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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive
coverage of the 2014 football season. Tune in for live blog coverage from all
12 games on the schedule. Penn State meets Maryland for the first time as a member of the Big Ten.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Alexis Shelton, GoPSUsports.com Student Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa--- Six years ago, Megan Gibson graduated as a
student-athlete from Texas A&M. Today, she is the pitching coach for the
softball team at Penn State. Now, Gibson
was inducted into the Texas A & M Athletic Hall of Fame.
Gibson learned about her honor in a laughable way.
"I got a phone call from one of our alumni, who I believe is in the Hall of Fame
already. She called me and left a message kind of in a panicking voice saying
she needed to talk to me. It made me nervous. I called her back and she told me
I was being inducted and I was just like, what? It was a comical situation, we
laughed for quite a bit."
Becoming a successful coach wasn't easy for Gibson. There were a lot of
challenges that she faced in her four years with the Aggies.
"There was so much that happened, said Gibson. "There were a lot of firsts. My
freshman year we won the Big 12 Championship, which was the first time that
ever happened. My sophomore year was a very difficult year, we overcame a lot
and it was a lot of learning so that was our transitioning year. But, my junior
year we made our first run at the World College World Series, and my senior
year was just a great one."
Gibson has quite the history under her name, during her 2008 season, she was a
National Player of the Week, and later that year went on to become the first
Big 12 player to be named both Big 12 Player of the Year and Pitcher of the
She also led her team to win the program's second Big 12 regular season championships
as well as making it to the final series of the Women's College World Series.
Two years later, she met with current Penn State head coach Amanda Lehotak at
the University of Texas-San Antonio as an assistant coach before the duo made
the transition to Penn State in 2012.
And, Lehotak couldn't be happier to have her on board at Penn State.
"Megan brings a lot of strength to our team because honestly, she is just a
wealth of knowledge," said Lehotak. "She was an All-American because she was
one of the best hitters of our game."
"First base, outfield, pitcher. She's one of the few athletes that can teach
hitting, she can teach pitching, and she can teach defense," she said. She just
brings that championship mentality, she knows what it takes and how hard it is
to get there. She's very universal."
Gibson's decision to coach was one that changed her life.
"I stayed on for my fifth-year at A&M for a semester," said Gibson. I had
started grad school. I was really unsure of what I wanted to do. My mom
actually suggested to me that I should be a coach."
"While I was there, I figured I'd help out with the team in my free time and
there was this one girl that they asked me to help out with this one pitch. I
remember when she got her first hit she came into the bullpen and was so
excited. That was truly an amazing feeling."
After that, she went to play in a Japanese league for four years before coming
back. She went back to Tesas A&M for a short period of time as the pitching
coach before meeting Lehotak.
"She was wise beyond her years," Lehotak said. "I remember after first talking
to her on the phone. I was praying that she would come coach with me," she
When asked what it's like coaching with her, Lehotak said, "I think we've
become family. We've become a good tandem because we're similar but different.
We're similar because we understand the difference between business versus
personal. We're very good at keeping those two separate."
Lehotak also commented on how the two balance each other out.
"I'm kind of out-going and quick to react," said Lehotak. "She's more
analytical and likes to sit back and relax. We're a good balance, she can come
in the next day and tell me when I was a little too much. I think we work well
together, we have great respect for one another."
Gibson was officially inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame on
October 31, 2014.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This evening, the Nittany Lions finish their series against Bentley.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
One of the many traditions of the Penn State football program's gameday
experience is the Beaver Stadium Pictorial, the official gameday magazine of
the Nittany Lions. The publication originated in the 1920s and continues to
evolve, bringing fans closer to the football program, its student-athletes and
the entire Penn State athletic department.
Each week throughout the home portion of the of the Nittany Lions' schedule you
can find a preview of the content for the upcoming Beaver Stadium Pictorial on
Here is a preview of the feature content inside the Penn State vs. Maryland BSP
that will be sold during the longtime rivals first meeting as Big Ten foes.
