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Monday Notebook: Quick Look at Penn State Comeback History

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By Arielle Sargent, 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -  Penn State's victory Saturday has certainly earned its place among historic wins in program history. Rallying back from behind by 14 points, the Nittany Lions completed their largest fourth-quarter comeback since at least 1967, taking down then-No. 2 Ohio State.

On the way to a No. 24 ranking in the Associated Press Poll, Penn State earned its positioning in the Top 25 poll for the first time since week 15 of the 2011 season.

Penn State upended Ohio State's Urban Meyer for the first time in the month of October throughout his entire tenure with the Buckeyes.

On the year, Penn State has now come back from double figure deficits in two of its last three games, outscoring the Golden Gophers 20-10 in the second half to force overtime before clinching the win.


The 14-point comeback is the largest in a Big Ten game and at home since the Nittany Lions rebounded from a three-touchdown deficit against Northwestern November 6, 2010 at home in Beaver Stadium.


Further back a little bit, Penn State rallied back from a 37-17 third-quarter deficit to defeat Michigan State, 38-37, on the road in East Lansing Nov. 27, 1993. The Nittany Lions scored three touchdowns in a span of five minutes to engineer the close victory. Penn State scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, sacking Spartan quarterback Jim Miller three times in the final frame.


Against The Undefeated
Holding Ohio State scoreless in two quarters for the first time since the Michigan State game last year, Penn State put an end to Ohio State's perfect 6-0 record at the time of kickoff. Penn State has halted unbeaten opponents in each of the last three games, beating Minnesota and Maryland before the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions have played seven teams on the year that entered the matchup without a loss on the season.


Tackles For Loss
Penn State notched a season-high 11.0 tackles for loss in the win against Ohio State, marking the most for the Nittany Lions since taking down Maryland last year (11.0). The Nittany Lions have totaled at least 9.0 tackles for loss in all but one game this season, with double figure TFLs in each of the last two games. Last week, it was Garrett Sickels, who led the team with 3.5 tackles for a loss of 15 yards. Entering the week, Penn State is ranked fourth in the FBS 
standings and second in the conference with 9.0 tackles for loss per game on the year.


A Quick Look at Purdue
Guided by interim head coach Gerad Parker, the Boilermakers are 3-4 on the year and 1-3 in Big Ten play.  Parker will lead Purdue on to the field at Ross-Ade for the first time as head coach of the squad, since being elevated to the position Oct. 16, 2016. The Boilermakers have lost their last two consecutive conference outings, most recently falling to then-No. 8 Nebraska on the road in Lincoln. Purdue led the Cornhuskers at the half, 14-10, before Nebraska rallied back with 17 unanswered points in the second half to claim the win.


Penn State holds a 13-3 advantage in the all-time series against the Boilermakers, having won each of the last seven games dating back to 2005. The Nittany Lions will also make their first trip to West Lafayette since claiming a 34-9 win on the road in 2012.    

Freshmen Making an Impact on the Road

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By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It was a power play goal that put Penn State (3-1-1) on the board in the first period Friday night at No.3/4 Notre Dame (3-2-1-). Freshman forward Nikita Pavlychev secured the puck off a deflection from sophomore forward Chase Berger and found the back of the net, giving the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.

It was an outstanding play by the 6-foot-7 freshman, who has said before he wants to be known for something other than his size and physicality.

During Friday night's matchup, fellow freshman forward Denis Smirnov continued to put in the hard work and got the assist on two Dylan Richard goals in the second period.

The Nittany Lions tied the game with the Fighting Irish, 3-3. 

"We didn't have our best game Friday but we certainly came away from it knowing that we can play with Notre Dame," head coach Guy Gadowsky said.  "That gave us a lot of confidence, including all of our freshmen."

Saturday's game saw further progress by the freshmen class, who took what they saw during Friday's contest and applied it to the second showdown of the weekend.

Following a goal from forward James Robinson, freshman forward Nate Sucese gave the Nittany Lions the 2-1 lead, scoring at the beginning of the third period. Despite the Irish tying the game, the Nittany Lions were confident heading into overtime. 

A goal from sophomore forward Andrew Sturtz, assisted by two freshmen, secured Penn State's 3-2 overtime win. Forward Denis Smirnov and goaltender Peyton Jones were credited with the assists.

