UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It's a big summer for women's soccer, and the
Nittany Lion women's soccer program will be well represented at the FIFA Women's
World Cup Canada 2015.
In all four Nittany Lion alums and one current player are set to compete on
three different teams in the World Cup, which begins on Saturday. Senior Raquel
Rodriguez will make her debut in the World Cup with Costa Rica, which qualified
for the first time. Former Nittany Lion standouts Alie Krieger (defender) and
Alyssa Naeher (goalkeeper) will play for the United States and Erin McLeod
(goalkeeper) and Carmelina Moscato (defender) will play for Canada.
GoPSUsports.com caught up with head coach Erica Walsh to get her thoughts on
the upcoming World Cup and Penn State's role on women's soccer's grandest
Penn State Participant World Cup
Schedule Group A June 6 - Canada vs. China at 6 p.m. ET (Edmonton)
June 11 - Canada vs. New Zealand at 9 p.m. ET (Edmonton)
June 15 - Canada vs. Netherlands at 7:30 p.m. ET (Montreal)
Group D June 8 - USA vs. Australia at 7:30 p.m. ET (Winnipeg)
June 12 - USA vs. Sweden at 8 p.m. ET (Winnipeg)
June 16 - USA vs. Nigeria at 8 p.m. ET (Vancouver)
Group E June 9 - Costa Rica vs. Spain at 4 p.m. ET (Montreal)
June 13 - Costa Rica vs. Korea Republic at 7 p.m. ET (Montreal)
June 17 - Costa Rica vs. Brazil at 7 p.m. ET (Moncton)
The Round of 16 begins on June 20.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
The basketball program lives by the motto of approaching any type of adversity
with a choice. You can either face challenges with a great attitude or dwell on
them with a negative attitude.
For Chambers, there is no choice because everything he touches has a positive
The atmosphere at Friday's Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament was again proof
Chambers was hired on the day of the CvC golf outing in 2011, and a
sun-splashed Friday provided the backdrop for another fantastic event held at
the Penn State Blue and White Golf Courses. More than 300 golfers took the
courses during morning and afternoon flights of the 19th Annual Tournament.
"This is just an awesome event," Chambers said. "It's the event we look forward
to all year. It's just such a premier event with everyone coming back to
participate and fight for an incredible cause. The community is full in tow
with everything we are doing. Everyone is so dialed in to fight this thing and
raise as much money as we can."
The list of participants included several Penn State head coaches and Athletic
Director Sandy Barbour. Baseball's Rob Cooper, women's lacrosse's Missy
Doherty, men's volleyball's Mark Pavlik, men's hockey's Guy Gadowsky, women's
gymnastics' Jeff Thompson, men's golf's Greg Nye and men's soccer's Bob Warming,
women's soccer's Erica Walsh and field hockey's Char Morett participated in
this year's outing.
Additionally, former Nittany Lion great and current Portland Trail Blazer Tim
Frazier spent time on the course to show his dedication to fight for the cause,
along with five-time NBA champion Ron Harper, who returned to the CvC event for
the second-straight year.
For Chambers, this event has taken on a different meaning in recent years. Chambers
lost his brother, Greg, to lung cancer at age 60 in March of 2014, and the CvC
event has touched him personally.
"I've been involved for a number of years, but this took a whole different
level when I lost my brother a year ago," Chambers said. "And now that Kathy
Drysdale who is in our marketing department and our equipment manager Mitch
Stover are dealing with this disease, it's really starting to hit home. We've
got to continue to do this, and some how some way, we've got to continue to
make this bigger and bigger."
Chambers spent the morning session making the rounds on the golf course saying
hello and greeting the participants before playing golf in the afternoon. Head
football coach James Franklin visited the event prior to the afternoon tee off
to show his support for Chambers and the CvC group.
"It's great to see everyone in the community coming together like this for such
a great cause," Franklin said. "I lost both of my parents to cancer and it
seems like this disease has had an affect on everybody in one way or another.
So it's awesome that the Penn State community comes together to help raise
money and make a positive impact."
Chambers kept the mood light in his five-man group on the golf course. He
thoroughly enjoys his time on the course during the CvC outing, and it's event
that he looks forward to all year long.
But beyond the laughs and lighthearted talk on the course, Chambers is among a
group of many leaders who play an integral role in a battle much bigger than a
win or loss on the court or field of play. A great deal of credit goes out to
former Nittany Lion basketball leaders Bruce Parkhill, Jerry Dunn (both played
golf on Friday) and Ed DeChellis for helping lead the Penn State CvC into what
it has become today.