Pick up your copy on each home game day for just $5.00.
& Punishment Two Passions For Zwinak
BY: Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
Zach Zwinak has always been one to trust his gut. It's what led the Penn
State running back to choose criminology as his major during his sophomore
year. Although no one in his immediate family had ever worked on a police
force, he couldn't help but feel it was right for him.
This past summer, Zwinak was given the opportunity to work in law enforcement,
as he completed an internship with the Spring Township Police Department near
As a student intern, Zwinak was required to do much more than simply sit in an
office. A typical day for him usually included going on a ride-along with an
officer and learning how to handle the different situations that could arise at
Service Vital Aspect To Penn State Student-Athlete Experience
by: Greg Campbell, Penn State Athletic Communications
The complete Penn State student-athlete experience includes a multitude of
areas. From excelling in competition, to succeeding in the classroom, to
building lifelong friendships, that is what each of the more than 800
student-athletes strive to accomplish during their time on the University Park
The nearly 90,000 residents of Happy Valley are the heartbeat of Penn State
University and regularly attend sporting events on campus. From Beaver Stadium
to McCoy Natatorium, Rec Hall to Bryce Jordan Center or Pegula Ice Arena, the
inhabitants of Happy Valley are Penn State athletics' No. 1 supporters.
Likewise, the Penn State student-athletes are their top supporters and they
make it a point to show this through community involvement and fundraising
efforts throughout the year.
Basketball Returns Six Lettermen With Multiple Starts
By: Tony Mancuso, Penn State Athletic Communications
In just under two weeks, the Penn State Nittany Lion basketball team
will open the 2014-15 season with a 7 p.m. tipoff Friday, Nov. 14, against
Morgan State in the Bryce Jordan Center.
For the players, coaches and staff, it cannot get here soon enough. This
offseason has been filled with relentless dedication by all involved, growing
stronger and faster with more focus and consistency.
Patrick Chambers enters his fourth season with a veteran roster for the first
time in his career. There are six players who made multiple appearances in the
starting lineup last season. Seventy percent of scoring is back and more than
80 percent of the team's rebounds.
The Penn State vs. Maryland BSP also
Expanded Game Notes
Unrivaled Moment: vs. Ohio State
Player Q&As w/ Ben Kline, Eugene
Lewis & Trevor Williams
University Feature: At Penn State We Are -- Sustainable
2014 Penn State Football Team Photo
Upcoming Events: Penn State Athletics Sports Planner
By Astrid Diaz, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Championship season is always the most exhilarating.
This weekend the Penn State cross country team travels to the University of
Iowa to begin its post-season and face some familiar foes at the 2014 Big Ten
There's a lot of excitement surrounding the event as the Nittany Lions
prepare to face a handful of ranked teams including the No. 1 Michigan State and
No. 4 Michigan women and the No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 14 Michigan men.
While the teams will look to build off their previous meets and show
improvement against their elite opponents, they're mostly excited about the
intensity that comes with conference racing.
A pair of senior women consisting of Lauren Mills and Katie Rodden will travel to
the Big Ten Championship for their last time but the days leading up to the
race haven't lost their thrill.
"Championship time is always fun. [The] Big Ten [Championship] in general
is always a good meet," said Rodden. "It's tradition that ten days out [from
the event] we have themed days [at practice]. It's something silly to get us excited."
There were a few nerds and some barn animals running around the course at
practice this week but the fun didn't distract the team from their goals.
"Same mindset going in," said Rodden. "Obviously [we're looking for]
improvement and I know people were satisfied [last meet] but we know that we
can do better. At the Big Ten meet you know all the colors and you can see
exactly who you need to beat."
The freshmen women have stepped up to the plate this season showing consistency
and determination. They are sure to display their best performance yet at their
first conference championship outing.
"Particularly on the women's side Elizabeth [Chikotas] and Jillian
[Hunsberger] have been making an impact and have been consistently in the top
five this year. I'm excited to see what they can do at the Big Ten meet. It's
very competitive but they're prepared," said head coach John Gondak.
