Recently in Men's Soccer Category
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Penn State men's soccer team set a school record
on Sunday against Michigan.
technically, the record belongs to Andrew Wolverton. The senior goalkeeper
notched his team record 29th career shutout as the Nittany Lions
defeated Michigan 1-0.
At the same
time, it goes a bit deeper than that. While Wolverton has been a lynchpin for
the Nittany Lions for four years, shutouts are the ultimate mark of team play.
It takes solid defense, enough offense and great goalkeeping to pull one off.
the Nittany Lions received all of that. Connor Maloney scored his
conference-leading seventh goal, the backline allowed just four shots on net,
and the goalkeeper known as "Wolvie" made a terrific diving save to preserve
"I told the
whole team after the game, I'm going to make sure in the record books and in
the media guide, that all of their names are next to Andrew's for playing in
front of him for this shutout," head coach Bob Warming said. "Our team is a
team and it takes a whole team to get a shutout and Andrew understands that."
Wolverines, Penn State's defense certainly earned that right, but it wasn't as
if Wolverton didn't also earn the mark for himself.
remaining and the Lions holding on to a one-goal lead, Michigan forward Tyler
Arnone took a pass from James Murphy and fired a shot from 18-yards out to the
right corner of the net.
moment, it seemed as if the ball was headed in. Then came the hand of the
sprawling 6-foot-6 goaltender, knocking the ball away and keeping the shutout
give him a whole lot to do so it was great to see him make a play when he had
to," Warming said jokingly. "It was a great save, and that's what he trains
for. Eventually, when you're playing against great talent they're going to
break through and you're going to need to make a save."
would take over in the final minutes, as the Wolverines would bring their
entire team up in a final last-ditch attempt to tie the game.
and Kyle MacDonald would both make big stops to prevent Michigan from getting a
shot on goal before the clock finally hit zero.
given up two goals and ten shots on goal during Wednesday's 6-2 win over Penn,
the Nittany Lions and their backline of Eli Dennis, Mike Robinson and Mason
Klerks were extra motivated to get back to the play that had led to just one
allowed goal in the team's first seven games.
proud of the team for playing great team defense," Warming said. "We always
have a game plan but I didn't need to say anything special to them. There were
plenty of things we wanted to get done today because playing in the Big Ten is
Penn State fashion, the game would go into halftime tied 0-0, until the Nittany
Lions finally got on the board in the second half thanks to none other than
sophomore entered the game with six goals in the first eight games of the
season, and he produced once again, taking a beautiful cross from senior Mikey
Minutillo and putting it past Adam Grinwis from six yards out to get the Lions
on the board 11 minutes into the second half.
Maloney has clearly been Penn State's most effective goal-scorer this season,
Warming again maintained that his team doesn't have to become dependent on any
the Nittany Lions win as a team, and Maloney's ability to score depends on his
teammates putting him in the right position to get the ball in the net.
we like about our team is that everyone can score goals and we can score in a
variety of ways," Warming said. "Mikey [Minutillo] can score, Mark [Wadid] can
score, Kyle [MacDonald] can score, Owen [Griffith] can score. We just kept
fighting and fighting and eventually we were going to get one in."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Life on the road is nothing new to the Penn State
men's soccer team. Playing in the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions frequently travel
long distances and this weekend will be no different. Head Coach Bob Warming
and crew will trek about 390 miles (approximately a six hour drive) from State
College to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We bus, we don't fly," Warming said. "The big thing for us is mental
regeneration and doing some things the next couple of days and doing some yoga
on the trip to stretch out and prepare ourselves."
The Wolverines are just 1-3-2 on the season, but that doesn't mean that Warming
believes his team can just roll off the bus and beat their conference rivals
without being properly prepared.
"It ain't easy," Warming said of the upcoming trip.
Still, the Nittany Lions are feeling good going into the contest with a
7-0-1 record. They are also coming off their highest scoring performance in 15
years, a 6-2 win over Penn on Wednesday.
Records aside, the game will still be a battle the way every game in the Big
Ten is. Having graduated just three starters from last year's 8-7-3 team, the
Wolverines have plenty of experience and will have their eyes set on the
Nittany Lions after losing to them 3-1 last season.
Last season's leading scorer junior James Murphy (four goals, 11 points in
2013) and starting goalkeeper senior Adam Grinwis have both returned this
season, giving Michigan a solid foundation.
With a 2-0 record in conference play, the Nittany Lions biggest focus will
be making sure their legs are fresh on Sunday after their long trip.
"At this point it's all about regeneration," midfielder Drew Klingenberg
said. "We're [unbeaten] which is awesome but it's taking a toll on us. [Against
Penn] we did really well and the scoreboard says it but there are some things
we can definitely work on.
