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2016-17 Men's Hoops Media Day Recap

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's basketball head coach Patrick Chambers met with a packed media room Wednesday afternoon to preview the 2016-17 season on media day.

With nearly every seat in the Bryce Jordan Center media room occupied, Chambers took questions from members of the media before the 2016-17 Nittany Lions were made available for individual interviews in the practice gym.

Penn State preseason practice is well underway in preparation for an exhibition matchup against Lock Haven Friday, Nov. 4 at home in the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions officially open the regular season Friday, Nov. 11, welcoming Albany to Happy Valley for a 7 p.m. matchup in the opening game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. 

A Fearless Approach

In his opening statement, Chambers made note of the team's mentality this year, which is simply to be fearless in their approach. With a tough non-conference schedule that's stacked with tough opponents and features five road or neutral games, Chambers stressed that the focus right now is for the Nittany Lions to be the best they can be and get better every day, while also keying in on attention to detail.

"If we can do the little things great, that could be the different in a couple more victories for us heading into this great non-conference that we've put together." 

More from Coach Chambers and his outlook on the season below.

Newcomers Transitioning
Poised to welcome the program's highest ranked recruiting class in program history, Penn State's signing class featuring Tony Carr, Nazeer Bostick and Lamar Stevens all join walk-on Grant Hazle and Virginia Tech transfer Satchel Pierce, who will sit out a year. The Nittany Lions will also see first-year contributions from Mike Watkins, who was not eligible to play last year and UCONN transfer Terrence Samuel, who also sat out last year.

"I think this summer session and the fall preseason that we had kind of gave the new guys an indication of what to prepare for how hard practice would be and I think they are adapting," Chambers said.

Chambers also sighted that consistency in practice is still an area where the Nittany Lion newcomers can work on improving to build trust among teammates and coaches heading into week one.

Among newcomers Chambers mentioned today, he noted that he has seen tremendous versatility from Stevens, a 6-7 forward who has already shown the ability to play at the three or four and even the five in a tight situation.

"We are moving him all over the place and he has earned it," Chambers said. He's strong, he's a freakish-athlete, shooting the ball much better than I remember in high school. He is really going out and playing hard, making mistakes and allowing us to coach him, which I think is huge."

Hear more from Stevens below.

Garner Stepping Up Leadership
With the departures of 2015-16 senior leaders Brandon Taylor, Jordan Dickerson and Donovon Jack, Chambers said that Garner knew coming into the season that he would need to step into the leadership role to guide the younger members of the team. 

"In the summer and fall, it was a little bit slower for him but once practice started I now hear him a little bit more," Chambers said. "We have attitude club in practice and he has been in the top three for eight practices. For a guard, like Shep, that's pretty impressive." 

Garner talks more about stepping into that leadership role below.

Scoring 80

Chambers unveiled plans for a new offensive style coming this season, one that's up-tempo and quick, ideally producing 80 points per game.

Drawing inspiration from NBA teams such as Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Nittany Lions will look to inject some serious speed into their game this year.

"There are going to be some tough stretches, there are going to be some high turnover games and that's something we have to coach these kids," Chambers said. "But we are going to play at a very high tempo. That is what we want to do this year. I am committed to it."

Practice Update - James Franklin (Bye Week)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin took time to meet with members of the media Wednesday following practice during the bye week to take questions and give updates on the off week. 

Check out updates from the media session below.

James Franklin

Going for Gold

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By Mark Brumbaugh, Penn State Strategic Communications 

Ask Malik Golden what his goals are for the remainder of the 2016 season; he only has one.

"Win, win, win, win, win, win, and then win some more. And after we win some more, win after that. All I want to do is win.

Ask him what his career plans are; he suggests having his own TV show and network. 

"Kind of like Oprah, man. I'm trying to make some money, have my own TV show, like 'The Golden Show' or even my own network. 

Clearly, Golden expects nothing less than success and there is no reason for him not to.

Originally a soccer player, the Hartford, Connecticut, native's football career began in seventh grade with the Newington Knights Pop Warner football team. Recruited by a friend, Golden joined the team and helped it win a National Championship in Arizona.

"The quarterback [of the team] was like, 'we could use some fast guys,' so I joined the football team and have been playing football ever since," Golden said.