"It's exciting to have them. Even though they're freshman they act older
and more mature and I'm confident they are going to race well," said Rodden.
On the men's side, the pack is full of depth and experience, a change and
advantage compared to previous years.
"[The] upperclassmen are leading the way and they're prepared and have a
lot of experience. [They're] looking to make their mark," said Gondak.
Fifth-year senior Matt Fischer is returning to the Big Ten Championship as
one of the top athletes after posting a third-place finish in 2013. He is
accompanied by strong competitors like Brannon Kidder and Robby Creese.
"We as a team are no different than the other ones. We train the same and there's
no need to have expectations lower than any other team," said Fischer. "We have
some high goals. We're looking for one of those days where everyone has a great
race and there's no better place to do that than at [the Big Ten Championship]."
The teams will rely strongly on their confidence to help them get through
the weekend but they're determined to have a great time regardless of the
"I'm fantasizing about dream outcomes for the team," said Fischer with a
smile. "It's easy to be really engaged because it's a small [competitive] environment."
"It's the Big Ten meet, you're just looking forward to going out and watch
everyone go head to head," said Gondak.
The Big Ten Championship will mark its 100th anniversary on
Sunday morning at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City, Iowa. The women
are set to begin their 6k run at 10:45 a.m. CDT and the men will compete in an
8k run at 11:45 a.m. CDT.
By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After defeating Maryland to end the regular
season, the Penn State women's soccer team is ready for the Big Ten Tournament.
State scored in 25th minute on a shot from Frannie Crouse to claim a 1-0 lead,
an edge the Lions would never relinquish in the regular season finale.
significant postseason implications on the line for Maryland, Penn State shut
down the Terrapins to end its regular season with 17-2 overall record.
knew Maryland was going to come out fighting since they needed the win," said
senior Emily Hurd. "We were able to match their energy right away and I think
we did a great job keeping the lead."
already clinched the 2014 regular season Big Ten title with its win over
Iowa on Sunday, the team treated this game as preparation for the
is definitely a different mindset going into this game," said head coach Erica
Walsh. "If we didn't get it right it can turn into a slight letdown but I
think the team did great job coming out and looking sharp for the game."
their last guaranteed game on Jeffrey Field, the Nittany Lions already looked
postseason ready on Thursday night.
biggest message today was that this game should be treated like the start of
the tournament," said Walsh. "We need to continue to grow
and keep staying focused. We want them to view this not as the end but as the
beginning of something new."
players know how important the conference tournament is and are using last
year's defeat in the semifinals as motivation to come back stronger than ever.
season has shown the depth and talent of the team, proving the Lions' potential
to carry their success into the postseason.
"I think we're continuing to grow and putting together great
performances which will carry us all the way through the Big Ten tournament,"
no stranger to the tournament and understands the demands and strains that are
put on the players during the postseason.
Big Ten Tournament is so different. It's a lot of games in a short amount of
time," said Hurd. "With such a demand on our
bodies we need to not only mentally prepare but make sure we stay physically
such a diverse mix of players in significant roles on the roster, this
tournament stands as both a last shot for the four seniors and the start of a
new chapter in the freshman's careers.
"I'm very excited being a freshman and this being my
first Big Ten Tournament. It's nice
having the seniors to look up to," said freshman Maddie Elliston.
the regular season, the freshmen have credited the leadership of the seniors
for contributing to the team's success.
four seniors have seen every high and low possible during their years at Penn
State. Although they lost in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament last
year, the senior players are motivated to make their last postseason a memorable one.
five years have gone so fast. I'm extremely happy I chose this to be my home
for the last few years. I still can't believe it's almost over." Hurd said.
Ten Tournament begins on Wednesday in West Lafayette. Penn State will be the
No. 1 seed in the tournament.