"Going into Michigan, [the focus] is a bunch of regeneration and getting
our minds right and back in a Big Ten mentality."
The Maloney Magic
At the Nittany Lions' preseason press conference, Warming said that
sophomore Connor Maloney was "developing into a great forward."
He certainly wasn't kidding.
Eight games into Penn State's season, Maloney has already scored six goals.
Twice, he has scored a pair of goals in a game and has added two assists,
giving him 14 points on the year already.
By comparison, Jordan Tyler led last year's Nittany Lions, a team that made
it to the Sweet 16, with five goals and 11 points. It has taken Maloney 13
fewer games to surpass those numbers.
Last year, Maloney was more of a creator than a scorer, finishing the season
with two goals and seven assists. That has changed this year as Penn State has needed
someone to step up as a scorer and the 5-foot-6 dynamo has more than filled
"He's just an impressive player," Warming said. "What you see when you
watch a game, we see it every day in training. He has not taken one practice
off since he's gotten here and what I mean by that is he's fully engaged every
practice. He works as hard at practice as he does out here on the field."
The last Nittany Lion to score ten or more goals in a season was Corey
Hertzog, who scored an astounding 20 times in 2010 after scoring 11 in 2009. With
nine games left on the Nittany Lions' regular season schedule alone, Maloney
has a great chance to reach double digits.
Not that he cares about such things. Many individuals are classified as
team players, but Maloney is someone who truly fits the bill.
Following his two-goal game against the Quakers on Wednesday, Maloney
answered questions about his own performance by complimenting his teammates,
just minutes after Warming had finished praising him on his work ethic.
"It definitely gives the whole team confidence, it's not just about
myself," Maloney said. "All of us got [the ball] in, all of us got minutes and
we're pretty confident going into Michigan."
That's the kind of attitude that Warming likes to see, and it's the reason
the head coach wants the rest of his players to take after the 19-year-old from
Harrisburg, even if he's just a sophomore.
"He needs to be a role model for some of our other guys," Warming said. "They
need to work that hard in practice every day."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- After the first four games of the 2014 season, the
Penn State men's soccer team had scored six goals.
After 89 minutes on Wednesday night against Penn, they had scored the same
Generally a defensive minded, low-scoring squad, the Nittany Lions looked like
a new team on Wednesday, scoring six times in a 6-2 win over the Quakers.
"The movement between [the players] was unbelievable," head coach Bob
Warming said. "We had to lift a really heavy weight in playing Ohio State (a 1-0
win last Sunday). Their defenders were tremendous and they were tough to beat.
Now this was a little easier backline to break down and it showed up on the
The last time the Nittany Lions scored six goals in a game? Warming was
coaching at St. Louis and leading goal scorer Connor Maloney was just four
years old. It was 1999 and the Lions beat Villanova 6-3.
As for the last time they scored just five, Warming had 52 fewer wins with
Penn State than he does now. That's because it came in his first game at the
helm of the Lions, back in 2010 during a 5-0 win against Buffalo.
"Wow," said Maloney after hearing those stats.
"That's pretty cool," midfielder Drew Klingenberg added.
With 17 goals as a team in 2014, the Nittany Lions' outburst on Wednesday
accounted for more than a third of their scoring this season. Equally
impressive though was the number of players who got the ball in the net.
Five Nittany Lions got on the stat sheet, with Maloney scoring twice and
Mikey Minutillo, Brandon Savino, Klingenberg and Riley Grant all netting the
"It just gives those guys confidence going into the next game," Maloney
said. "They're great players and they could definitely have more goals and
you'll see it in the next game."
Typically a second half team, Penn State came out of the gates looking to
score right from the start against the Quakers.
The Nittany Lions scored twice in the first 16 minutes, and three times in
the first half, giving themselves their first two-goal halftime lead of the
season with a 3-1 score at the break.
"[Halftime] was definitely a little calmer in the locker room," Maloney
said. "We didn't have to make many changes. We just told ourselves keep working
harder and getting our goals so we didn't have to keep them around we could get
other guys off the bench and in."
After Minutillo got the barrage started less than 10 minutes in, the
Quakers fought back, tying the game less than five minutes later when senior Duke
Lacroix sent a dagger to the left corner past the reach of Andrew Wolverton,
the first goal the star goalie had allowed all season.
Not content to stay tied, the Nittany Lions needed all of a minute and a
half to retake the lead, as Savino tallied an unassisted goal to give them a
"It's a hard group, it's a tough group, it's a determined group," Warming
said of his team. "Everybody knew at some point, the dam was going to break and
we were going to give up a goal. Instead of hanging their heads, it was the
completely opposite reaction. They said 'Andrew and the defense have held us
for such a long time and it's our turn to turn it on.'"