Golden went on to have a decorated prep career, transferring to Cheshire Academy for his junior and senior seasons, where he developed into the second-ranked prospect in the state of Connecticut. An All-New England and all-conference player both seasons, Golden helped lead Cheshire to a pair of New England Preparatory School Athletic Council state titles. He was elected team captain as a senior and led the squad to an undefeated season.

Golden played both ways as a wide receiver and defensive back, totaling nearly 3,000 all-purpose yards in two seasons and hauling in seven interceptions as a senior.

Cheshire Academy is a boarding school about a half-hour from Golden's home and it provided him with more than just a great football experience.

"I lived [at Cheshire], so I had a roommate from Beijing my first year, and my second year, my roommate from Manhattan, so it kind of diversified me a little bit," Golden said. "It was cool. I actually enjoyed it a lot.

"At my public school, I would have graduated with four or five hundred people. At Cheshire, I probably graduated with 50 or 60."

The big school experience awaited Golden though, as Penn State became interested in his talents on the recruiting trail. Golden came to Happy Valley for a camp, and Joe Paterno offered him a scholarship the next day. 

Golden committed in August 2011 and is one of the last remaining Nittany Lion to have verbally committed to Paterno. However, tumult would hit Penn State later that year and with no coach in place, Golden reconsidered his options. 

"I reopened my recruitment, but then came back and fell in love with Penn State again," Golden said. "It was crazy, especially for being a young kid, but it helped me grow a lot. Everything happens for a reason, and I'm really glad to be here."

Golden redshirted during the 2012 season as a wide receiver but was moved to safety the following year and saw most of his action on special teams. While he worked for a larger role, he had exceptional mentors in Adrian Amos and Jordan Lucas, who are both currently suiting up in the NFL. 

"I started here as a receiver and when they switched me to safety, I felt like I was finally getting my niche at receiver. I had to relearn the safety position again and that took me awhile," Golden said. "Then when [defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob] Shoop came, I learned how to watch film and scout opponents. Now, [current safeties coach Tim] Banks has really sharpened my technique, so it has been cool learning from all of those guys."

With strong competition at his position, it was hard for Golden to see playing time as a redshirt freshman and sophomore but as a junior he saw more regular action and drew four starts. His first career interception sealed a narrow victory over Maryland.

"[College football] is difficult, because everyone's a star in high school," Golden said. "When you're young and you see other young guys have success, you're happy for them, but it hurts you a little bit not to play as much. But everything happens for a reason. You can't compare someone's chapter five to your chapter 10, so I knew I would get on the field eventually."

Golden's senior year has been his time to shine in a starting role at safety and as one of the leading tacklers on the team. However, he is embracing the role of being a mentor, too. 

"I enjoy helping the young guys learn," Golden said. "Of course it is always good to be a starter, but when you see young guys like Nick Scott and Ayron Monroe come along and get better each day, and they look up to me for advice, that's where I get the most satisfaction." 

Penn State Football is about much more than football though, and Golden has taken full advantage of the university's resources. In December 2015, he graduated with a degree in telecommunications but he is adding a second degree in broadcast journalism and hoping to complete a minor in business too.

Over the most recent summer, he gained valuable work experience interning at a local radio station. 

"I was on the air a little bit, so if you think you heard my smooth voice, that was definitely me," Golden said with a smile. "I cut music, copied music, got it on the air, checked the stream and went to local broadcasts and talked to people. It was a pretty good experience. It kind of made me realize I want to be in TV and not radio though.

"Hopefully, when I'm done playing football, I can have my own TV show."

So while The Golden Show is in its final season at Penn State, the final episodes are shaping up to be the best yet.

And if Golden's track record so far is any indication, this is certainly not the series finale.


By Tom Shively, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - There are few things more rewarding for a parent than seeing their child succeed after a lot of hard work. For the mother of freshman Kate Rydland, that opportunity came earlier this year when she visited Penn State for the Nittany Lions' exhibition match against Guelph as Kate began her Division I hockey career.

Rydland hails from Eden Prairie, Minnesota and had a very successful career in high school, so her parents Rick and Valerie had plenty of opportunity to witness her accomplishments. She was a team captain of her state championship squad last year and was named an all-state honorable mention that same year. She tallied 32 points in her senior season on five goals and 27 assists, capping a career that destined her for Division I hockey. 