"This runs like a well-oiled machine right now, so I can't even fathom what
they went through to get this thing off the ground," Chambers said. "The level
that it is at now is unbelievable...To get this thing off the ground the way they
did is pretty amazing. I am going to carry the torch as long as I can to keep
The CvC Golf Tournament is the flagship event of the organization created to
raise funds year-round to support the American Cancer Society affected by the
disease in Centre County through the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund (BCAF). In
addition to the golf tournament, Coaches vs. Cancer conducts a year-round calendar
of seven events.
The golf tournament has more than doubled in size since it began in 1996-'97,
and there could not be a better man with a better attitude continuing to lead
the Penn State CvC fight than Coach Chambers.
With the funds raised last year, CvC is on the brink of $2.5 million raised in
the fight against cancer. While it was a fun day on the golf course, the bigger
fight cannot be stated enough. To get involved as a sponsor or participant in Penn State Coaches vs.
Cancer please visit CVCPENNSTATE.ORG or call 814-330-3337.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
Pa. - Senior team captain Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) and the
Costa Rican Women's National Team is hard at work preparing for the 2015 FIFA
Women's World Cup, its first appearance in the tournament. On May 25, Las Ticas
were defeated, 2-1, by the Mexican Women's National Team in a Mexico City
friendly, with a rematch scheduled May 28. Rodriguez recently updated GoPSUSports.com about the journey she is
on, representing her country at the World Cup, hosted by Canada this summer.
Right now and throughout these past few weeks, we've been trying to get
the rhythm back and the friendlies we've been playing serve that purpose. The
team has been focusing on tactical strategies and practicing those.
It's a little frustrating to have these games so close to the World Cup;
however, there is no time to lose and much work to do. We've only played
against Mexico so far and the games have been vital for us to get us back into
a rhythm and practice what we want to apply at the World Cup.
As a player in Costa Rica, one would wish the environment would be just
like the men's World Cup, but the reality of women soccer in our country is a
different one. The media has been covering basic and general news, but it could
definitely be better. Unfortunately, I don't think our country or the media in
our country realizes the big deal this is, but this is part of what this team
has been dealing with for years. Women's soccer in Costa Rica is improving and
developing, and we recognize change doesn't come from night to morning.
The team has been through tough moments together outside the field
throughout several years now. This has created a family and has bonded our team
for good and makes us fighters in the field. This group has been growing
together and the unity that we have has been a product of that.
When we have free time, we get together and joke around. The different
personalities in the team are so varied and each of them contributes to the fun
times we spend together. It's the little things that keep us together and
loose, and I feel like our bond comes naturally. Additionally, there are two
other players who play at colleges in the States. In the past, we would compare
and contrast the styles and methods between the American and the Costa Rican
and take the best out of both and recognize the not so best.
Overall, we have the mentality that we want to compete instead of just
participating. I'm looking forward to the matches against Colombia.
Las Ticas continue preparation leading up
to the Women's World Cup with a second friendly in Mexico City against the
Mexican Women's National Team on May 28. The team will play a final pre-Women's
World Cup friendly against Columbian Women's National Team on May 31 at Metro
State in Denver, Colo., before beginning the Women's World Cup against Spain on
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Months of
physical preparation boil down to one weekend.
and 15 women from the Penn State track and field squads will push themselves to
the limit as they compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round this Thursday
is the competition track and field athletes prepare for all season with the
goal of a top-12 finish in their respective event to move on to the NCAA
of the competition is part of an advantage first round veterans have.
at a facility that you've been at before where you've had success before, you
know your way around, it really goes a long way with helping you relax, be
confident and comfortable," said head coach John Gondak.
will be just that as 14 of the 26 student-athletes have competed in the NCAA
first round in Jacksonville.
preparation builds off of confidence; a characteristic Gondak and his staff
work to build with each student-athlete throughout the season.
"At the end
of the day, they're the ones that have to do it. They have to believe they're ready,"
doubt, the Nittany Lions are ready.
men's team ranks 15th, contains three top-ranked athletes and seven
returners. Ranked No. 1 in the shot put, Darrell Hill looks for a standout performance
to move on for the second time in his career. Hill won the Big Ten title in the
shot put just two weeks ago.
in the region and Big Ten Champion in the javelin throw, Michael Shuey will
throw for a shot at competing in Oregon. Joining Shuey is redshirt freshman
top-ranked and looking to punch his second ticket to Oregon, Brannon Kidder
will run in the 800-meter. Joining Kidder is fellow Nittany Lion Robert Rhodes.