GAME BLOG - Penn State vs. Maryland
Game Notes | Gameday Central | Maryland Scouting Report |
Coach Franklin Wednesday
Press Conference Roundup | Coach Smith Q&A | Player Q&A Video | BSP Preview
Pa. - For the first time in 21 seasons, Penn State (4-3, 1-3) and Maryland (5-3,
2-2) will collide on the gridiron on Saturday when the Big Ten East Division
foes meet at noon (ESPN2) in Beaver Stadium.
The regional foes have met 37 times prior to this week's matchup in Happy
Valley. Maryland is the eight-most played opponent in Penn State's history. The
Nittany Lions own a 35-1-1 mark in the all-time series against the Terrapins,
with the lone setback coming in 1961.
On the heels of a superb second half against No. 13 Ohio State last week, the
Nittany Lions enter the eighth game on the schedule with confidence. Penn
State's defense kick-started a stretch of 24-unanswered points for the Lions in a 31-24
double-overtime setback to Ohio State last week. The Lions shut out the
Buckeyes in the final two quarters of the game.
The Nittany Lions remain ranked among
the top units in the country in three of the four major statistical categories.
Penn State is No. 3 in rushing defense, No. 7 in total defense and No. 9 in
scoring defense. After tallying 19 stops against Ohio State, senior linebacker
Mike Hull is ranked sixth in the nation with 11.9 tackles per game.
Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg led a 77-yard scoring drive in the
final three minutes of regulation to send last week's game into overtime.
Hackenberg continues to rank among the top signal callers in the Big Ten. He is
leading the conference in passing with 265.9 passing yards per game. Coming off
a Penn State record-breaking 14-reception effort against Ohio State, wide receiver DaeSean
Hamilton is the nation's top freshman receiver in receptions (57) and
receptions per game (8.1).
Maryland fell to 5-3 on the season following a 52-7 loss at Wisconsin last
week. The Terps are 2-2 in conference play during their first season as a
member of the Big Ten. Maryland knocked off Indiana (37-15) and Iowa (38-31) en
route to a 2-1 start to Big Ten play. The Terrapins are ranked ninth in the Big
Ten in total offense (373.9 ypg) and 13th in total defense (458.4 ypg).
Saturday's game will feature the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) for the
event's amazing fundraising efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer. The THON Executive Committee will present the theme for the 2015 Dance Marathon and the final total amount
raised in the 2013-'14 academic year.
Additionally, the Maryland game will be the annual celebration of all
Commonwealth campuses. Two students from each of Penn State's 24 campuses will
proudly represent their campus by carrying its banner onto the field during
Welcome to the Gameday Preview for the week eight matchup against Maryland.
What to Watch For - Penn State
1. Head coach James Franklin said it best earlier this week when he
talked with GoPSUsports.com. Following the second-half efforts against Ohio
State, Franklin wants to see the Nittany Lion offense take the next step
against Maryland this week. Penn State found some momentum and success in the
latter stages of Saturday's game with two critical scoring drives, which sent
the contest into overtime. Freshman Saeed Blacknall hauled in the first touchdown
reception of his Nittany Lion career on a 24-yard throw from Hackenberg. The
offense also marched 77 yards on its final drive for a game-tying field goal
attempt in the final seconds of regulation. Finding consistency in the trenches
will be critical for the Lions moving forward, and Franklin is hopeful that
senior captain Miles Dieffenbach could see some action for the first time on
2. Simply put, the Nittany Lion defense turned in a dominant performance
against Ohio State. Hull's stellar 19-tackle effort speaks for itself, but the
Nittany Lion defensive line has played at an elite level during much of the
2014 season. The impact Penn State's D-Line has made on every snap doesn't
necessarily show up on the stat sheet every week, but the group has been
disruptive on a consistent basis. Ends Deion Barnes, C.J. Olaniyan, Carl Nassib
and Brad Bars have all made a tremendous impact off the edge. Inside, Anthony
Zettel and Austin Johnson have been among the top interior tandems in the Big
Ten. Zettel is leading the defense in tackles for loss (8.0) and tied for the
team lead in interceptions (2), which includes his interception return for a
touchdown against Ohio State.
3. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop challenges the defense to force more
turnovers every time it steps on the field. Penn State's two turnovers against
Ohio State played a paramount role in the team's ability to put itself in a
position to win last week. The Lions enter the final five games of the season
looking to extend the streak of forcing a turnover in five-straight games. The
Penn State defense has forced 10 turnovers in the past five games.
to Watch For - Maryland
1. Maryland senior quarterback C.J. Brown is a dynamic player for the
Terps. The team's leader in rushing and passing yards, Brown is ranked second
in school history in touchdowns responsible for (50). Brown is one of just 10
active players in the FBS to pass for 4,000 or more yards and rush for 1,000
yards. In 2014, Brown has thrown for 1,316 yards and rushed for 376 yards. He
has accounted for 13 touchdowns this season (8 passing; 5 rushing). Brown's
favorite target is junior Stefon Diggs, who has big-play ability every time he
touches the ball. Diggs, who has at least one reception in 26-straight games,
has made 46 catches for 601 yards and scored five touchdowns in 2014.
2. Maryland's defensive unit provides the look of a 3-4 scheme. Senior
defensive end Andre Monroe is a name to watch on Saturday. Monroe is ranked
third in the program's history with 21.0 sacks. He leads all active players
with 32.5 TFL for his career. Maryland is tied with Michigan State in sacks
during conference games this season (13). Cornerback William Likely has been a
difference-maker in the secondary for the Terps in 2014. Likely has two interception
returns for a touchdown this season, and he ranks fourth in the Big Ten in
passes defended per game. As a unit, Maryland has 14 takeaways this season.
3. The return game has been a big piece of Maryland's success this fall. The
Terps boast the Big Ten's top punt returner and kickoff returner in Likely and
Diggs, respectively. Likely has one punt return for a score this season and is
averaging 16.3 yards per touch. Diggs is averaging 25.2 yards per return each
time he touches the ball on kickoffs.
The Final Word:
Dating back to 1917, Maryland is one of Penn State's oldest foes.
Separated by just 198 miles, the Nittany Lions and Terrapins played 37 times
from 1917 to 1993. Penn State and Maryland met during every season from
1960-'75 before a one-year break. The two teams then played one another during
each season from 1984-'93 before the series took a break. Now, as members of
the Big Ten East Division, Penn State and Maryland will meet on a yearly basis.
The Nittany Lions are unbeaten in 21 games played against the Terps in Happy
Valley. Penn State and Maryland will play at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore
in 2015. Kickoff is slated for 12:01 p.m. on Saturday with Beth Mowins, Joey
Galloway and Paul Carcaterra on the ESPN2 broadcast.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This evening, the Nittany Lions take on Bentley.
By Gabrielle Richards, GoPSUsports Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Sixty-two days ago, head coach Charlene
Morett-Curtiss took the mic at fall sports media day. With senior captain Laura
Gebhart at her side, she told audience members that her team's chemistry would
prevail this season. She was right. The Nittany Lions have had a fantastic
regular season, with one conference game remaining. Despite some tough losses,
including an overtime loss to 2013 NCAA champion UConn, team chemistry and
leadership has always prevailed.
New Year, New Turf, New Schedule
The Nittany Lions opened up the regular season with two exhibition games
against Pacific and Delaware. With a pair of wins under its belt heading into
the regular season, Penn State was able to work out the little things before
starting the Big Ten schedule.
The Nittany Lions' home record is nearly perfect. With only one loss at
home, coming in overtime against Michigan, Penn State has owned its new turf.
Coach Morett-Curtiss said at the beginning of the season that the turf would be
a smoother surface than the one before. Since Penn State is arguably one of the
fastest teams in the Big Ten, a flatter surface allows for them to play quicker
hockey. The Nittany Lions have been able to score in the first six minutes of
play, at home, nine times this season. Aside from averaging three goals a game,
the Nittany Lions have been able to draw a total of 130 corners this season,
which speaks volumes to their offensive strategy inside the circle.