Maloney would score on an unassisted play 17 minutes later before adding
his second goal of the game five minutes into the second half.
The scoring plays gave Maloney a team-leading six goals on the season. When
Klingenberg and Grant added goals later in the period however, it was the first
time either player had scored all year.
Even in a blowout, it was a sweet moment for Klingenberg. The junior midfielder
is known for his gritty and competitive play but had scored just once in his career
"I was telling everybody that [scoring] was alluding me for the first
couple of games," Klingenberg said. "It was good to get a goal. I'm feeling
good right now."
Although he wasn't able to notch his team record 29th career shutout,
Wolverton made a number of highlight saves, finishing with eight on the night.
With a game against Michigan coming up on Sunday, the Blue and White will try
again to get Wolverton the record, while also trying to remain undefeated in the
"I wouldn't call the goals Andrew's fault," Warming said. "He can make big
time saves for us and he's going to need to this weekend at Michigan. They're
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- When
the Penn State men's soccer team celebrated Mack Brady's life during a game against
California last season, it was Kyle MacDonald's heroics that forced a 1-1 tie.
On the same day this year, the midfielder went a step further by giving
his team a victory.
Against Ohio State on the second annual "Mack Brady Game," MacDonald's goal 18
minutes into the second half was the only score of the game as the Nittany
Lions defeated the Buckeyes 1-0.
"Ohio State, credit to them, they played really strong defensively,"
MacDonald said. "[The goal] broke the tension of the game and everything
settled down from there."
A redshirt-junior, MacDonald has now scored just two career goals, yet both
of them have come on arguably the most special day of Penn State's season.
Sunday's game marked the second straight year that Penn State soccer has honored
Mack Brady, the son of Penn State Schreyer's Honors College Dean Christian
Brady, who passed away unexpectedly from a blood infection on Dec. 31, 2012 at
the age of eight.
MacDonald, an architectural engineering major and a member of Schreyer's,
provided the day's highlight for the second straight year, beating Buckeyes
goalie Alex Ivanov to a back heel pass from Connor Maloney, before maneuvering
around the keeper and firing the ball into the empty net.
"Being the Mack Brady game, we're playing for more than just our team,
we're playing as a Penn State community," MacDonald said. "We're playing for
the Brady family...to have that all in my mind, it was great to put one away."
Mack Brady was an aspiring goalie, so it was only fitting that the play of
both goalies dominated nearly the entire game.
For almost 90 minutes, the Nittany Lions created opportunity after
opportunity yet were unable to get the ball past Ivanov more than once.
In total, Penn State took 22 shots, getting 11 of them on net, giving the
Ohio State keeper an astounding 10 saves.
With three minutes to go in the first half, Mark Wadid had a great
opportunity come up short when he hit the right side of the net, and Mikey
Minutillo (three), Connor Maloney (two) and Brian James (two) all got multiple
shots on net during the contest.
"Sometimes when you don't get a goal and you've been trying and things
haven't gone your way, sometimes you can start losing a little faith," head
coach Bob Warming said. "I was giving them a lot of instructions, and I
thought, man you know what, I just need to tell these guys they're really good.
Stay the course, pick up the tempo, it's going to happen, games are won in the
second half and you're going to win."
In order to secure the win, the Nittany Lions needed a clutch performance
from their own goalie.
Andrew Wolverton has long been the backbone of Penn State's team, but for most
of Sunday he bided his time as his defense took care of business and the Buckeyes
got just three shots on net.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, with the score still knotted at 0-0, Wolverton
showed why he is the reigning Big Ten Goalie of the Year, making a brilliant
kick save on a shot by forward Danny Jensen.
"It's just something you've got to do," Wolverton said of staying focused
during a day with little action. "The communication helps me stay focused but
it's part of the job. The defense did awesome and kept them to a few shots."
Wolverton, who like his backups Danny Sheerin and Evan Finney wears a patch
on the back of his jersey in honor of Mack, said the shutout was extra special.
Not just because it put him in second place on the Nittany Lions all-time
shutout list with his 28th scoreless effort, but also because it
came on the day dedicated to the boy that idolized him.
"It's a tragedy what happened, but for us to celebrate such a great little
kid's life is an honor to us," Wolverton said. "Something we have hanging up in
our locker room is 'we're living Mack's dream.' It's all for the support of
The win improves the Blue and White to 6-0-1 on the season, but it was the
Brady family that was on everyone's mind after the game.
"I love them all and it's wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate
[Mack's] life," Warming said. "To have a Schreyer's Honors College guy do it
made it even more special."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- A little over a year ago, Christian Brady stood on
the grass at Jeffrey Field and looked out at the scene around him, many
emotions running through his mind.