Creese is ready for a comeback performance after redshirting last spring.
Entering the competition, the senior ranks No. 1 in the 1,500-meter run.
women's side, 15 Nittany Lions are set to compete, including seven veterans representing
Penn State in 12 events.
recently breaking the Penn State school record with a silver medal throw (56-0)
in the shot put at the Big Ten Championships; Rachel Fatherly enters the
competition ranked No. 4. Joining Fatherly in the shot put competition are Alyssa
Robinson and Obeng Marfo.
competing in the field, Lexi Masterson will compete in the women's pole vault;
Danielle Gibson will take on the long jump and triple jump.
notching a silver medal at the Big Ten Championships, Tori Gerlach will represent
the Blue and White in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run. Elizabeth Chikotas will make her
first round debut in the 5,000-meter as a
Dynasty McGee and Tichina Rhodes will compete in the 400-meter dash and the
NCAA Preliminary will begin on Thursday, May 28 and conclude on Saturday, May
30. Follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC for live updates.
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - After more than 1,300 miles
on the road, the 2015 Penn State Coaches Caravan drew to a close on Thursday
evening inside Wilkes-Barre's F.M. Kirby Center before a crowd of 300
enthusiastic Penn State fans.
More than 2,500 fans attended the 12 stops during the month of May. The
Caravan spanned across eight locations in Pennsylvania, in addition to
Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York City and New Jersey. In all, five
different head coaches and eight football assistant coaches joined head coach
James Franklin during at least one stop since the Coaches Caravan began on May
3 in Harrisburg.
"The most important thing about the Caravan, in my opinion, is to say thank you
to everyone," Franklin said. "Going out into these communities around the
state, in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and D.C., and taking time to thank you
and let you know how much we truly appreciate the support, the commitment and
the passion you have for our great University and for our athletic programs is
The final two stops of the tour visited two areas full of Penn State followers.
Thursday's lunch stop took place in front of nearly 250 fans in the Lehigh
Valley (Breinigsville) before the final evening reception inside the historic
F.M. Kirby Center, which was built in 1938 downtown Wilkes-Barre.
The coaching lineup for day six of the Coaches Caravan featured Franklin, Russ
Rose and Cael Sanderson. A visit to a restaurant appropriately named
"Franklin's" in Wilkes-Barre, an appearance from the Nittany Lion on the bus
and more stand-up comedy from Sanderson headlined the final day's festivities
on the road.
The Wilkes-Barre stop marked the final Caravan event for Roger Williams,
executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association, who is set to retire
on June 30. Williams, who as served as executive director for 12 years, has
been an integral part of the Coaches Caravan programs since its inception in
the spring of 2012. Williams has been a superb lead off man for all 59 Caravan
stops during the last four years and his enthusiastic "We Are" chants and
incredible passion will be missed. Rose asked the fans in Wilkes-Barre to give
Williams a standing ovation for his final stop on the Caravan.
A big thank you goes out to the more than 2,500 loyal Penn State fans and alums
that made the Coaches Caravan a resounding success for the fourth-straight
spring. Like each of coaches said at one point or another during the two weeks
on the road, the support Penn State Athletics received is truly unrivaled, and
it's because of people like those who spent time attending stops on the
And again, a big tip of the cap goes out to Fullington Trailways ace driver
Gottfried Fodor, who did a superb job behind the wheel of the Caravan bus for
the fourth-straight year. Since the inception of the Caravan in 2012, Fodor has
wheeled the coaches and staff members across 6,937 miles through eight states
and the District of Columbia.
We look forward to seeing the fans back on the road in 2016. Take a look
through some photo highlights from the final two stops on Thursday.
Stop No. 11 - Lehigh Valley (Holiday Inn
Allentown - I-78) Video: Lehigh Valley Press Conference
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior team captain Raquel Rodriguez recently returned to
her native Costa Rica to train with the Women's National Team in preparation
for Las Ticas' first FIFA Women's World Cup appearance after a historic
second-place finish at the 2014 Women's CONCACAF Tournament. GoPSUSports.com
recently caught up with the reigning Big Ten Midfielder of the Year about her
experience preparing for the international tournament, hosted by Canada this
Since I finished all of my finals, I've been with the
national team. We started training last week and will continue to do so this
week. Staying together, getting the rhythm back again and bringing back our
chemistry are what we're focusing on.
