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VIDEO: Postgame Players - Maryland

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Nittany Lions Mike Gesicki, Koa Farmer, Brandon Smith, Trace McSorley, Evan Schwan, Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders recap the Maryland win in Beaver Stadium Saturday.

VIDEO: Postgame James Franklin - Maryland

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin recaps the Nittany Lion 38-14 victory against Maryland on Homecoming at Beaver Stadium. 

Freshman Feature: Folkes, From Ontario to Hockey Valley

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By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer

 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Growing up in Scarborough, Ontario, freshman forward Liam Folkes and his twin brother Tre split their time between playing hockey and running track and field. The duo had been skating since they were three years old but didn't start organized hockey until they were seven. 

Folkes' father, Carl, competed for Team Canada in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He competed in the 4 x 400 meter relay.

The 5-foot-8-inch center explained that his father had a significant influence on his athletic career, both inspiring him to play the sports that he did and by giving him advice when it came to training.

"The work ethic and the commitment you have to put in for both sports is similar," Folkes said. "I think cardio, of course, but in hockey it's a bit different because you can glide, in running if you stop your feet you're obviously not moving."

In high school however, playing two sports became too difficult and the Folkes brothers had to decide which sport to dedicate their time to. They both chose hockey. 

Folkes liked the team aspect of hockey, and credits the camaraderie as being a big influence on picking the sport.

"In running you're pretty much running against yourself and it's all timed and you have to be very focused and I didn't really like that," Folkes said. "I enjoyed being part of a team."

Both Liam and Tre played on the same teams growing up, most recently spending the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons playing for the Brockville Braves of the Central Canada Hockey League. 

This season, Tre is playing for the Smith Falls Bears of the Central Canada Hockey League. Smith Falls, Ontario is more than a six hour drive from State College, making this the farthest the brothers have even been from one another.

Folkes explained that although it's unusual being this far from family, he speaks with his brother every day, and emphasized how important his family has been during both of their journeys through the sport. 

On the ice for Penn State Folkes wears the No. 26, because his birthday is on Feb. 26.  Wearing that number hasn't always been the case. Prior to playing Junior hockey, he wore No. 48 because his favorite player was Daniel Briere. 

Folkes has already started to make his own mark on Penn State Hockey. During Thursday night's contest against St. Lawrence, Folkes was vital in reading the play the led to a David Thompson goal. Folkes, who heard Thompson tapping his stick in anticipation of the puck, passed and was credited the assist on the goal, which gave the Lions a 2-1 lead in the first period.

"Folkes is a right-hander and for a lefty to make that play would have been a lot easier," head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "He actually had to pull up and look. His vision was excellent. That's a tough play for a righty to see and he saw it and made a great play, good finish. That was a hockey player's play right there."


By: Jeff Smith,
- Five coaches from various parts of the world made the trip to Happy Valley this past week to work with the Penn State track and field coaching staff and student-athletes as a part of the ninth edition of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP).

The Nittany Lion track and field program hosted a group of coaches from the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP) this past week. Throughout the week, the coaches were given the opportunity to be a part of the daily goings on in a major Division I track and field program, including campus and facility tours, round table discussions, and observation of practice sessions with the Penn State track and field coaching staff and Nittany Lion athletes. The ICECP program is run domestically through the University of Delaware, in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Penn State track and field head coach John Gondak and his coaching staff hosted Boikie Gama a mid-distance/distance coach from South Africa, Justice Dipeba a sprints coach from Botswana, Makelesi Batimala a sprints coach from Fiji, Francis Manioru a sprints coach from Solomon Islands and Francisco Antonio Castellanos Garcia a sprints/hurdle coach from Guatemala for a week of experiences while sharing with them the track and field facilities, workout routines, coaching strategies, and sport science techniques. 