Maryland and Rutgers were new additions to the schedule this year. The
Nittany Lions shut out Rutgers 3-0, but lost to Maryland 4-3.
During the game against Maryland, it was clear that senior leadership
guides this team. The Nittany Lions were able to narrow the loss margin to just
one goal with a strong second half effort from the senior class.
Offensively, the Nittany Lions have benefited from experience, along with
the play-making of Jenna Chrismer, the finesse of Taylor Herold, the post play
of Amanda Dinunzio and the speed of Natalie Buttinger and Casey Haegele.
Defensively, Penn State is consistent because of senior captain Katie
Andrews and fellow senior Katie Breneman. Fifth-year senior keeper Kylie Licata
has been solid in net this year.
Senior captain Laura Gebhart will be leaving behind big shoes to fill, as
she controls the field from the center mid position. Her versatility on both
offense and defense is unmatched by most players in the Big Ten and NCAA in
general. Her poise on the field has helped guide the Nittany Lions to many
victories this season.
Coming Full Circle
Needless to say Morett-Curtiss's predictions about her team were right. She
predicted that Maryland and Rutgers would be tough additions to the schedule.
She knew that her senior leadership would lift her team to many victories. She
understood that this year had the potential to be a big year for the program.
With one conference game left on Friday against Northwestern, the Nittany
Lions will prepare for the Big Ten Tournament and hopefully berth into the NCAA
The sky is the limit for this team.
By Meghan Miceli, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Pa. - "I feel proud that I'm
representing Penn State in a different light than the majority of students,"
diver T.J. Schenkel explained.
During the 2013-'14 season, Schenkel was the top diver for the men, posting
personal bests in both the 1 meter and 3 meter events.
In addition to spending hours
at the pool each day, Schenkel is working towards a degree in energy
"It's pretty difficult, I
have an extra 20 hours of things to do compared to most of my classmates," Schenkel
said. "I pretty much have to get all my work done before 12:30 and practice."
When it comes to practicing,
Schenkel has seen a change since his freshman year. The turnover in coaching staff at the
beginning of the 2013-'14 season brought a change in training.
"The training is definitely more intense," Schenkel explained. "It's not
spending more time at the pool necessarily, but the time that is spent there
practicing is more challenging- we went from three morning practices a week to
Schenkel especially has
noticed a change in training this season.
"The coaches have really hit
their groove, and are pushing to take the program in the direction they saw fit
from the beginning," Schenkel said. "It's different from last year, but it's
definitely a positive."
Practices can consist of
weight training, water training, or at times trampoline training to learn new
"Diving is all about staying
consistent," Schenkel explained. "It's a lot drills and perfecting the
basics. The best way to do that is
repetition- dives are built on the easy stuff."
Beginning at six, Schenkel has
been diving for more than a decade.
"My mom wanted me to join the
swim team," Schenkel said with a laugh. "But I said 'No, I'm joining the diving
team.' We still to this day have no idea how I found out about diving but here
Schenkel is the only senior
diver on the men's team, and is looking forward to ending his final season on a
"The toughest competition is
definitely coming up," Schenkel said. "Michigan and UVa. are both great teams,
I'm looking forward to that meet."
Schenkel is also looking
ahead to Big Tens. Last year, Schenkel
finished 14th at the Big Ten Championships in the 3 meter and is
looking to place again this year.
"I'm really working towards
scoring more points at Big Tens," Schenkel explained. "Last year I was the
first diver to score in about five years, so I would really like to come back
and place higher this year."
Although his collegiate
career will come to a close in 2015, Schenkel plans to continue to dive.
"There's a big masters program," Schenkel said. "That kind of alleviates the
grieving process of ending my career as a Nittany Lion. I'm definitely not
ready to be finished with diving any time soon."
Catch Schenkel and the rest
of the Nittany Lions on Friday as they take on the Villanova Wildcats in McCoy
Natatorium at 3 p.m.