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By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Men's Hockey senior forward and Spanish major David Goodwin spent last summer in Mexico, learning about Mexican culture and improving his Spanish skills. In May, Goodwin embarked on another journey, this time to Cuba, where he taught English at a local university. 

For more than a month Goodwin lived in Santa Clara, a large city three hours from Havana. Unlike in Mexico, where he stayed with a host family, Goodwin lived on his own in Santa Clara. He learned how to navigate Cuba by himself, and appreciated the opportunity to set his own itinerary. 

"Last summer I liked having a host family around, but this time it was nice having a little bit more freedom," said Goodwin. "Being able to make my own adventures was different than my last trip, but it was what I wanted." 

During the week, Goodwin taught English to university students. He enjoyed spending time with students his own age, and quickly became friends with the students and other locals. On the weekends Goodwin traveled around the country, visiting beaches, small towns, and the capital city of Havana.

Goodwin also embraced the country's love of baseball. In addition to teaching university classes, he volunteered with a youth program after work hours, and played baseball with kids in the community. Goodwin explained that although he wasn't very good at baseball, it was fun to experience something new.

"I'll definitely stick with hockey," Goodwin joked. 

In fact, Goodwin was able to teach several of his new friends about his hockey background. He showed them photos of games at Pegula Ice Arena and described the spirited atmosphere of the Roar Zone. 

"They were definitely very interested in ice hockey," said Goodwin. "The majority of them had never seen an ice hockey game on TV, but I would explain to them how it worked and we would do comparisons between ice hockey and baseball."

Goodwin's favorite part of his time in Cuba was feeling like a member of a tight-knit community. He appreciated the hospitality and welcoming nature. Goodwin dined with new friends in their homes, met their families, and learned first-hand about Cuban culture and everyday life. 

Goodwin returned from Cuba at the end of June, and is currently back in State College preparing for his senior season with the Nittany Lions. Despite living in Cuba for only a few weeks, Goodwin is sure that the memories will remain with him for a lifetime.

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On the Malecõn in Havana

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Dinner with a local family

BLOG: Castaway Club

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Castaway Club by Sarah Nielsen

This summer I was given one of the greatest opportunities of my life - right up there with the opportunity to go to Penn State and play hockey :). In Minneapolis, my family is very involved with an organization called Young Life. Young Life is a really awesome group that helps teenagers see their true worth and do life. One branch of Young Life is Capernum, which is specifically designed to give "young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the chance to experience fun and adventure, to develop fulfilling friendships and to challenge their limits while building self-esteem." A friend told me they were looking for "buddies" to walk alongside campers, so I jumped in and got to hangout with my new friend, Lauren for a week at a Young Life Camp in Minnesota called Castaway Club.

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Camp is a beautiful place where each day is jam packed with various activities that Lauren and I got to do together - tubing, swimming, boat riding, parasailing, zip lining, field games, water Olympics, giant swing rides, singing, dancing, beach parties, and campfires. Many of the activities are thrilling, and I have to admit on things like the zip-line and swings, I was scared! However, Lauren is brave and wanted to do everything - her bravery and courage was inspiring and gave me the strength to do those things with her. The tag line for camp is "the best week of your life guaranteed." Even though I was not a camper, it was one of the best weeks of my life.

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Words and pictures cannot fully describe my experiences, but they can help capture the essence of our time there. I am thankful for the people I met, the opportunity I was given, and the way each camper touched me. The greatest thing I learned from this week is that all people are beautiful and beauty looks differently on everyone.

A Thank You to the Blue and White

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FinalBlog_Stadium.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When I moved in to Geary Hall as an 18-year-old freshman in August of 2004, I didn't envision spending the next 12 years on the greatest campus in America.

But an opportunity to begin working as student intern in 2006 led to eight gratifying years of professional work out of the strategic communications office (formally athletic communications).


You hear it a lot from individuals who have spent time on the University Park campus, but it's the truth. The people make Penn State special. Cultivating relationships with fellow staff members, administrators, media members, coaches and hundreds of student-athletes has truly made this opportunity unique.

It has been an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

The list of highlights is long. It's been a thrill to see the jubilation inside a winning locker room and witness 10 national championship teams (women's volleyball, wrestling, women's soccer and men's gymnastics) hoist hardware across the country while fulfilling their dreams.