It was September 13, 2013. The Penn State men's soccer team had just battled
California, the No. 5 team in the nation, to a 1-1 tie. For Brady however, the
night was about much more than soccer.
Brady, the Dean of Penn State's Schreyer's Honor College, had lost his eight-year-old
son Mack less than nine months earlier to an unexpected blood infection on Dec.
31, 2012. It was just 16 days before Mack's ninth birthday.
Mack, a huge Penn State soccer fan and aspiring goalie, was honored by the Nittany
Lions that night against California, in what was dubbed "Mack Brady Night."
"The night was phenomenal," Brady said. "Obviously it doesn't get any
easier, but it was incredibly powerful and emotional moment or us. It was such
an incredible game."
Nearly 21 months have gone by since Mack Brady lost his life, but his
legacy at Penn State is as strong as ever. This Sunday, the Nittany Lions will
host the second annual Mack Brady Game when they play Ohio State at 1 p.m.
For the second straight year, Christian Brady will watch as the Penn State
community rallies around him, his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Isabel.
For the second straight year, he will find comfort in the 26 players and
three coaches who have become a second family to him.
For the second straight year, he will wish that his son could see
everything that he has inspired.
And for the second straight year, the day will mean much more than which
team winds up ahead on the scoreboard.
How 'Mack the Jeff' Began
"Last year, they ran a promotion for the game and said they wanted fans to 'Pack
the Jeff,'" Brady said. "I suggested that it should be changed to 'Mack the
What started as a simple suggestion, a way to encourage fans to take part
in a celebration of Mack's life, didn't take long to catch on.
In the days leading up to the California game, the phrase 'Mack the Jeff'
began to show up across every outlet of social media. By game time, Jeffrey
Field was filled with 3,032 fans.
"It's wonderful," Brady said. "It's really humbling how folks have rallied
around during this time."
Mack Brady was a child that was passionate about many things, and soccer
was certainly among them.
By the age of five, Mack had fallen in love with the position of
goalkeeper. It was his dream to one day suit up in goal for the Nittany Lions
and later the United States Men's National Team.
After his passing, his parents knew that there was no better way to
remember him than to give back to the soccer program. They established the Mack
Brady Fund to support Penn State's goalkeeping program with youth clinics, new
equipment and scholarship funds.
The goal of the fund? Turn Penn State into the best goalkeeping school in
"We wanted to be able to inspire something more and we want to make Penn
State Goalkeeper U," Brady said. "The fact that Mack has inspired this is
In return, the Nittany Lions have given back to the Brady's as well.
Since the beginning of last season, the Penn State goalies have worn a
patch on their jerseys in honor Mack.
For Andrew Wolverton, being asked to wear the patch is as high an honor as
he can imagine. Higher than being named last season's Big Ten Goalkeeper of the
Year, and higher than one day becoming Penn State's record holder for career
"It's a great honor, obviously, to always be playing for Mack," Wolverton
said. "Every time we come out here we want to do our best but it's different
when you're playing a little kid like that. You just want to get a shutout on
Those types of sentiments are the one's that mean the most to Christian
"It means a lot when the players tell me how much they think about Mack,"
Brady said. "Coach [Bob Warming] has brought together a great group of young
men who seem to appreciate this."
The Next Stage
All the sympathy in the world can't replace the void that Mack's passing
has left in Christian Brady's life.
Now, almost two years later, Brady and his wife and daughter are slowly
learning to live without Mack.
"Obviously we wish this never had to happen," Brady said. We're slowly
living with the loss of Mack. We'd love to have him back if that was a choice.
We're going to find joy in seeing the guys play and we know that if Mack could,
he'd be out there cheering them on."
During the most painful times, Brady found himself lucky to have Warming to
lean on. Nine months prior to Mack's death, Warming lost his 21-year old
daughter Audrey in a car accident.
One thing that the two tragic events have taught both men, it is that they
are fortunate to live in a community like State College, and be a part of a
school like Penn State.
"What a wonderful community this is that it comes out and supports one of
our own who's had a tragedy in his life," Warming said. "What sticks out to me
is what a great place Penn State is and what a great place State College is.
We're all in this thing together and I think people realize that."
When Brady watches the Nittany Lions take the field against the Buckeyes on
Sunday, he knows his son will be with him.
Mack Brady's legacy lives on, not just with his father and the Penn State
soccer team, but with every Nittany Lions fan who shows up to "Mack the Jeff."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Mikey Minutillo was always supposed to be the
After a 2013 season in which six of the Penn State men's soccer team's 13 wins
came by a score of 1-0, the San Jose, Calif. native's return to the lineup
after a missed season was expected to be the spark that ignited the Nittany
Tuesday night against Saint Francis, Minutillo was more of an explosion than a
spark. The senior scored twice, once in the first half and once in the second,
as Penn State rolled to a 3-0 victory over the Red Flash.