For Boikie Gama, this trip is an experience of a lifetime. "I dream track and field; I want to spend the final years of my life coaching track. It's all I want to do when I retire." Back in South Africa, Gama is the Ehlanzeni coordinator for cross-country as well as a computer application and technology teacher at EJ Singwane Secondary School in Pienaar. He lives in Msogwaba with his wife, Phumzile, two children Wendy and Siyabonga and his adopted daughter, Emmarancia. "I cannot wait to take the invaluable knowledge I learned here at (Penn State University) back home.  I have seen many athletes, whom I have coached, travel overseas but this is the first time I have made a trip myself. I hope we will be able to produce more international athletes in the years to come," Gama said.

The mission of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program is to provide national level coaches and those responsible for the development of the sport's national coaching structures in developing countries with a practical program orientated towards developing proficiency in the technical, theoretical, conceptual, managerial and ethical aspects of coaching basketball at all levels of competition. 

"I'm very thankful to the ICECP for continuing to give Penn State the opportunity to host these coaches; it's a week we look forward to every year.  I enjoy sharing our program and facilities with our visitors from overseas," said Gondak.

The six week program consists of two weeks of classroom sessions at the University of Delaware on subjects related to coaching methods, theory and management and sport sciences. One part is a week long apprenticeship with an NCAA Division I men's and/or women's track & field program that allows for a participant to shadow, observe and interact with the coaching staff of that program. Then the coaches travel to the USOC Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. for the penultimate part of the program. The fourth and final module will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland in April 2017. All told, the project spans a full academic year. The coaches will maintain a journal log on the experience and develop and implement a project when he returns to his home country. 

The apprenticeship is designed so that the participant gets an in-depth sport specific experience that enables the coach to develop their coaching skills, while also acquiring information that can be shared upon returning to their native country to grow the sport in the country. 

Penn State University has hosted international coaches as part of the ICECP program dating back to the fall of 2007. For more on the ICECP program, log on to

Frantti Embracing Growth to Find Success

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By Anita Nham, Student Staff Writer 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - "If I could tell my seventh grade self that I was going to go to Penn State, I would have said I was joking," junior Ali Frantti said.

Frantti wrote an email to head coach Russ Rose when she was in seventh grade because she watched Penn State volleyball all her life and it was her dream to become a Nittany Lion. Though coach Rose never actually saw the email, her wish to come to Penn State eventually came true.

The Spring Grove, Illinois native graduated high school early, practiced hard and made her way into the Blue and White starting lineup her freshman year. Her rookie season was one she will also never forget.

She helped Penn State win the 2014 National Championship, was named the AVCA DI National Freshman of the Year and the AVCA All-Northeast Region Freshman of the Year, earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors three times, and led the team with 3.20 kills per set on .310 hitting.

"Coming off of freshman year, I wasn't expecting any of that," Frantti said. "Winning National Freshman of the Year was a surreal moment for me. I take great honor in that and people recognize that because I know there were many, many candidates that could have won that, for sure. I definitely am very honored that I could be National Freshman of the Year in 2014."

However, when someone wins such a big title, there's always going to be some type of pressure from it afterwards, especially when you're a six-rotation player, someone that receives serves, makes passes and leads the offense.

"Being a six rotation player, you always have to be focused and queued in on players and servers," Frantti said. "As an outside hitter, especially, we do a two-passer still. A majority of the balls are going to be served to me, so for every play, I'm doing something. It's always crucial to stay focus and have a good mindset the whole time."

There were high expectations for Frantti for her sophomore year. She was aware of that and setup goals for herself, but when she wasn't doing as well as she was in her first year, the stress got to her. At the end of the season, but she tied for third on the team with 2.63 kills per set, totaling 303 kills for the year, and finished fourth on the team with 1.83 digs per set.

"Winning National Freshman of the Year kind of leaves an expectation for you to maintain," Frantti said. "I wouldn't say all the eyes are on you, but it's an expectation to carry a great performance all the time. I think sophomore year, I definitely felt the pressure because that wasn't the best year I wanted to have. It was kind of a struggle, but I found some good in it."

During the times she was struggling on the court, Frantti used her faith to carry herself through the good and bad days and put perspective into her life.

"My faith played a huge role in my development as a person," Frantti said. "It's easy to get caught up with school and sports but without my faith, I would feel empty inside."