The ride included two Big Ten football titles, a trip to the sidelines at the Rose Bowl, seven bowl games, unforgettable atmospheres in Beaver Stadium (2005 vs. Ohio State remains atop the list), every football game, home and away, since the 2007 Alamo Bowl (103 straight games), every home football Saturday in Beaver Stadium since 2004 (84 straight games) and trips to the only dance I've ever wanted to attend with both hoops teams.

There have been many long days (and nights) traveling with ace photographer Mark Selders in planes, trains and automobiles across the country during the postseason push in March during each of the past six years.

The time included a trip inside the final team meeting of a legendary coaching era, the hiring of the first new football coach in 46 years and the program's first win across the pond.

The challenges set forth in 2011 and the summer of 2012 were unthinkable, but invaluable learning experiences.

The travels have included coverage of Penn State events in 26 states, two countries and seemingly countless competitions in venues across campus.

The content on this blog within GoPSUsports.com has grown from a few thousand visitors in 2010 to more than 1 million visits during each of the last three seasons.

That's a tribute to how special the Penn State fan base is.

A lot of people along the way asked about the hours and effort it took to tell the stories of Penn State's teams and student-athletes through written content, interviews and videos, but it was never work.

It was a passion.

The next stop will be with the New York Jets in digital media beginning on July 11. But my fandom of the Blue and White will only grow from here as I look forward to being at events regularly when the schedule permits.

Thank you to the Penn State fans for following along.


Tony Mancuso - Class of 2008


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It's been a memorable ride. Take a look through some of the favorite moments from the blog.


2013 - Football Outlasts Michigan in Four Overtimes



2011 - Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament Selection 


2014 - Ruth, Taylor Lift Wrestling to Fourth-Straight National Title


2010 Women's Volleyball Captures Fourth Straight National Title 


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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Wrap Up

June 28, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team returned home from an eight-day trip to Canada where it took part in international competition and saw the sites of the country. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop in Toronto and finished their trip in Montreal Sunday, June 26. Head Coach Bob Warming wrapped up the trip for Penn State men's soccer.

Wrap Up with Head Coach Bob Warming

Thanks to all of you who have followed the teams trip to Canada.  We appreciated the emails and texts from everyone.  We simply can't thank enough all the alumni and friends of the program who donated the money needed to feed, transport, house, buy tickets to two sold out MLS matches, the Niagara Falls tour, fund the pre-trip training, housing and meals.  AMAZING!  The players and staff are so grateful. 

Besides all that donated, plenty of other folks to thank:

Herb Combs, Nate Miller and their fantastic grounds crew staff for having our pre-trip training surface at Jeffery looking and playing fantastic. THANK YOU.

Dan Sowash and all the fun staff in the equipment room who went above and beyond their normal job description to take care of training and travel gear for the team. THANK YOU.

Greg Nye and the golf program for loaning us the luxury Mercedes Sprinter Penn State golf van, and folks, I do mean luxury. Oh my goodness that van has it all. Everyone certainly knew we were coming and it was terrific to get so many "We Are" shouts from people in Toronto and Montreal whenever we would get out of the vans in different locations. THANK YOU.

PSU administrator Rachel Rito and academic advisor Sarah Cowart. I group you to together because I never saw you apart for nine days! I mean never. The guys and staff appreciate all you do for the program during the year and enjoyed having two really helpful people along for the trip. THANK YOU-THANK YOU.

Steven Delger - as athletic trainer you have super long hours and lots of folks to manage on our team. THANK YOU for your professionalism and friendship.

Chad Duernberger and Owen Griffith - you guys were, as always, so on top of things. You are tireless workers who don't just get the job done but go above and beyond to make every day special for our players and the team. THANK YOU for everything you are doing to help us build a high performance atmosphere and championship culture.  

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Literally everyone we met in Canada, thank you, such kind and thoughtful people. What a great concept to not be rude. Patrice and the Vaughn soccer club, thank you, what great hosts and dedicated professionals.  The staff at Toronto FC, thanks for your time with the players and the tour.  Mark Bergevin and the Montreal Canadians, oh my goodness, thank you for the tour the behind the scenes and the opportunity to go be in the locker room, the players' lounge and to study and take notes on all the attention to detail that the Canadians have in their program.  We want to be champions and to learn from the hockey program that has won 24 championships was a rare opportunity. To Lake Shore FC and Lanaudiere FC the two teams in the Quebec Professional league we played, thank you for the matches and for being so accommodating.  