"[Scoring twice] is awesome and hopefully it's going to carry over into the
next game," Minutillo said. "I just read the play on both of them, made good
runs into the end of the box and got on the end of some good [passes]."
Early on, it was clear that Minutillo was locked in and focused, but whether he
would end up on the stat sheet at the end of the game was not as certain.
Twice in the first half between the 27:00 mark to the 24:00 mark, Minutillo had
great goal-scoring opportunites stymied by Saint Francis goalie Andrew Garcia.
"I think I should have put one of those away," Minutillo said. "If you put your
head down you're never going to score. You've got to keep getting on the end of
With plenty of time still remaining, Minutillo continued plugging away. Less
than five minutes later, the 6-foot-1 forward found himself on the receiving
end of a pass from Drew Klingenberg near the left side of the box, though at angle
that seemed implausible to score from.
However tricky it seemed, it wasn't too tough for Minutillo. He fired a shot by
Garcia that ricocheted off the right post and into the net.
"Drew played a good ball and I just took a touch forward to eliminate the
defenders," Minutillo said. "The defender might have got a touch on it [after I
shot it] but it went to the back post, hit it and went in."
In the second half, it would take Minutillo less than eight minutes to turn
what could have been another low scoring nail biter into an eventual rout,
knocking a perfect pass from Riley Grant into the net. Brandon Savino would later
add the first goal of his Nittany Lion career to put the icing on the cake.
While the second goal was a big of moment for Minutillo, who registered his
first multi-goal game as a Nittany Lion, it was even bigger for Grant. The
assist gave the sophomore his first collegiate point.
"The play by Riley was absolutely nothing short of remarkable," head coach Bob
Warming said. "I told Riley in front of the team at halftime, 'you're not in for
your heading ability, you're not in because you're a great defender, you're in
because you're incredible on the ball...go get the ball, do something with it
every time you get.' He was unreal, I thought he was terrific tonight."
As for Minutillo, Warming credited the senior's big night to a positional
adjustment made before the game.
For the most of the first five games of the season, Warming placed Minutillo at
the top of the Nittany Lion offense as a forward, where his job was to post up
the opposing team's center back.
Looking to better utilize his speed and athleticism by getting him into open
space, the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year moved Minutillo back to attacking
midfield. Obviously, the results were splendid.
"Mikey had been so caught up - and it was my fault - about posting up at the
top that it hurt his game," Warming said. "Now he came back in the midfield,
got a ball, laid it off and showed up someplace else...they couldn't find him.
That made a big difference in the game and in his play."
Though the goals were just Minutillo's second and third of the season, Warming
dismissed the notion that the performance was a needed confidence boost for the
One of the most determined players on the team, Minutillo never needed more
confidence. According to Warming, he just needed a change to get him going.
"I don't think Mikey has ever lacked confidence," Warming said. "He believes in
himself, I believe in him and I've believed in him ever since I had him in camp
when he was 13 years old. He's a great talent."
Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student
PARK, Pa.- Penn State men's soccer head coach Bob Warming likes to compare the
ascension a program makes over a number of years to someone climbing a
after guiding the Nittany Lions to the Sweet 16, Warming believes his team has
the top of the mountain in sight. On Saturday, Penn State will face a team that
has been there recently.
Indiana, the 2012 NCAA National Champions, will host the Nittany Lions at
legendary Bill Armstrong Stadium in both team's Big Ten opener. Although they
are coming off a disappointing 8-12-2 season, the Hoosiers have gotten off to a
3-0-1 start this year, the same as Penn State.
"We know our conference is amazing," Warming said. "The
venue is going to be terrific for it. They have some super talented players.
The big pieces are there and the little pieces that still cause you
problems...they've got a lot of weapons."
Although the Hoosiers have graduated last year's top three leading point
scorers, they return a collection of young talent. Sophomore Tanner Thompson is
a dangerous playmaker who can play forward or midfield and junior Femi
Hollinger-Janzen, who tied for the team lead in goals last season with five, offers
Sophomore goalie Colin Webb has gotten off to a fast start in his first
season as the team's full-time starter, allowing just one goal in the Hoosiers
first four games.
Still, the Nittany Lions have recent history on their side, having defeated
the Hoosiers 2-0 in Bloomington last season.
"In the past they've played better soccer than us but I think we play
a much quicker style now and they're the one's that lump it a little
more," senior defender Owen Griffith said. "I think that's going to
"[The atmosphere] is good and it's just like here. They've got a ton
of kids lining the sideline and the band going so it's going to feel just like
home, except the fans are going to be cheering for them instead of us."