This season, there were a variety of questions about whether or not Frantti would play like her freshman year-self or her sophomore year-self, but in actuality, she's neither - she's a new Ali Frantti on the court. Frantti realized that there are only a number of matches left in her collegiate career, so she needs to make the most of all of them. 

"This year, I have been making a conscious effort to get away from [the pressure]," Frantti said. "I keep it simple now and I don't really think too much of things. Honestly, I just got back to having fun, and that's the most important thing - that's why I play volleyball. That's what I learned last year and coming to this year, it's been a grind, but I enjoy every day. I've definitely grown a lot since last year."

Coming into the season with a younger team, there were a lot of question marks about how Penn State would perform, especially in the early part of the season. However, the Nittany Lions' chemistry and volleyball IQ has grown so much that they've won 11-straight matches. This wouldn't have been accomplished without veteran Frantti.

In a critical matchup against then-No. 18 Michigan State, Frantti led the offense for the first time all season, recording 11 kills on a .391 hitting clip, while also posting a team-high six digs. She also recorded a season-high 13 kills in the match in the win against top-ranked Minnesota the following week. 

"Ali did phenomenal in that match against Michigan," junior Haleigh Washington said. "She had a lot of veteran plays, she's seeing the court very well and she was hitting shots that were very mature for her game that only an experienced player would think to hit. High, deep, in the corners. She was tipping really well and her attack in the back row was awesome. 

Washington has been by Frantti's side throughout their entire time at Penn State, whether that be teammates on the court or roommates off the court. Either way, Washington has certainly seen Frantti grow in the past three years.

"Frantti has improved because she's a ranged hitter," Washington said. "Our freshmen year, she would hit a lot of 4-to-4 and a lot across, so that was her go-to shot. It was hitting that deep, almost to the libero, but now she has a deep corner shot, a down-the-line shot and others. Her serve is more versatile, her block has improved. She's become a better all-around player and her passing since freshmen year has made her one of our primary passers in our offense. She's a key part of why we are as successful as we can be and are."

Though Frantti has certainly gained experience in her communication skills, leadership abilities and volleyball IQ, she still hopes to learn more this season.

"In all aspects of the game, I definitely want to improve," Frantti said. "I feel like I'm getting my hitting back, which is great. I have a great connection with the setter, junior Abby Detering, right now. I think it's being physically aggressive through the whole season. I just want to maintain that level. It's a long season and you have to stay healthy, maintain physicality and be strong every game."

This junior outside hitter loves Mexican food, burgers, relaxing and Penn State volleyball. Even with some struggles and challenges in her career, Frantti's using that experience to improve her game and help her teammates. And she wouldn't want to be anywhere else doing it.

"To know that I'm here now, and to be part of this legacy and tradition, it's such a humbling experience. Girls dream about coming here, and I am so privileged to be part of this. I don't take it for granted at all. The opportunities that I am given to represent this great school, it's a huge honor. I couldn't picture myself going somewhere else...It's crazy how dreams work and if you put in the hard work, anything is possible. It's like a dream come true to be here."


By Tom Shively, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- After a hard fought series at then-No. 5 Clarkson last weekend, the Nittany Lions continue their season-opening road trip at Union this weekend.After a hard fought series at then-No. 5 Clarkson last weekend, the Nittany Lions continue their season-opening road trip at Union this weekend.

"Friday we competed hard," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "Saturday was even better so it's all about that foundation moving forward. Our focus is on us. It was the same last weekend and it's the same this weekend."

Freshman Brooke Madsen scored her first goal as a Nittany Lion in the loss on Saturday on assists by Kelley Seward and Bella Sutton.

"I was pretty pumped, showing that the hard work finally paid off," said Madsen. "There's still plenty more to do, but it was nice to get one in the first weekend."

Madsen also praised the team's growth and chemistry. 

"I think new lines and new D-pairs, we definitely worked well together," said Madsen. "We just have to build from there."