Coming to Penn State was a family-oriented decision for Kate, as Valerie went to Penn State and was a member of the swim team from 1982-84.

"She influenced me a little bit," Kate said. "She wanted me to go wherever I was happy but she always kind of was like 'well you should look at Penn State, it's a really good school, you'd love it out there.' So there was definitely an influence, but not in a bad way at all. It was in a loving way because she knew me and she knew I'd like it."

"When Kate told me what she wanted out of a school, I'm like 'you need to look at Penn State,'" Valerie said. "She came from a large high school with a lot of school spirit, big football program, and she loved that and so she wanted that too."

Valerie stayed true to her word of not forcing Kate into anything, but in the end, both really feel that Kate made the right decision.

"I chose Penn State because of the wonderful academics, school spirit, the awesome facilities and coaching staff and also the great alumni association," Kate said. 

It's been several years since Valerie last walked around campus, and some things were a little different on her most recent trip.

"It was really weird looking at her [Kate] in white and blue," Valerie said with a laugh. "She's been in black and red [high school colors] her whole life. It's really thrilling, really different being back on campus. I talked to Kate about where things were. It's grown and it's really fun to see."

From a hockey perspective, Kate attributed much of her interest and development in the game to her late grandfather, Pat Quinn. Quinn played nine seasons in the NHL, including stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Atlanta Flames. Quinn also spent several years as an NHL coach, taking two different teams to the Stanley Cup Final as well as winning four gold medals at the helm of Team Canada.

Kate can play all over the ice as well at both forward and defense, earning high praise from head coach Josh Brandwene, who was as happy as any of Kate's family members that she chose the Nittany Lions. 

"Height, strength and versatility set Kate apart," Brandwene said. "She brings outstanding work ethic and hockey sense to our program,can contribute at both forward and defense, and brings an incredible amount of enthusiasm to the rink every day."

Kate has already had a chance to contribute to the team, as she saw ice time in the exhibition and both games of the season-opening series at Clarkson, before sustaining a minor upper body injury last week.  She looks to return to the lineup soon.

The Nittany Lions play their first regular season home games this weekend against Boston University. Game 1 puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m. Friday at Pegula Ice Arena.

Freshman Feature: Myllari a Well-Rounded Defenseman

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By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Hockey parents are no strangers to long hours in the car on the way to hockey practices and games. Freshman defenseman Kris Myllari's parents Roy and Dawn, are no different.

The dedicated pair has been to all three home contests for the Nittany Lions so far this season, including Penn State's win over St. Lawrence last Thursday night.

"They've got a pretty decent drive, so for them to come down was awesome," Myllari said.

The drive from the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, Ontario is no walk in the park. In fact, it takes a little more than seven hours to reach Hockey Valley. 

Myllari's parents have been instrumental in their son's success in hockey. Both Roy and Dawn have been a constant support system for their son, helping him navigate the waters of Junior hockey. Myllari most recently played for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL from 2014-16.

Roy, a hockey player himself, played in the Ontario Hockey League and the British Hockey League during the 1980's. He won the 1984 Memorial Cup with the Ottawa 67's.

Myllari's parents have also been very supportive of their son's education, so when the opportunity for Myllari to attend college with a hockey scholarship, the decision was a no-brainer. 

"I thought being able to come to a big school like this I'd get a great education and have the resources to become a better hockey player," Myllari said.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky has always been adamant about making his players better on the and preparing them for the professional world once hockey is over. 

"Coach has established a great culture," Myllari said. "All the guys he brings in, from the seniors to the freshmen, I think they all get along well and there's a culture that doing well in school is a good thing. The guys on this team compete to do well in school, it's not something they blow off." 

Being a well-rounded student-athlete is something not only the hockey program, but also, something all of Penn State Athletics has strived for over the years. Penn State is consistently ranked above the national average when it comes to athlete graduation rates.

Myllari is simply appreciative of the opportunity he has to further his hockey skills alongside his education and isn't something he'll take for granted. 

"I think it's very important," Myllari said. "Even if you're fortunate enough to play 20 years of professional hockey you're still going to need a job afterward, so your education is very important." 

This weekend, the Nittany Lions travel to Mercyhurst to face off Friday night at 7 p.m.