Griffith had perhaps the highlight of his career last season against the
Hoosiers when he scored a goal from 18 yards out to give the Nittany Lions a
2-0 lead in their eventual victory. Still, he has not forgotten how difficult
an opponent Indiana has been over his four years in blue and white.
The Nittany Lions fell to Hoosiers in 2012 and 2011, Griffith's first two
years at Penn State. In Warming's five years in Happy Valley, the Lions are
2-3-1 against the Hoosiers.
"They're historically a really big rival of ours," Griffith said.
"[Beating them last year] was a big statement for us. It's going to be a
battle this year...they lost a bunch of guys but they're still looking pretty
One player who will be particularly amped on Saturday is midfielder Christian
Kaschak, who missed last season with a torn ACL and has never set foot inside
"Just hearing what the guys had to say [about Armstrong Stadium], it
seems incredible," Kaschak said. "Their fan base is amazing and
historically they're a tremendous team...you always want to go there and show
them what we have."
Even coming off of consecutive Big Ten regular season titles, the Nittany
Lions still view the Hoosiers as the pinnacle of where they want to be.
Hoosiers coach Todd Yeagley is entering his fifth year at Indiana, the same
amount of time Warming has been at Penn State, and the Blue and White want to
give their coach the national title their rival has won.
"Coach Warming has only been here a couple of years now and I think
it's his idea to get Penn State to be one of those nationally acclaimed
programs like Indiana," Griffith said. "We want to be consistently at
the top of the country in soccer."
Warming Marvels at 1954-'55 Championship Teams' Reunion
Bob Warming couldn't help but think about the future last Friday as his
Nittany Lions defeated Temple 1-0.
Not just the rest of his team's season, but the future of his players in
general. With members of Penn State's 1954-'55 national championship team in
attendance to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their first
title, there were plenty of emotions being felt all night.
"I told our guys, 'I want you to think about, if we win [the NCAA
Championship] this year, what will the world be like in 2074,'" Warming
said. "That's when we would be celebrating again. Think about the changes
that those men have seen, and that their families have seen in the last 60
Fifteen players from the two teams made it back for the game, which
included a halftime ceremony in front of 4,052 fans. The group was honored
again the next day at Beaver Stadium during the football team's 21-3 victory
"How special it is for them to come back and see 4,000 people in the
stands," Warming said. "With this kind of atmosphere, and this kind
of quality soccer and this kind of quality field. I'm just so happy that so
many of them are alive and well and healthy enough to travel and come here and
enjoy the game."
Andrew Stelnyk, a defender on those teams and a native Ukrainian, spoke
about the experience of seeing his old teammates, as well as being back on
"It's a great time to be here," Stelnyk said. "The change
over here is unbelievable. All of us are getting older but the spirit is still
here, there is no question about it."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
Pa.- The Penn State men's soccer team has always been a second-half squad.
That has especially been true this season. In the Nittany Lions first two games
of 2014, all four of their goals came after halftime.
On Friday against Temple, it seemed like that would have to be the case again,
as the clock approached the one-minute mark of the first half with the score
tied at 0.
Oh, but how quickly things can change in a minute. All it took was for Mark
Wadid to loft a corner kick into the box and Owen Griffith to head it into the
back of the net with 59 seconds remaining to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead
they wouldn't relinquish.
"Coach said to make some runs into the box because he felt like I was
dominating the aerial game," Griffith said. "It was good to get in there and
try to get on the end of some services and luckily I got on the end of one.
"It's great [to have a lead at halftime]. We're definitely a second-half team
and to have a goal in the first half was a huge confidence boost for us."
A mainstay on defense for the Nittany Lions, Griffith's header marked just the
fourth goal of his career and his first since he netted the game-winner last
year against Michigan on October 11.
Wadid's corner kick gave him his fourth assist in just three games this season.
After a freshman season in which he scored three goals but never registered any
helpers, the Ontario native is turning into one of Penn State's most reliable
"Oh man, [the corner kick] was great," head coach Bob warming said. "Mark's
good in front of the goal but he's our best server. Owen's role is to just go
hunt the ball and it was a great goal."
The goal came after 44 minutes in which the Nittany Lions consistently kept the
ball in Temple's zone but were unable to score. Penn State got off six shots,
including a one-on-one chance between forward Connor Maloney and Owls goalie
Dan Scheck that came up just short for the Blue and White.
Even with a halftime lead, the Nittany Lions continued their reputation as a
second-half team. Twice in the second half they put the ball in the back of the
net only to have Mikey Minutillo and Randy Falk both ruled offside
With less than a minute left, Wadid nearly gave the Nittany Lions a bigger
cushion but a bullet off the sophomore's foot ricocheted off the crossbar.
"You still always win the game in the second half," Warming said. "Hitting the
crossbar and hitting both posts...it was a pretty good night in this temperature
and this humidity."