"Clarkson, they're ranked No. 4," said defenseman Kelsey Crow, who netted a goal in the first game of the series. "They made it to the Frozen Four last year, but we're a really competitive team. For us to come out there and be neck and neck with them and even with them, it kind of just shows that this is where we are and we can go be better this season."

Brandwene preached staying the course through the coming weeks, stressing the importance of focusing on playing Penn State's brand of hockey.

"Our job is to take care of our game plan, play our style of hockey," said Brandwene. "The results will take care of themselves." 

The Nittany Lions also emphasized the importance of grabbing control of games after falling behind early in both games at Clarkson.

"Establishing momentum is always an important thing," said Brandwene. "Certainly an early strike gives you that momentum, but there are many other ways to create momentum in addition to that. Solid possession, a big shot block, a good back check, all of the little things add up to momentum." 

"I think that's going to be our theme this year, generating offense," said Crow. "What we need to work on is for every single person to get in on that goal, including defense with where we step up and how we get shots near the net for our forwards."

The Nittany Lions have notched a power play goal in every game this year and there is still room for improvement. 

"I still think the power play still needs some work," said Madsen. "Definitely getting pucks in like I said before, but it'll get there. This weekend will be a really good test for us."

Puck drop at Union is set for 6:00 p.m. Friday and 3:00 p.m. Saturday as the Nittany Lions look to get into the win column.

Penn State Starts Season Strong

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By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's ice hockey (1-0) defeated No. 16 St. Lawrence (0-1), 4-2 Thursday night at Pegula Ice Arena. The victory against the Saints comes in the Lion's opening contest of the season. 

Penn State went down early as Drew Smolcynski bested freshman goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorn, Pa.), 7:51 into the first period, and the first start of Jones' career. Just over two minutes later Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alb.) found the back of the net, with assists from debutant Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) and senior David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.). 

Richard, who had suffered some injuries last year, was pleased with his goal.

"I thought it was nice, it's been a long time coming for me," Richard said. 

The Lions weren't done lighting the lamp, as a shot from senior David Thompson (Glen Mills, Pa.) made it past Saints goaltender Kyle Hayton at the 13:21 mark. Assists on Thompson's goal came from two freshman, Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) and Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.). The first period ended 2-1 in favor of the Lions, with three freshman having found their way onto the score sheet, tallying the first points of their young careers.

The second period was dominated by two Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Mn.) penalties, tripping at 14:36, and roughing at 17:08. Sturtz scored a shorthanded goal while Pedrie was serving his first two minute penalty, off of a rebound from a Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) shot. The second assist on Sturtz's shorthanded goal came from junior blue liner Eric Autio (Espoo, Finland).

"I was really happy with the composure of Peyton Jones," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "When they had us on our heels a little bit I thought he looked extremely composed." 

Gadowsky said that the Thor hammer, given to the player who made an impact during the game, was given to Jones after the game. 

Late in the third period St. Lawrence pulled Hayton for a sixth skater. Freshman Blake Gober (Colleyville, Tx.) took advantage of the empty net, sliding home the Lions' fourth and final goal of the night, assisted by Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mi.).

The fans in attendance, in particular those in the Roar Zone, were in a frenzy as the final 13 seconds ticked off the clock.

The Nittany Lions had defeated a ranked opponent, at home, in their first game of the season. A freshman goaltender claimed his first victory in a Lions sweater, and four freshmen contributed positively on the score sheet, notching the first points of their careers.  

"Obviously it was great to get the NCAA games going again," Gadowsky said. "It was a great atmosphere, I thought that we played actually a pretty sound game for the first two periods and then I think St. Lawrence picked it up a notch in the third." 

The Nittany Lions are back at it again Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena, once again facing the St. Lawrence Saints.

2016 Gameday - Penn State Hosts Maryland on Homecoming

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football remains home for the second consecutive week, hosting Maryland on Homecoming at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

The Nittany Lions (3-2, 1-1 East) and the Terrapins (4-0, 1-0 East) are set to meet at noon on the Big Ten Network, marking the third consecutive season the two teams have met as members of the Big Ten Conference.