"We're going to stick with our game plan," Myllari said. "But just one game, we're just going to leave it all out on the ice, there's nothing you have to say before. Just go, give it all you've got, empty the tank and see what the scoreboard says at the end." 

Moira Putsch Finds Home at Penn State

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By Mandy Bell, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK - In a sea of the same blue and white uniforms, it is hard to identify a specific Penn State field hockey Nittany Lion from the stands. However, for Moira Putsch, all one needs to look for is the bright yellow headband.

"When I ran track in grade school I always wore the same headband," Putsch said. "I guess I am just weird with stuff like that. My hair is too crazy not to wear a headband, so I guess that's where it all started. It's totally superstitious. I wore the headband when I was at Maryland. I coincidentally put it on for the first game and I just felt like I had to put it on for any other game. I was debating whether I should do something new when I came here, but I liked it too much and had to stay with it."

Through elementary and middle school, Putsch experimented with almost every sport she could. When it came to high school, she decided to focus on just field hockey and lacrosse.

Putsch's freshman year field hockey season was complete and spring was around the corner. The freshman at the time was excited to start her first high school lacrosse season and was ready for the team's first scrimmage.

During the scrimmage, Putsch cut left, but ended up going to her right causing a pop in her knee that no athlete ever wants to feel.

Putsch tore her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and suddenly her future in field hockey seemed to be in jeopardy.

When most would be out for a year from an ACL tear and surgery, Putsch was back and ready for her sophomore field hockey season just a few months after the injury.

"I remember being so annoying at first," Putsch said. "They let me play like five minutes each half because I was still coming back from surgery. I remember I was dying for just a minute each half. I was definitely being a little pest about it, but I think I only missed one or two real games that season."

All of her dedication to the sport despite any injury paid off for the high school sophomore when she was selected to the U21 National Field Hockey team entering her junior season.                                                           
"I have been playing USA Hockey since eighth grade," Putsch said. "I was named on the U21 team going into my junior year of high school. I did a tour with them and it was awesome. We went to Holland. So I went to Holland with Penn State and two other times with USA Hockey. It's definitely different to play international teams. The tempo is faster. I also feel like my game knowledge increases every time I play an international team. Teams like Holland and Australia are very poised and it is very pretty hockey. It's really fun to play against them because you learn so much at the same time." 

Playing at an international level is not something that every high school field hockey player being recruited by big colleges get to experience.

"Playing USA Hockey prepared me so much for the collegiate level," Putsch said. "I think I would've been really overwhelmed going right into the collegiate level without US Hockey."

While balancing high school field hockey and her national team, Putsch also had to find a home for after high school. 

"Penn State, Maryland and Virginia were recruiting me." Putsch said. "It was a lot of pressure, especially someone like me who is really indecisive. I can be easily persuaded because I am so indecisive. At the time it was just a lot of pressure. They could contact us August 1st of my junior year and I couldn't make my decision until May. I am just so indecisive." 

In May of her junior year, Putsch decided to attend the University of Maryland despite the long line of Penn Staters in her family. Putsch had seven cousins, her brother, her sister and her father all attend Penn State University, but still decided to go to Maryland.

As a freshman, Putsch was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and to the NFHCA All-Region First Team. She tied for third on her Maryland team with 33 points on 12 goals and nine assists. Despite all of her success, something was missing.

Putsch needed family and the only place she could find a family was at Penn State. 

"Nothing bad about Maryland, I just think here is more for me," Putsch said. "The transition was definitely tough, but the support I have here in every aspect with field hockey, family and friends really helped. [Penn State] is just in our family. It's in our blood. When I was at Maryland I felt out of the loop with family things. I am really close with my family. It was them, plus the family atmosphere Penn State has itself is why I am here. My family always gave me a hard time when I was at Maryland."

After Putsch finally felt settled in her new home, it seemed as if nothing could go wrong. There was a week of pure bliss before another challenge presented itself.

"I just had gotten here," Putsch said. "It was a week after being here and I re-tore my ACL that morning at the end of practice. I was taking a shot at the top of the circle. I remember we wore heart rate monitors and Bobby Lucas was monitoring the monitors and he said my heart rate spiked higher than when we ran our run tests that morning. I knew as soon as I did it. 

As quickly as Putsch got here, her first Penn State season was taken away from her.