We will be playing a few friendlies against Mexico and Columbia
before the tournament to prepare. The games will be vital for this and, of
course, to apply what we've been training. All training is soccer specific so
skills and real game application is always present in our trainings.
I think our national team coaching staff does a great. I do
share soccer things I've learned at Penn State, such as communicating in the
field by giving instruction. Our coach has been trying to balance the time
we spend together during these two weeks because in the next month or so, we
will be together 24/7. However, we will go to the movies tomorrow night. I
think this group doesn't need bonding-specific activities to unify; we already
enjoy each other's company a lot.
After CONCACAF, we have raised our standards and we won't
settle for anything less than what we've shown we can do. Our mindset has
changed and we already decided we will go and compete and stay together like we
did in CONCACAF and respect each other. The expectations are also higher
than they've been in the past. The idea is to always improve and progress. I
expect a good performance from our team, a confident and smart team
Las Ticas play the Mexican Women's National Team on May 25
and 28 in Mexico City and the Columbian Women's National Team on May 31 at
Metro State in Denver, Colo. The team opens the Women's World Cup against Spain
on June 9.
NEW YORK - The Coaches Caravan paid its annual visits to New York City
and New Jersey on day two of the second leg on Wednesday.
After two great events in the Philadelphia area, the bus traveled north to
Midtown Manhattan for a stop inside the Edison Ballroom. Take a look through
highlights from the first two stops of the six-event second week of the Coaches
Stop No. 9 - New York City (Edison
For the second time in three years on the Caravan, Edison Ballroom on 47th
Street in Midtown played host to the Coaches Caravan stop in New York. It's
always special when the Nittany Lion contingent pays a visit to the Big Apple,
and with a superb lineup of coaches again on Wednesday - Patrick Chambers,
James Franklin, Russ Rose and Cael Sanderson - Wednesday's lunch was terrific.
On the heels of the thrilling Pinstripe Bowl victory in December, the folks in
the room gave a rousing cheer when Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour opened
the speeches by talking about the special night in Yankee Stadium.
With more than 32,000 alums in the metro area, it's shaping up to be a big year
ahead for Penn State Athletics and New York City. Chambers and the Nittany Lion
basketball team are slated to meet Michigan in a unique doubleheader at Madison
Square Garden. On January 30, 2016, the Nittany Lions will take on the
Wolverines on the hardwood and ice.
"We love coming to New York, and we hope everyone in this room makes MSG like
Yankee Stadium was during the Pinstripe Bowl," Chambers said.
In addition to the hoops and hockey games in MSG, the 2016 NCAA Wrestling
Championships are set to take place in The Garden from May 17-19. It will mark
the first time that the championships will take place in Manhattan, and
Sanderson is looking forward to a strong Penn State contingent cheering on the
Blue and White.
"That's something we are really excited about. When we saw that, we were very
excited about that," Sanderson said. "We are going to have a solid team, so we
are excited to come back."
New York is a place Coach Rose always loves visiting. It's a place he has spent
a great deal of time at, and on Wednesday he shared a great tale of a trip to
Manhattan with legendary head coach Joe Paterno. Rose said the last time he was
in town for a big sporting event was when the Nittany Lion basketball team captured
the 2009 NIT title. He traveled to the game in Manhattan with Coach Paterno and
shared about the time the two walked the streets of Midtown on the way to the
game, with Coach Paterno stopping for a hot dog while mingling with folks on
the streets of NYC.
Much of Wednesday's program felt like a comedy act, especially from Sanderson,
whose one-liners had the room roaring during his 12-minute speech. Chambers
also took some time to share a few things he has learned on the bus during the
trip. The list included that he has learned what wrestlers wear for matches are
not known as "tights", rather they are called singlets and that he was nine
when Coach Rose began his tenure at Penn State in 1979.
The quartet of coaches is a tremendous group of ambassadors for the athletic
program, and they are all individuals who love to have fun. Their personalities
feed off of one another, and the New York crowd was treated to an event filled
with laughter and insight as to why Penn State is in great hands with the current
VIDEO: New York City Press Conference
Stop No. 10 - New Jersey (Hilton Hotel
For the first time in the Caravan's four-year history, an evening reception was
held in New Jersey on Wednesday. In previous years, the Caravan visited the
Garden State and the host of Penn State alums during lunch stops.