Last week, freshman wide receiver Irvin Charles sparked the Nittany Lions' second-half comeback against Minnesota with an 80-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Charles joined both Saquon Barkley and Mark Allen to complete a trio of Nittany Lions who all registered their first collegiate touchdown on their first career catch.

The 80-yard pass was also a career long for Nittany Lion quarterback Trace McSorley, who led the team with 408 yards of total offense against the Golden Gophers with 335 passing yards and a team-high 74 yards on the ground to mark the third-highest total in program history. McSorley enters Saturday's matchup leading the league with 1,284 passing yards on the year.

Defensively, Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week Marcus Allen reached his fourth straight game with at least seven tackles, doubling his 2016 average in a single game with a team-high 22 tackles against Minnesota, the most for a Nittany Lion since Paul Posluszny had 22 stops at Northwestern in 2005. 

Penn State place kicker Tyler Davis also kicked his way into the Nittany Lion record books, converting on his 17th consecutive field goal to clinch overtime against Minnesota. His streak of 17 straight field goals stands atop the Nittany Lion record book, having previously been held by Sam Ficken, who made 15 in a row. The 17-straight makes are also tied for fourth in Big Ten history.

Led by first year head coach DJ Durkin, Maryland enters Saturday's matchup undefeated, having won its first four straight for the first time since 2013. Averaging 43.3 points per game, the Terps topped Howard (52-13), Florida International (41-14) and UCF (30-24, 2OT) top complete a perfect non-conference slate before downing Purdue, 50-7, in last week's Big Ten opener. Maryland's 173 points on the year are the most in program history through four games.   

The series between Penn State and Maryland dates back to 1917, with the Nittany Lions owning a 35-2-1 advantage, including a 21-1 record at home. The two teams met consistently from 1960-75 and again between 1984-93 before Penn State and Maryland renewed the series in 2014. Aligned together in the Big Ten East Division, each of the two most recent matchups have been closely contested.

"The last two games between Penn State and Maryland have been decided by just one point, so we know it's going to be a hard fought battle," cornerback Grant Haley said.


What to Watch for: Penn State

1. Running back Saquon Barkley was the star of the show last week, highlighted by his 25-yard game-winning run to secure the overtime victory in favor of the Nittany Lions. Barkley's game-winner came on his 20th carry of the game though, as he has proved all season that no matter the challenge, he'll find a way to execute. Earlier this week, Barkley noted that the 2015 matchup against the Terps gave him his first experience with adversity.

"Last year, Maryland did a really good job with their run defense and I just wasn't used to it so I started getting frustrated and I was really upset about it. I think that's where I grew as a player from last year to this year. Not everything has gone my way this year, but as a team I just really want to win games."

2. As has been the trend every week, a new Nittany Lions emerges to shine from the wide receiver group. Junior Chris Godwin has proved to be a consistent option when it comes to long-yardage plays though, with at least one catch in each of the last 19 consecutive games. Three of his four receptions against Minnesota last week were for at at least 20 yards, including a 36-yarder in the third quarter to put Penn State in field goal range to tie the game.

3.  As has been mentioned throughout the season, Penn State head coach James Franklin has the Nittany Lions focused on getting out to a fast start to set an early tone of consistency that begins with the opening drive. Franklin has also tweaked practice schedule to reflect a quicker pace.

"Starting out practice faster, starting out practice more competitive rather than going through, we're going to come right out from the beginning," Franklin said. "I think the emphasis that we are putting on it and the changes that we are using, we are only going to go from there." 

Penn State will need to be especially diligent in opening strong this week as Maryland comes to Beaver Stadium having outscored its 2016 opponents 105-14 in the first half. That's not all bad news for the Nittany Lions though, as they currently own an 85-62 margin against opponents in the second half. 