"I was very devastated just because I was so excited to be here," Putsch said. "At the time I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get that year of eligibility back, but then I petitioned to the Big Ten and found out that I was going to have that year. So it's bittersweet to me because now I get to be here at Penn State for another year and I would've already missed a year."

Putsch had yet another surgery on the same knee that had been operated on early in high school. This time, the doctor used Putsch's own ligament to repair her knee and, so far, it seems to have done the trick.

After surgery, Putsch had to undergo rehabilitation in order to get her knee back in field hockey shape. At the beginning, she struggled to even lift her leg straight off the ground. But, after many hours with Penn State trainer Renee Messina, Putsch got herself back in shape for the 2016 season and has been a standout thus far.

"She's like a little rag doll sometimes the way she flies around the field and bounces off the turf," Penn State head coach Char Morett-Curtiss said. "She just reminds me sometimes of a Gilda Radner, she's a comedian. I just remember her having that energy on Saturday Night Live and just being upbeat. That's what makes me laugh when I look at Moira. She's just that person."

"We are always amazed when we see her on the left side of the field and in five seconds she's on the right side of the field. You just don't know how she got there so fast. She really knows the game well and she has really enhanced our offense."

Putsch has scored 12 goals in the team's first 13 games and has registered a point in each game so far this season. 

When watching the Nittany Lions play, just look for the girl in the bright yellow headband.

By Anna Pitingolo, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Coquese Washington and the 2016-2017 team met with the media on Tuesday for their annual media day at the Bryce Jordan Center.

MORE LINKS: Coquese Washington Transcript | Player Transcripts | Photo Gallery

The Lady Lions are coming off a 16-16 (7-11 Big Ten) season, and looking to improve on that this upcoming year.  The team returns to All-Big Ten selections in guards Teniya Page and Lindsey Spann.  Page earned Second Team All-Big Ten and was a unanimous All-Freshman Team selection, while Span earned honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades.

Check out more sights and sounds from Media Day below:

Replacing Banks' production
Brianna Banks may have only played one season in blue and white, but she played an important role on the court. Banks averaged 13.4 points last year and boasted a .380 field goal percentage. Now that she's graduated, Washington isn't looking for just one player to fill in her role.

 "I think we'll replace her production with some of the new faces," Washington said. "I think Amari Carter is somebody who can put some points on the board for us.  I think our two freshmen have shown promise early in practice and I'd like to get a little bit more out of our post kids, have them be a little bit more impactful. So we're not looking for one person to replace Bri Banks."

Moore and Carter return from injury
Both Sierra Moore and Carter missed last season due to knee injuries that they sustained before the season had started. Now they are healthy and ready to return to the court, and their teammates are happy to have them back.

 "It's been very exciting to get back and work with them," said senior Peyton Whitted. "They're really competitive players and they're going to help us a lot in a lot of areas. Amari's really aggressive at scoring and Sierra can do it all, she's a rebounder, she's a defensive player, she's just competitive and she just wants to win. So they are two key components to our team that are going to make us really strong this year." 

Freshmen ready to make an impact
With the addition of true freshmen Siyeh Frazier and Jaida Travascio-Green, and redshirt sophomore transfer De'Janae Boykin, Washington is looking for them to make an immediate impact. Boykin isn't eligible to start playing until the spring semester but Frazier and Travascio-Green are ready for the whatever is thrown at them.

 "I feel like as far as doing what Coach needs me to do, I'm very competitive so whatever she needs me to do, I feel like I'm ready," Frazier said. "Of course I'm probably not starting ready or game ready right now, but I feel like I can do whatever she needs me to do." 

Tamika Williams-Jeter added to staff
In the offseason, Washington added Tamika Williams-Jeter to her coaching staff as an assistant to replace Kia Damon, who left the program to coach at University of Cincinnati.

 "It's been a positive having Tamika on staff," Washington said. "She brings a lot of energy and knowledge, she's a fantastic teacher, she's really bonded well and built great relationships with our post players very quickly and I think it's allowed our staff to have tremendous chemistry at this point in the season."

By Zach Reagan, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer hosted Canada Night as its promotion Tuesday, and it was only fitting that Canadian Dayonn Harris would net the game-winning goal to elevate Penn State past Pittsburgh, 1-0.