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And finally, to the Penn State Men's soccer team.

Of course, when you put on a Penn State University uniform you always represent more than yourself, you represent your family, your coaches, your school and others. However, in the case of an international trip, you represented much more. You no longer carry the torch for just your family and Penn State when you go out of country to compete.

On this trip, you represented the State of Pennsylvania, the United States of America, and college soccer in America to everyone who saw you. In these times when some are talking of building walls between us as people you helped build bridges to those who you played against, those who met you, and those who observed your actions as Americans. You competed hard against your Canadian opponents, you represented college soccer at a very high level and impressed those you competed against with your skill, teamwork and character. You came from behind against a pro team and did not lose a match. When things got tough physically and mentally, you hung together, supported each other, dug in and fought for victory.  As young men representing our country, you were exceptional both on the field and off. I never heard anything but praise about you at any portion of the trip from start to finish. I know that you are you are proud of what you did and what you accomplished and you should be proud.

Looking to the future, for our Penn State fans, the team is excited about the fall season. They are perhaps more excited than any team I have coached at Penn State. They feel they can be great. On this trip they went 3-0-1, scored 13 goals and only allowed three.  Seven different players scored as our combination play and interchanges on the field were, at times, special.  

The team knows the fall schedule will challenge and test them in every area. We play six opponents this fall who have won 16 National Championships collectively.  As I have said many times, the margin of victory in our sport is so small that the most important quality is how you play and compete together as a team. Winning every match just does not happen at a high level in our sport, but how you play, how you represent Penn State and yourself, that matters and that lasts long after the score line is forgotten.  

Win, lose or draw, this group of young men are the type of people and team that I want to have represent Penn State University this fall and in the future. We aim to make everyone who supports us and everyone who is a Penn Stater very proud.  

Thanks for keeping up with the team and to all of you who are such great friends of Penn State soccer.

Have a great summer everyone and, of course.... We Are...

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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Final Day

 

June 26, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight-day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The eighth blog of Penn State's day on Sunday, June 26th was written by Associate Head Coach Chad Duernberger, and Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Programming Sarah Cowart.

 

Day Nine (Sunday, June 26) - Final Match & Trip Back

 

Chad Duernberger - Associate Head Coach

 

This morning the players and staff had an early wakeup call at 6:45am to embark on our last day in Canada. The players were instructed to be at breakfast in the Residence Inn at 7am and the plan was to depart for our last match by 7:30. The match was about 45 minutes away so it took us a bit of time to navigate out of the city and find the complex. As a staff we were eager to see how the players would respond to four matches in such a short period of time. Would their legs hold up for this last match? Can they stay dialed in for this last one and finish the trip with a zero in the loss column?  For a 9 a.m. match, the weather was already very hot and the players had to deal with turf which is something we do not see often during the fall.

 

The match proved to be ours from the first whistle as six different players scored in the 7-0 win. We were pleased all the way around. It was a great performance from our backline, our midfield had excellent link-up play with our forwards, our number of final-third entries was the highest of the trip and players stepped up and finished their chances when given the opportunity.  The match made for an excellent end to the trip.

 

The players showered, the staff packed the vans with equipment and we were off on our venture back to State College around 11:45 a.m.  I had the van with all of the freshman guys (soon to be sophomores). Quick shout out to those guys for keeping me awake with music, questions, games, and great conversation.  After navigating back through the city and ready to get on the highway to hit the open road the worst thing happened for any road trip........backed up traffic.........The players covered more ground in the match over 90-minutes than we did on the pavement. Finally, we made it through and were on our way. Fortunately, everything was smooth getting back in to the states at the US Border and we stopped at a Chipotle to break up the trip. We arrived back at Rec Hall around 1 a.m. unloaded everything and the players were off. Some guys are starting Second Session Summer School on Wednesday and some were saying goodbyes to the staff and teammates until August.