Once again, the Nittany Lions defense came up big. When Andrew Wolverton
stopped a shot from Stefan Mueller just over five minutes into the second-half,
it was the first time in 208 minutes and 57 seconds that the star goalie had
had to face a shot.
"Our three other backs, Eli, Mike [Robinson] and Mason [Klerks] have been
tremendous," Griffith said. "Any long ball over my head they seem to scoop up.
We can also keep the ball and build out of the back which is something our
teams have had trouble doing in the past."
Still, the Owls did manage to pressure the Blue and White in the final twenty
minutes. Eli Dennis made an excellent clear to stop a Temple attack with 15:31
remaining and two minutes later Wolverton made a terrific save on a rocket that
Jared Martinelli sent to the corner of the left net.
With his third shutout of the season, Wolverton now only needs three more to
bring his career total to 29 and claim the Nittany Lions all-time record.
"I have complete confidence in Wolvie," Griffith said. "He's an unbelievable
On a night in which Penn State honored the 60th anniversary of the
1954 and 1955 national championship teams, Jeffrey Field hosted an astounding
4,052 fans, the most to attend a Penn State soccer match since August 31, 2012.
"How special is it for them to come back and see 4,000 people in the stands and
this kind of atmosphere and this kind of quality soccer and this kind of
field," Warming said. "I'm just so happy."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa.- Take a glance at a stat sheet for the Penn State men's soccer team
these days and you may have to search a bit to find Eli Dennis' name.
it was easy. The 6-foot-2 Dennis spent nearly the entire season playing forward
and finished second on the team in goals (four), third in points (10) and third
in shots (29).
things are a little different. While Dennis is still a stalwart for the Nittany
Lions, he now plays the less glamorous but equally important position of center
back on defense.
How has he
taken to the change? Exactly the way you'd expect from a guy that seems to
always have a smile on his face.
different mindset and I like that I've taken on more of a responsibility role,"
Dennis said. "In the back I have to be a more mature player and it's easy to be
that player when you're one of the oldest guys on the team."
redshirt-senior, Dennis has played nearly everywhere on the field in a career
that is now going on five years at two different schools.
freshman at American University in 2010, the Easton, Md. native played his high
school position of center midfield and finished third on the Eagles in points.
redshirting the next year as he transferred to Penn State, Dennis played center
back in 2012 before a leg injury prematurely ended his season. That's the same
spot he's at now after playing offense last year.
impact can no longer be measured in goals and assists, it's hard to watch a
Nittany Lions game and not notice the tall, aggressive figure with a no. 4 on
his back making play after play on the back line. Dennis has played all 90
minutes in both of Penn State's victories to start the season.
"I'm not a
big stat pounder," Dennis said. "It's always nice to see your name somewhere
for scoring goals but it's still nice to see your name for stopping goals as
This is the
second straight year that Dennis has tailored his game to fit the needs of his
Warming needed an experienced player up front with the majority of Penn State's
forwards being freshmen. This year, the return of Mikey Minutillo and the
continued growth of sophomores Mark Wadid and Connor Maloney made Dennis'
offensive burden less strenuous.
defense, on the other hand, lost starters Akil Howard and Mark Seiler to
graduation and freshman Dani Marks to a torn ACL. Once again, Dennis was the
one who stepped up.
essential to the team," head coach Bob Warming said. "Somebody had to go back
there with Dani Marks going down and I can't think of anybody better than a
high-character guy like Eli to jump in."
style that Penn State plays, Dennis' performance certainly is essential to
their success. Last year, 16 of the Nittany Lions 21 games were decided by one
goal or less, with the Blue and White going 10-4-2 in those contests.
that in mind, Dennis admitted that the pressure of playing defense does
outweigh that of playing offense.
pressure to stop goals is tough," Dennis said. "If you don't stop a goal it
looks really bad for you, and soccer is a one goal game."
playing defense has given Dennis the chance to play alongside one of his best
friends on the team, fellow senior and captain Owen Griffith.
has always enjoyed playing with Dennis, not just for his ability on the field but also his personality off of
of my best friends," Griffith said. "We can tell each other anything and it's all
in good nature and great playing with him back there."
there's Dennis's other talent. A meteorology major, Dennis considers himself an
expert at predicting storm patterns, something he showed off at practice on Tuesday
when he correctly guessed how quickly a 15-minute downpour would stop, much to
the amusement of his teammates and coach.
the weather," Dennis said with a smile. "I called this storm stopping within a
pretty good storm chaser," Griffith added with a laugh.
As long as
he keeps chasing defenders away from the net, things should be fine for the
Temple Preview: A look at the Owls
The Penn State men's soccer team will face some international talent
against an intrastate opponent this weekend.