What to Watch for: Maryland

1. The Terps enter Saturday's matchup ranked seventh nationally and second in the conference in rushing offense, averaging 300 rushing yards per game. Paced by leading rusher Ty Johnson, Maryland possesses the ability to rotate in multiple ball carries, who have all proven their ability to contribute throughout the year. Johnson is leading the team with 83.2 rushing yards per game with three touchdowns and is coming off of a career-high 204-yard rushing performance against Purdue. Lorenzo Harrison is close behind with 71.5 yards per game. Having scored one rushing touchdown in all four games this season, Harrison's rushing touchdowns rank seventh in the Big Ten standings. 

2. Defensive back William Likely has returned for his final season with the Terps, having established himself as one of the most dynamic players in the Big Ten Conference. The two-time All-Big Ten selection logged a career-high 14 tackles in the double overtime win against UCF and ranks tied for second on the team with 28 total tackles on the year. Likely is also ranked seventh in the Big Ten standings in solo tackles averaging 5.0 per game on the year. 

3. Maryland's defensive line has proven its ability to reach the opposing quarterback, led by defensive lineman Jesse Aniebonam, who currently ranks second in the Big Ten standings with 1.0 sacks per game and third in the conference and 10th in the FBS standings with 1.8 tackles for loss. Maryland registered a season-high six sacks against Purdue to position the Terps at second in the Big Ten standings and 15th nationally with 3.5 sacks per game on they year.

The Final Word:
Saturday's Maryland matchup marks Penn State's 10th different Homecoming opponent in program history. The Nittany Lions own a 68-22-5 record all-time when playing in front of Penn State proud alumni. In the most recent Homecoming outing, Penn State topped Indiana, 29-7.

Penn State also has 12 Nittany Lions on the roster who call the state of Maryland home including: S Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro), RB Mark Allen (Hyattsville), LB Cam Brown (Burtonsville), WR Dae'Lun Darien (Baltimore), CB Desi Davis (Ardmore), C/G Brian Gaia (Pasadena), TE Jonathan Holland (Brandywine), DT Ellison Jordan (Upper Marlboro), WR Josh McPhearson (Columbia), CB Zech McPhearson (Columbia), S Ayron Monroe (Largo) and DE Shane Simmons (Laurel).

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By Alyssa Palfey, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite being a Penn State newcomer, freshman Kathryn Munks of Chester, NY has proven herself to be a crucial asset in the Nittany Lions line up this season.

Munks attended Monroe-Woodbury high school where she was a lead runner for her team. She was a 4xmile school and section record holder, and was team cross country and track captain.

"The switch from high school competition to college competition has been an interesting transition. For my last two years in high school, I was working out on my own and I was the leader that the team looked up to," said Munks. "In college, I have a whole team of girls that push me not only in workouts but also in races and they set a high standard for the team."

The switch from high school to college can be a tough transition, especially when it comes to sports. Head coach Gondak explained the hardest adjustment for the athletes.

"The biggest adjustment for freshmen when they get to college is that they are used to being the very best in high school," said Gondak. "They are always used to being at the front of the pack and winning races, or if not winning, being in contention for it. Now, for some it's hard to dig down and give it your all when you're in 60th place and you're used to being in first or second from your high school races, and that becomes somewhat of an adjustment."

Munks has noted the competition shift and is aware of the changes she needs to make when competing collegiately.

"The competition from other college teams are much more competitive than in high school. In high school, being top ten or fifteen was pretty good but in college that changes because of how talented the field is," said Munks.

 "The toughest part has been trying to get myself into the mindset of a collegiate runner, sometimes my mind reverts back to the competitors and the training of high school," she added.  "I was considered a student of the game in high school, and I'm trying to repeat that in college. This includes being aware of other big ten schools and just knowing who the competitors are and how to efficiently race against them."

Munks has been a top finisher on the team this year, earning points for the team in big meets. In the Nittany Lions last meet, the Griak Invitational, which is one of the largest meets in the country, she placed 62th overall and fifth on the team. This placement helped earn them a third place team finish. 

"Munks was our fifth runner at the meet, the last point score for us, and was a pivotal reason as to why we were able to get third place as a team," said Gondak.

 As the season continues, Munks is looking to improve and continue her season past just the regular season meets. She is also hoping to help her team improve upon their national ranking.  