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As the players left, the staff cleaned vans and dropped them back off to their respective locations. It's a bit different for staff on trips like these as compared to the players.  During the player's down time, the staff set off to get ahead for the next upcoming event. This includes doing player's laundry, filling up gas in the vans, finding where to take the team to eat, getting subway tickets, going to get more Gatorade, water and ice amongst 40 other small jobs that need to be done. There is limited downtime for the staff to ensure everything goes smooth.

However, during one of our few down time moments in Montreal, Coach Owen Griffith and I were able to sneak off and bungee jump off a 12 story drop. It was a great break in our staff duties before getting back to work.


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Sarah Cowart - Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Programming

 

First and foremost, it has been and honor and pleasure to be part of this Canadian trip with the guys. Without support from our Penn State Alumni, this trip would have never been possible. Being that my role with the team is an "off the field" role, this trip has allowed me an opportunity to spend time with the guys talking about more than just what classes are available next semester and what changes we need to make to their academic plan. Of course, with me tagging along, these conversations occurred often throughout the trip. Which was definitely a bonus for me! 

 

This trip has allowed the guys to see parts of North America that some of them would never have chance to see. Even though I have had my fair chance of seeing different parts of the world, Toronto and Montreal are two places I had yet to visit. Not to mention, although a former soccer player myself, I have seen soccer matches in the '96 Olympics and the 2015 Women's World Cup, but I had never been to a MLS match until this trip.


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In addition to experience the MLS matches, we also had the opportunity to take in the sites of old Montreal. The lovely cobble streets and old churches brought to life the history of Montreal. It was great to experience the culture of Quebec and learn more about the history of the 18th century fortified city. 


For our guys, being a collegiate student-athlete is much more than just competing in your sport and graduating. It is growing, learning, molding and developing over the four or five years at Penn State into the person that you will become for the rest of your life. This trip is just one example of the opportunities that contribute to this factor. It has been a phenomenal experience to see not only new sights of the world, but see our student-athletes experience new adventures that they will talk about for the rest of their lives. Thank you to our alumni for providing them (and us) this experience!

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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Seven

 

June 24, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight-day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The seventh blog of Penn State's day on Friday, June 24th was written by sophomore Austin Maloney, redshirt-freshman Wes Bergevin and sophomore Dayonn Harris.

 

Day Seven (Friday, June 24) - Regeneration and Saint Jean-Baptiste Day

 

Austin Maloney - So. - Midfielder

 

It's been a great few days thus far in Montreal! After a hard-fought match last night, we made sure to wake up early enough to grab a bite for breakfast at the hotel. Many of the guys ate breakfast then took a quick nap before getting together for some regeneration. The regeneration was much needed to help our bodies recover from our previous match.  

 

The day is ours now! Another opportunity to explore the amazing city of Montreal. It's a pretty amazing day in Montreal to say the least. They consider this day their "4th of July" which includes a nice parade along the streets in Montreal. It was remarkable to see the unity of the city while at this parade. Thousands of people packed the streets and it was an unbelievable experience. A few guys on the team rented a bike to see much more of this amazing city. We sat down for a nice lunch then had to make a quick pit stop for some amazing crepes. We couldn't be more thankful for the alumni that allowed us to enjoy this amazing trip! WE ARE! 

 

Wes Bergevin - R-Fr. - Goalkeeper

 

After we finished up our regeneration session earlier this afternoon, a few teammates and I took to some bikes to explore the beautiful city of Montreal.  Today is a special day in the province of Quebec as the shops are closed and the streets are filled with the people to celebrate Saint Jean-Baptiste Day, a day very familiar to our 4th of July.  We could really see and feel the pride as we made our way through the streets of Montréal. 

 

About five minutes on a bike we found a place to take a quick break and enjoy some great food. We later made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and recharge before we headed out to dinner.  I went to dinner with some of the freshman to a burger place that sat right along the canal.  As we indulged in our dinner we decided what was next.  We got back on our bikes and rode along the Canal into Old Montréal.  About a 15-minute bike ride accompanied with some spectacular views of the city.  From there we walked around the street filled with so much history and enjoyed a variety of performers, music, and great weather.

 

After being downtown for a few hours the night was coming to an end. We got back on our bikes and rode back to our hotel.  As I reflect on this wonderful day I must take a moment to appreciate the time I got to spend with my teammates, my coaches and everyone that has made this trip possible because there is so much to be grateful for.   