Harris, an Ontario, Canada native, scored the match's only goal in the 40th minute when freshman Frankie de la Camara found him with a through ball as he got behind the backline in order to break free. Harris opted to chip the ball over Pittsburgh's aggressively charging goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt from outside the box. He utilized his speed to chase after his lofted shot all the way to the goal line where he easily kicked the ball into the open net for his third goal of the season.

"Frankie coming in was pretty big for us," said Harris. He assisted that goal obviously. I saw the goalie coming out so I just chipped it up to myself and the goal was wide open for me. This one goes out for Canada."

The other Canadians celebrated on the night were Aymar Sigue and Mitchel Bringolf. Each contributed to the win. Forward Sigue had scoring chances and defender Bringolf helped limit Pitt to only one shot on goalkeeper Evan Finney.


When Penn State last took the field, the Nittany Lions matched shots with Indiana, a team known to get a lot of shots off. The Nittany Lions picked up right where they left off with another wealthy display of shots.

Before and after Harris's goal, Penn State (5-6-1) kept constant pressure in their offensive end. The Nittany Lions continued to get scoring chances all game but just couldn't fully capitalize on them. Penn State took 22 shots and put 13 of them on net. Outcalt made 12 saves, many of them near goals, in order to keep Pittsburgh (2-9-2) within reach.

Senior team captain Connor Maloney took a team-high eight shots with five of them on goal. Maloney weaved and dodged around the defense but couldn't find the back of the net. On a penalty kick awarded to Penn State after a Pittsburgh red card from Stephane Pierre, Maloney blasted it to the upper-right corner but Outcalt was there to make a leaping save.

"He made a great save on my PK, kudos to him for that," said Maloney. "The goalie today was outstanding with a lot of good saves but we have to finish those."


It was one of those matches in soccer when a team keeps offensive momentum all game but just can't get more by the goalkeeper. Head coach Bob Warming applauded the team's resiliency and aggressive nature of play after two tough Big Ten road matches.

"I thought they were really sharp tonight," said Warming. "Fantastic performance. Our guys passed the ball really well tonight. Our aggressiveness was in getting behind them time after time after time."


"The common score line in college soccer is 1-0 so that's what we did today and the win so we'll carry that over to Michigan State," said Maloney.


The Nittany Lions are back in action against Michigan State at Jeffrey Field Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

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

Big Ten Coaches Teleconference - James Franklin

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football head coach James Franklin took time to answer questions from media members Tuesday afternoon on the Big Ten Head Coaches Teleconference. Franklin previewed what the practice schedule would look like for this week's bye week and answered a few other questions from media members. 

Check out updates from the Q&A session below. 

With the bye week this week and your next opponent Ohio State, how much time will you spend watching that game and preparing for them? Or is more of the focus on trying to get your team better?

"It's a little bit of both. We have to get healthy, we've lost seven linebackers this year so we have to get healthy. Hopefully we're able to get some guys back but it's a little bit of both.  We're going to spend time on Ohio State as well, breaking those guys down and getting comfortable with those guys and getting some stuff in practice to get a head start. It's probably equal parts both."

Have you been able to give any thought to how you're going to line up at tackle against Ohio State with Andrew Nelson out?
"We're going to work through that this week. We have some different combinations there. Obviously we have [Brendan] Mahon, we have Paris [Palmer] and we have Will Fries. So those are the three guys that we're kind of looking at to see how we're going to fill that gameday responsibility. We're really kind of on the entry level. Paris actually went in and played pretty well. Chaz [Wright] is a guy who's starting to show some things that we're excited about and then Will Fries is a guy who we are excited about his future."

Have you been able to step back and wrap your mind around what your kicker [Tyler Davis] has done to date, considering how new he is to kicking in a football game?
"He has done a great job. We've been very pleased with him. He did the same thing last year. He didn't miss a field goal or a PAT last year and we talked about that last year, that coming into the season, he probably didn't get enough of the credit that he deserved internally or externally. So I've been very pleased with him I think we've done a very good job of putting him in position to be successful. I think he has really showed his value. He has really showed he is one of the better kickers in the conference, if not in the country and I've been very, very pleased with him.