"It feels very weird that the season is halfway done," said Munks. "It feels like just yesterday that the season was starting. Looking ahead, my goals are to improve my time on our home course and to stay top five on our team.  As a freshman, making the meets in the championship part of the season would be amazing and a huge confidence booster. I also want our team to climb higher in the rankings."

Munks has gotten to where she is now by the motivation and hard work that her team members contribute to practice every day. 

"The girls on this team are incredible," said Munks. "They are kind and nurturing yet they are not afraid to push the freshman and tell us if we are doing something wrong."  

"The leaders on this team have definitely inspired me to be the best runner that I can be and they give the team motivation.  It is great getting to run with such a talented field of girls that always strive to be the best that they can be, and this pushes me to do the same."  

Offense Stands Strong To Stay Unbeaten At Home

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By Mandy Bell, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK - The Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 2-0 Thursday afternoon, but it did not come easily. 

The Nittany Lions had 19 shots on goal against Ohio State goalkeeper Liz Tamburro in Thursday's matchup. Tamburro only allowed two shots by Moira Putsch and Shay Cannon to sneak into the back of the cage, as she recorded 17 saves on the day.

"I thought Ohio State really came to play today," Penn State head coach Char Morett-Curtiss said. "It was a really competitive game. We had some beautiful goals. It would've been nice to show a little more poise in the circle but their goalie played really well today."

"I played with Lizzie [Tamburro] on a club team in high school for like three years," Putsch said. "I have to give her a ton of credit because she is an amazing goalie and I knew that going into it. I knew it was going to be a challenge. I think the goals we did have were so quick and direct that not many people would have enough time to think when they were shot." 

Cannon had a connection with the Buckeyes as well as she played with Ohio State's defensive back Caroline Rath in high school.

"If it's playing against people like Lizzie [Tamburro] it kind of stinks because she's so good," Putsch said. "But it's a lot of fun to play people you know because it's a kind of sport where people are really friendly."

"It's competitive on the field, but then you are friends after," Cannon said. "It was funny because Caroline Rath, their center back, played with me at home. So it was fun playing center forward against her. She's a great athlete so it's nice to go head-to-head with her."

The Nittany Lions suffered a double overtime loss to the Buckeyes last year, but Morett-Curtiss said that played no part in the team's preparation for the matchup this year. 

"We really put that season in the rearview mirror," Morett-Curtiss said. "The one thing that was in the back of my mind was that we had a two goal lead against them last year and they just came on strong. So we just tried to keep our backs deeper a little bit, be more steady and be more poised as we were bringing the ball out. I thought we accomplished that." 

"We wanted to come out strong," Cannon said. "Last year we had an unfortunate finish and we knew what we had to do to get it done and win it." 

With Thursday's win the Nittany Lions extend their unblemished home record to 7-0. 

"I think we have the best fans in the whole NCAA, all of the Big Ten, just everything," Putsch said. "I think they are huge. Having all of them there and hearing them when I am dying out there, they make me keep going, so I think that's huge."

Penn State avoided focusing on any sort of rivalry and treated the game like any other Big Ten Conference game.

"Any time it's a Big Ten contest there's going to be a little bit more on the line," Morett-Curtiss said. "Everyone is fighting for standings in the conference, which could always impact the tournament. We love our field and we love our fans. It's always nice to be home."

Penn State recorded its fewest amount of goals so far this season, scoring two against the Buckeyes. Although a win is still a win, the Nittany Lions found multiple lessons from the game that will hopefully enhance their play for the rest of the season. 

"[Not scoring as many goals] was frustrating, but I think for me, I had like six shots that didn't go in," Putsch said. "I think it was a really good learning point. I am going to take what I didn't do from the game and hopefully that will help in the future."

"I had a couple opportunities where I should've taken the shot, but I was a second too late and didn't get the shot off," Cannon said. "That's definitely something I need to take into the next game of taking the shot no matter if it's off my back foot or back hand and not waiting."

Penn State will travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to take on Wake Forrest at noon Saturday.