 

Dayonn Harris - So. - Forward

 

Having lived in Canada my whole life, finding new and interesting things that I have never seen has been quite difficult. I have taken this opportunity to show my teammates what amazing things Canada has to offer. With their growing love for tidbits and the occasional "eh" I am finding that my teammates/brothers are starting to enjoy their time in Canada. There was no greater feeling seeing their face as we approached the CN Tower in Toronto.

It was great having the opportunity to play my old club during this trip and even better to win both games. Bragging rights are all mine when I play with Vaughan next.

 

Today we rest up and get ready for our final game on Sunday morning. Most of us have taken this time to get closer as a family. Whether that be through biking together around the beautiful streets of Montreal to simply hanging out and watching TV in our rooms. We are all finding ways to entertain ourselves all while keeping the team's season goals in mind. This trip brings us closer each day as we are able to work out our kinks on and off the pitch.

 

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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Six

June 23, 2016

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

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

Ibrahima Kouyate - R-Fr. - Midfielder

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

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

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

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

Dani Marks - R-So. - Defender

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

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

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

Connor Maloney - Sr. - Forward

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

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

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

 

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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Five

 

June 22, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The fifth blog of Penn State's day on Wednesday, June 22 was written by senior Evan Finney, freshman Brandon Hackenberg and sophomore Mac Curran.

 

Day Five (Wednesday, June 22) - Traveling to Montreal

 

Evan Finney - Sr. - Goalkeeper

 

We set off on our next journey from Toronto to Montreal. The drive was vastly different from the bustling city and suburban life that we had become accustomed to. Farm land stretched as far as the eye could see as the three vans packed with our team made the five-hour trek to Montreal. During the journey, many of us played games like "21 questions" and "Would you rather" so we could try to pass the time and make the journey feel shorter. About two hours outside the city of Montreal, we stopped at Thousand Islands, an archipelago of 1,800 islands that stretches along the Saint Lawrence River on the border of the U.S. and Canada. We stopped at a small peninsula where we unloaded the vans to stretch our legs and go for a quick dip in the river. We all took in the views of all the islands and the amazing homes that were on them. After swimming for about an hour, we once again packed up the vans and finished our journey onto the French-speaking city of Montreal.

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Brandon Hackenberg - Fr. - Defender

 

When we first were able to see the city, it was incredible even from a great distance away. As we got closer and closer, it just continued to amaze us all. For some of the guys, including myself, it was a new experience listening to conversations in French, and seeing the culture in Montreal. Different, but very interesting is how I would describe it. Once we arrived to the Residence Inn in Montreal, we unloaded the vans, and proceeded to check-in at the hotel. We then hurried to the room, showered, changed, and got ready to take on the city. We were each given money for food, thanks to the amazing and extremely generous alumni of Penn State. We then split up into groups and explored the beautiful city of Montreal. After dinner, we were able to explore for a little longer, but had to get to the hotel at a decent hour to get a good night's sleep in preparation for our match the next day. That brought our first adventures in Montreal to an end, but prepared us for many more to go on.

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 Mac Curran - So. - Forward

We finally arrived in Montreal after a long car ride from Toronto. We were all eager to get out and explore around the city for a place to eat. After we got in our rooms and unpacked we headed down to the lobby for the nightly meeting. Given a 10:30 curfew, Wes Bergevin, Brandon Hackenberg, Dayonn Harris, Pierre Reedy, and myself headed out in search for dinner. As we walked through the busy streets of Montreal we had the idea of renting bikes and riding to a small strip of shops and restaurants that Wes was familiar with. We found a station on the street where you rent a bike for the day. You basically just get a code and drive off to your destination and park your bike in the designated areas. 

We cruised through the down town streets, in awe from the people who have not been here before. Block after block of magnificent city life we took to snapchat to record our ride. Finally, after 20 minutes of pedaling we arrived at the strip. Endless restaurants from all corners of the worlds, we settled down for some Italian right near the water. The service was excellent as they joked around with us since a majority of us did not speak French. The food was superb and we were happily full after a kind day of traveling. 

Right after paying we hurried to stop by a convenience store, which Wes recommended, to grab some ice pops. We jogged back to the bike racks and unlocked our bikes and headed back to the hotel. Once again cruising through the city streets with one hand steering and the other hold the ice, I was content with where I was. We arrived to the hotel just on time. I truly am thankful to all the alumni and donors who made this trip possible, we owe it all to you to make you and Penn state proud. 