Jones, in addition to his assist, had an outstanding weekend between the pipes. The Langhorne, Pennsylvania native made 30 saves Friday, including several clutch saves during overtime. Again facing down a relentless Notre Dame offense on Saturday, Jones made 26 saves.

"[Peyton Jones] played extremely calm, that was a huge save [in overtime]," Gadowsky said following Friday's game. "If you watch him nothing bothers him and I think that is a tremendous quality in a goalie."

The Nittany Lions have grown significantly as a team in just the three road contests so far this season. Now Penn State comes home for five home series before seeing a road matchup again in January.


By Ryan Berti, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight once said that "Good basketball always starts with good defense." This holds true today in the realm of collegiate women's basketball when five of the nation's top 10 ranked teams also ranked in the top 20 of field-goal percentage defense last season and another two teams ranked inside the top 50.


If teams want to beat the best, they need to have players who can lock down opposing attackers in order to force turnovers and give their offense more opportunities to get points on the board. As the Penn State Lady Lions aspire to get their program to the next level, they bring aboard a freshman in Siyeh Frazier who looks to provide a spark on the defensive side of the ball.


Frazier hails from the motor city of Detroit, Mich. where she attended Renaissance High School. In her four years with the Renaissance, Frazier was a four-year letter winner and put up big numbers on the court. In her high school career, she tallied over 1,200 points, 300 steals and 200 assists, all the while maintaining a 3.2 GPA. As a captain, Frazier embodied her leadership role and made sure she was vocal in her efforts to help make the team better through both direction and support.


She capped it all off with an incredibly impressive senior season that saw her average 20.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game. Her incredible play in her final season of high school made her a well-deserving finalist for the title of Michigan Miss Basketball as well as a First Team All-State selection in both her junior and senior years.


ESPN ranked her as the No. 22 prospect at her respective position of guard in the 2016 recruiting class. The sports media outlet evaluated her from her participation in the 2015 Nike Midwest Showdown and touted her as an "athletic off-guard with quick 1st-step attack" who also is "physical" on the drive and on defense.


It was almost a full year ago when Frazier announced her commitment to Penn State amongst her peers at her high school. Amongst her many reasons for deciding to make the trip all the way to Happy Valley, the guard said the coaches were a big reason why she decided to wear the Blue and White.


"One thing that made me really want to come here was the coaching staff. They're amazing, especially coach [Coquese Washington], she cares more about us than actually playing."


Coach Washington was struck by Frazier's level of overall athletic ability coming out of high school and saw her as a player who could make a lasting impact for the Lady Lions. She announced at media day that she expects an immediate impact from both Frazier and fellow freshman Jaida Travascio-Green. Frazier says that coach expects her to play hard, play good defense and do her best all the time.


"Siyeh Frazier is an incredible athlete, she's a defensive dynamo," Washington said on what made her want to bring Frazier into the program. "She really gets after it on the defensive end of the floor and is able to get to the basket and be explosive in that respect."


The freshman now is in the process of taking her talents and transitioning them into the college game. The next level can sometimes be demanding for new players since it demands a lot more from the student-athletes than at the high school level where athleticism is often enough for athletic players to get by.


Frazier says her transition, while challenging, has been rather smooth. Not only has she had a solid level of support from her teammates and coaching staff, but for the first time over the summer, the program was able to hold full-length practices. Coach Washington says she believes the practices were able to help the freshmen like Frazier out the most as a way to ease into this next level.


"They got to kind of get thrown into the fire in terms of understanding how much information it is on the college level," Washington said. "How many plays we have, thinking about all the defenses, all the out-of-bounds plays; so being able for them to be able to have that experience in the summer just made it easier for them to transition to the college game."


Being able to comfortably adapt to her new environment has given the freshman the ability to focus on what she does best, and that's leaving it all out on the floor.

When asked what she expects to contribute to the team this season, her response was, "
Bringing energy, playing hard and doing anything they need me to do."

Last year in an interview with, the then-senior said she finds her game to also be very "versatile" and even "clutch."


"I'm able to adjust very well, play through a lot of adversities and do things when it's needed," Frazier said.


Next Friday will mark the official start to the season for Frazier and the Penn State, where she will look to pick up where she left off at Renaissance by leaving an impression out on the hardwood, all the while beginning a new chapter in her young career as one of the newest members of the Lady Lions.

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.

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."


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