Much like New York, Coach Chambers triggered the crowd with an opening speech that
had the room roaring with approval. He called the Nittany Lion up on to the
stage to help lead a series of cheers to get the crowd engaged and then had the Lion knock out some
Wednesday night marked the final stop for Chambers during his stint on the
Caravan this year. The leader of Nittany Lion Basketball has been part of the
events since the idea began in 2012. He is a tremendous speaker in a public
setting, and Chambers is a superbly passionate individual about his role as an
ambassador and leader for not only men's basketball, but Penn State in general.
No one has more respect for what he has accomplished at Penn State than Coach
Rose. He has led the Nittany Lions to seven national titles, including six of
the last eight years. A big piece to the volleyball team's success has been the
talent Rose has recruited out of New Jersey, including Ridgewood, New Jersey,
native and All-American Ariel Scott.
"New Jersey has been very good to the Penn State volleyball team during the
time I have been in Happy Valley," said Rose.
Sanderson followed Rose with another stand-up act with jokes about everyone on
stage. The rooms tend to laugh from start to finish during Sanderson's speeches, and he
rarely refers to his notes. As fierce of a competitor as college sports has
ever seen, Sanderson is equally as personable when he gets in front of a crowd.
That's in large part due to his love for the fan base.
"The thing that inspires me is when we get out on the road and you hear the
passion for the University and the programs we coach," Sanderson said. "That's
what makes Penn State a special place. You just see the support everywhere you
Speaking of passion, Franklin wrapped up the evening's speakers with a speech
that left everyone in the room excited for the seasons ahead. The foundation is
in place for the football program Franklin envisioned when he took the job 16
He's said from stop one on the Caravan, but it rings true every time he
addresses a crowd, "I'm more excited about the future for Penn State Football
today than I was when I got the job. Why is that? Because I believe in Penn State."
The 2015 Coaches Caravan will conclude on Thursday with stops in the Lehigh
Valley and Wilkes-Barre.
Coaches Caravan Miles Traveled:
Day 1 - 129 miles Day II - 142 miles
Day III - 444 miles
Day IV - 220 miles
Day V - 107 miles
Caravan Total - 1,042 miles
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Michael Shuey, GoPSUsports.com Student-Athlete
Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - This past weekend we traveled to the Big Ten Championships in East Lansing, Michigan.
The weather for all three days was somewhat cloudy and around 70 degrees. Safe
to say that this year's weather at the Big Ten meet was far better than the
last time Michigan State hosted it when it snowed.
Day one of the championships started off with men's hammer throw where redshirt
freshman Kory Decesaris had a huge 11-foot PR with his throw of 198-5. This
mark moved him toNo. 6 all-time at Penn State. Also with a PR in
the hammer, was Justin Berg with a mark of 185-5. The women's hammer throw had
their share of PRs for Penn State with Rachel Fatherly placing eighth with a
throw of 191-9. Wrapping up day one was the 10k with Glen Burkhardt and Matt
Fischer. Burkhardt finished fourth in his first outdoor Big Tens and Fischer placed
Day two started off with an exciting finish of the women's heptathlon by Tal
Ben-Artzi with a fifth place finish by scoring 4,937. On the track Tichina
Rhodes had a huge PR in the 400-meter dash by running 53.65, which moved her in
to finals along with Dynasty McGee. In the women's discus, Obeng Marfo threw a
15-foot PR, 170-1, which placed her sixth. Finishing day two was the women's
3000 meter steeplechase with Tori Gerlach capturing a second place finish with
a time of 10:13.33.
Day three started off with the first champion on the men's side with Darrel
Hill defending his title by throwing the shot put 66-3.25. On the women's side
Dannielle Gibson placed third in the women's triple jump with a jump of 42-3.5.
On the track, Sancho Barret posted a fifth-place finish in the 110-meter
hurdles with a time of 13.71, followed by the finish of the 400-meter dash
where Dynasty McGee was third with a time of 53.59. The second champion was
Brannon Kidder in the men's 800-meter run with a time of 1:47.56. In the field
action, Rachel Fatherly finished second in the shot put with a school record
mark of 56-3.25 and Obeng Marfo placed fourth with a personal-best throw of
52-6. In the men's javelin, I won the title with a throw of 236-8 and my teammate
Ryan Kerr finished third with a throw of 229-2. The 5,000-meter race finished
with Glen Burkhardt capturing his second fourth-place finish of the
Neither the men's or women's side came out of the championships with a
team win, but at the end of the day we had strong performances all over the
board and showed great Penn State pride throughout the three days of