Bienvenue a Montréal! 

 


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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Four

 

June 21, 2016
The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The fourth blog of Penn State's day on Tuesday, June 21 was written by freshman Pierre Reedy, senior Mason Klerks and redshirt-freshman Travis Keil.

 

Day Four (Tuesday June 21) - Penn State vs. Vaughn


Pierre Reedy - Fr. - Midfielder

Today was a lighter day as we prepared for our match in the evening. We were also granted the opportunity to tour the KIA training grounds, which is home to the MLS team Toronto FC. It was a great experience touring the facilities and seeing what makes a professional facility so special. They had everything from training rooms to lounge rooms to cafeteria rooms, all second to none. It was interesting being able to compare the facilities to those we have at Penn State and seeing how comparable they were to each other. Attending a school where the soccer side of things so closely resemble that of a professional club is awesome.

Upon arriving back at our hotel many of us went back to our rooms to relax in anticipation of the day's match. We played a PDL team from Vaughn in what proved to be a tougher game than the first, in which we came out with a 1-0 win. I was fortunate enough to score my first collegiate goal for the Blue and White off a ball from Robby Sagel. All the guys continued to keep the intensity up for the remainder of the game to keep the lead and the clean sheet in the end. This leaves us 2-0 in Toronto. With that being said there's a lot we can work on going forward and look to continue to get better as we head to Montreal.

Mason Klerks - Sr. - Midfielder

This morning we ventured to the Kia Training Ground of Toronto FC and were toured around their facilities. Every stop on the way I could not help but compare it with our own facilities and think about how the first team and academy teams of Toronto FC used the inspiring facilities. The facilities at the Kia Training Ground were impeccable and impressed me with the quality and precision in every detail. The facilities included a gym, medical room, conference rooms, locker rooms, classrooms, media rooms, player lounge, cafeteria, and several fields consisting of grass and artificial turf. All the teams of Toronto FC use every facility at the training ground, but the first team has priority of course. The training grounds would definitely be somewhere I would like to train someday.

It was interesting to learn about the system Toronto FC uses at their training grounds. All the teams under the Toronto FC name, from the U-11 academy to their first team, train and play at the same training grounds. The lockers are set up in a progression system, where the younger academy teams' locker rooms are located further away from the first team locker room. I think this system is important for young players to integrate themselves within the club at an early age and put them on the path to the professional level. The older and more developed the players become the closer their locker room is to the first team, enticing players to become better everyday and maybe one day join the first team.  It is also cool for the younger players because they get to interact with the first team on a daily basis.

Travis Keil - R-Fr. - Midfielder

After beating a tough team 1-0 we headed back to the hotel to take quick showers. When everyone was ready we went to Dave & Buster's to watch the USA vs Argentina game. We were greeted by a very generous manager at the door. She led us to our own private party room with plenty of televisions for us to watch the game and also gave us unlimited points for us the play in the arcade. Unfortunately, Argentina was too much for the United States to handle. When the game was over we rushed to the arcade to play as many things as possible before closing time. Reluctantly, we all had to go back to the hotel to get some much needed rest for a long trip to Montreal in the morning. Until next time Toronto! 



VIDEO: Nittany Lions Deliver 2016 Posters

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion football team spent Tuesday interacting with fans around State College distributing the 2016 poster. The team boarded four Blue Buses and spread out in different locations in State College and on the University Park campus.

New this year, the Nittany Lion Club and Penn State Alumni Association chapters hosted free Poster Pick Up Parties in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Each city will have limited edition posters specific to that area.

Beginning Wednesday, June 22, posters will be available in State College at the Penn State All Sports Museum, Penn State Bookstore, Penn State Ticket Offices (BJC and Beaver Stadium) and the State College Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships (Blaise Alexander Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Blaise Alexander Hyundai Mazda). Additionally, the 2016 Penn State Football poster will be available at Weis Markets locations in Camp Hill (1195 Lowther Road) and Harrisburg (5125 Jonestown Road).

Take a look at media remarks from running back Saquon Barkley, linebacker Jake Cooper, wide receiver Chris Godwin during the poster distribution in State College.




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