It wasn't an easy year, but I learned a lot about myself outside of running and it keeps me really grateful for everything the program has to offer here (at Penn State) and the teammates I have on both sides."


After running for a year at Roger Williams University, both Tim and Jack transferred to run for the Penn State cross country and track & field teams.


"Having Jack on the team feels normal to me. I was pretty scared to transfer, but having him here made it feel like less of a drastic move. Our friends, family and hometown on Long Island were so good to us in high school that it makes me feel like were both representing New York and bringing that pride with us wherever we go," said Tim.


Although competition would seem to be a natural thing between twins, they don't see each other as anything more than just another member on the team. 


"Jack and I have a good training thing going but at practice I don't think of him as much different than any of the other guys on the team," said Tim. "While he may be my brother and look kind of similar to me, we're a pretty close team and looking at him in a workout feels the same to me as looking at anyone else on the team. We're all going in the same direction and for the same goal." 


Tim is now one of the men's 2016 cross country captains and the top-finisher on the team. Jack is top-five runner for the team, and finished third on the team at the team's last meet (the Penn State National Open).


The McGowan twins and the rest of the Nittany Lions will be in action next at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, MN, on Sunday, Oct. 30th.



By Tom Shively, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Senior defenseman Kelly Seward has long been a centerpiece of the Penn State program, playing in at least 35 games in every season she's had so far in Happy Valley. She has come a long way in her development since arriving on campus in 2013, but one thing that has remained constant is her commitment to the program.

"I wouldn't have rather been at any other school," Seward said. "It's been a great experience just being able to play with all the girls I've played with, play in these awesome facilities under  (head coach) Josh [Brandwene]. I'm really going to miss it."

As someone who prides herself in academic performance, Seward has been on the All-CHA academic team in all three seasons as well as being named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar each of the last two years.

"She has contributed so much in so many ways over her four years," Brandwene said. "It started from day one when she was a freshman. As great a hockey player and student as she is, she's even that much a better person. To me, that's what makes a great Penn Stater and she is a great Penn Stater." 

Junior Bella Sutton has been Seward's partner on defense for three years and says her off-ice time around Seward has produced many fun experiences.

"Probably a lot of things [come to mind]," Sutton said. "Kelly and I have been lucky enough to play D together and I feel like we just make the D-side of the bench a lot of fun. We like to sing songs together, keeping it fun on the bench."

"There was one time the song 'Bang Bang' by Jessie J was popular," Seward said. "We just like looked at each other and we just said 'bang.' But we just started singing at the same time. It was really weird. It was like telepathy or something."

"Before every game, when we go out for the first period, we always give a little fist bump, do a secret handshake, so that's something," she added.

On the ice, Brandwene has been eager to heap praise on Seward, lauding her improvement throughout her time at Penn State.

"Her play has gotten better and better every single year," Brandwene said. "She's been that much more well-rounded, that much more dominant and she is off to such a good start, and she is going to go on to do great things this year."

Seward has certainly been a leader this season, especially for the younger defensemen making the transition to college athletics.

"As the senior member of the D-corps, someone who is committed to her craft on both sides of the puck, being involved offensively and taking care of her defensive responsibilities, she's a great role model for the whole D-corps," Brandwene said. 

"The freshmen have done really great this year and we have eight of them," Seward said. "Just by looking at how we've been doing as a team, it definitely reflects how they're doing. I'm really excited."

 With the majority of her season left, Seward is beginning to reminisce about her time as a Nittany Lion, but she also keeps her eyes on her personal goals and goals for the team.

"I really want to, every practice, every period, every shift just not take for granted that this could be my last year playing hockey," Seward said. "Just love every moment of it. And I would like to get a CHA championship out of it."

Winning a CHA championship has been a goal from the first day of practice for this Penn State team as conference play is less than two weeks away.

Aside from a championship, Seward can see a diploma in her future as well. She is on pace to graduate in the spring with a degree in geography.

Seward will not be the first hockey player in her family to graduate from college, as her brother, David, laced up for Nazareth College before receiving his certificate.

Seward's squad hits the road this weekend for a series at UConn before traveling to RIT next week to open CHA play.