What has Joe Moorhead brought to your offense and what has he meant to you there?
"I think the biggest thing to be honest with you is leadership. I think the fact that he has been a head coach, he really understands the motivational aspect of it. We talked about this at the beginning of the year, with the personnel that we have, one of the reasons I hired him was that I thought he really fit our personnel well. We still have a developing offensive line that has dramatically improved compared to our first two years from a numbers perspective and from a development perspective. The mobility that we have at the quarterback position with two quarterbacks in Trace [McSorley] and Tommy [Stevens]. I feel like we have depth and talent at wide receiver and at running back. Mike Gesicki is coming on at tight end. It's just a combination of what he did that I thought fit our personnel well and I think the biggest thing is leadership on that side of the ball and having fun and running with it."

How is he showing you that leadership?
"It's being on that side of the ball. Brent Pry being the head coach of the defense and Joe being the head coach of the offense - how he runs leading and how he installs plays. His energy, his enthusiasm that he has at practice every day, like Brent has been doing on the defensive side of the ball. Like what Coach Huff is doing with the special teams. His energy, enthusiasm and his leadership style. Just taking advantage of the personnel that we have and putting them in position to be successful."

I know that getting players back and healthy is a priority but how do you go about getting your guys extra rest this week?
"It's not really like something that's just this week. A number of these players have been out for a number of weeks now so the longer they are out, the more likely they are to come back at some point. Our practices are going to be a little bit different, we are going to do a lot less pounding on them this week and we're going get the young guys a little more involved this week as well. It's a little bit different, you don't have to go out there this week and feel like you don't have enough hours in the day or minutes at practice to get them ready for the game on Saturday.  It's a sprint, when you have a game on Saturday, you are sprinting as players and coaches to get everything in to make sure they are ready for the game on Saturday. Physically and mentality ready and peaking at the right time. When it's a bye week, you have the time to focus on our fundamentals and technique. We're going to get the young guys involved a little bit more in practice than they typically have been. Like you mentioned, they have a week of treatment so hopefully that will put you in position to get back for a normal game week."


By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Prior to their arrival on Penn State's campus, a trio from the women's lacrosse team were already great ambassadors for their school and their sport. Freshmen Maria Auth, Madison Cunningham, and Katie Schluederberg traveled to Jamaica in July as a part of Fields of Growth, a volunteer program that connects athletes and local kids together.

The mission trip was a week trip in Kingston, Jamaica. They heard about the opportunity to share their love for lacrosse from fellow teammate, freshman Yasmain Hamood, who had participated in mission trips with the same program before.

There were 20 other volunteers on the girls' trip, mostly fellow lacrosse players and coaches.

"We ran free clinics almost every day we were there," Schluederberg said. 

Auth added that in the mornings during the week they worked with high school students, but also traveled to visit the elderly and brought care packages to Dupont Primary School. The girls also visited Maxfield Park Children's Home and hung out with the kids.

The girls brought bags of clothing, lacrosse equipment, and toys to give away during their stay. Auth said she gave away all her extra lacrosse sticks so that the kids could keep playing after the volunteers left. 

"The last day when we gave out all our donations, you give stuff to girls who have been doing well in the camp or the girls who you think might need them," Cunningham said. "And there was this little girl who I noticed her shoes were bothering her."

Cunningham saw that the girl's toes were popping out of the top of her shoes, so later that night she set out to find a replacement pair.

"We spent all night looking for a pair of shoes for her," Cunningham said. "So that was really cool when I gave her the shoes and she was so happy." 

All three talked about how although the trip's primary focus was on lacrosse and sports, they were mostly impacted by the relationships they built with the local children. 

"It's pretty awesome that we were able to make that connection after just a week," Auth said, who added she keeps in contact with the girls she met through Instagram.

The three Nittany Lions were also grateful for the opportunity the trip provided for them to get to know one another before starting their first year at Penn State. All three credit the trip for creating their unique bond.

Currently, all three have settled in to their first semester of college, and have started to get into the swing of things during fall workouts. The Nittany Lions have competed in several fall tournaments so far, and the freshmen have absorbed a lot from these games.

"It's a good change of pace from scrimmaging each other every day," Auth said. "It's going to be cool to see where we're at right now and then in a couple months in February when we have our first game, how much we've improved over that time." 

The Nittany Lions conclude their fall schedule this weekend, hosting contests against Syracuse, Temple, and Cornell this Saturday, Oct. 15.