Nittany Lions opponent on Friday night, features upcoming forward Olli Tynkkyen,
a member of the Finland U-19 National Team. The freshman scored two goals in
the Owls 3-0 victory over Sacramento State last week.
of a 10-4-4 season, the Owls have started 1-1 and return six starters,
including last year's leading scorer in junior Jared Martinelli and All-AAC
defensive selection Robert Sagel.
Nittany Lions have the reigning All-Big Ten goalkeeper of the year in Andrew
Wolverton, the Owls have a top-notch goalie of their own. Senior Dan Scheck
tied a Temple school record last season with nine shutouts and allowed just
nine goals in 18 games.
they've got some really big-time, talented players," Penn State head coach Bob
Warming said. "Those are guys you know you've got to keep your eye on."
two goals in the first half against Sacramento State, the Owls proved they can
get off to a fast start. The Nittany Lions, who have scored all four of their goals
this season in the second half, will need to watch out for that.
night's game will mark the first time the two Pennsylvania school's have played
each other in soccer since 1997, a 2-0 Temple victory. Penn State has a 39-18-8
all-time record against the Owls.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-
Entering 2014, the biggest question for the Penn State men's soccer team was
who would step up as the team's go-to-guy on offense.
Two games into the season,
the answer appears to be sophomore forward Connor Maloney.
Against both Oakland on
Friday and St. John's on Sunday, the Nittany Lions entered halftime needing to
generate more opportunities in scoreless ties. Both times, it was the 5-foot-6
sparkplug from Harrisburg that answered the bell minutes into the second halves
of 1-0 and 3-0 victories, respectively.
"We're a second-half team,"
Maloney said after Sunday's win. "Coach [Bob Warming] has been motivating us in
the locker room for the second half...I just feel so confident out there and we
know we can get it done."
Against Oakland on Friday,
the Nittany Lions came out of halftime having been outshot by the Golden
Grizzles seven to five. It would take Maloney just seven minutes to turn the
tide of the game, as he took a pass from fellow sophomore Mark Wadid and tapped
it past goalie Eliot Tarney to give Penn State the only cushion they would
Against St. John's on Sunday,
it might as well have been groundhog's day. The Nittany Lions got just one shot
off in the first half in what appeared to be a defensive struggle against the
Once again, Maloney broke the
tie with a little help from Wadid, knocking in a rebound in front of the net
after Wadid initially beat his defender and had his shot blocked. Maloney would
add a second goal with less than a minute remaining to put the icing on the
cake for the Nittany Lions.
"[Mark and I] hope we're the
tandem of the future," Maloney said. "Mark's great player and we work well
together. We hope to be the future."
Back at his natural position
of forward after spending much of last season playing midfield, Maloney is
coming into his own as a goal scorer, with all five of his career goals coming
in the Nittany Lions past seven games dating back to last season.
However, the player who led
the team in assists last season is still respected by his coach more for his
unselfishness than his ability to put the ball in the net.
"It's not like he's just
being selfish," Warming said on Sunday. "He created another goal for us, so I
think it's great. The maturity in the whole [sophomore] class in 12 months has
been remarkable. Their maturity level has jumped through the roof in one year."
Apart from Maloney, the other
standout of the weekend was senior striker Mikey Minutillo, who on Sunday
scored for the first time since September 16, 2012 to extend the Nittany Lions
lead to 2-0.
After missing all of last
season, Minutillo entered this season bearing the expectation that he would
bolster an offense that won seven games by a score of 1-0 last season.
In his first game back
against Oakland, the San Jose, Calif. native was active all night and got off
six shots, yet couldn't get the ball in the net. The bad luck looked like it
was continuing on Sunday after the senior had a breakaway opportunity stopped
with 21 minutes remaining.
Just three minutes later,
Minutillo would redeem himself, taking a cross from Drew Klingenberg and
putting it past goalie Jordan Stagmiller before being engulfed by his
"I was struggling the first
half," Minutillo said. "I finally put it together and all I had to do was roll
The moment certainly put a
smile on the face of Warming, who had been waiting for Minutillo to get on the
"He needed that goal,"
Warming said. "As a striker you're thinking, 'when am I going to get my first
one?' What I loved about it was that he hit in in with such confidence...knocked
it into the back of the net like he was saying 'I'm gonna do this."
The two wins also put goalie
Andrew Wolverton into second place on the Nittany Lions all-time shutout list
with 25. He needs four more to pass Greg Kinney for first place.
performance also marked a change for a team that usually plays a low-scoring,
defense-first style. Not that they're complaining about the sudden boom in
"It's a lot more comfortable,
definitely," Maloney said. "Once we got that first goal we just got going and
we didn't stop. We could have kept going even longer."