UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- Watch several members of the Nittany Lion men's soccer team show off their
dance moves at the THON 2013 Pep Rally.
THON 2013 raised a record $12.34 million in the
fight against pediatric cancer. Congratulations to the more than 700
dancers who stood for 46-straight hours over the weekend and to all those
involved with the fundraising efforts.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Penn State Athletics was heavily involved with the 41st IFC/Panhellenic
Dance Marathon (THON) held at the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend.
More than 700 dancers began standing at 6 p.m. on Friday and did not sit down
or sleep until Sunday at 4 p.m. to raise awareness for the fight against
pediatric cancer in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
Since 1977, THON has partnered with The Four Diamonds Fund
at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital with one goal in mind: conquering
childhood cancer. THON went to new heights on Sunday when a record
of more than $12.37 million was raised for 2013. To
date, more than $100 million has been raised by THON.
Several Penn State student-athletes spent 46 hours on their feet in the annual dance
marathon. Representing the Student
Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) were Kristin Carpenter from the women's
volleyball team and Annie Abdo from the field hockey squad. Katlyn Elliott from women's golf and Marika
Racibarskas from women's volleyball represented Penn State Hockey this
Hammershlag and Nicole Symeonides from the Lionetts squad and Paige McManus and
Nicole Camporeale from Penn State cheerleading danced in THON.
Several teams and coaches played an active role in THON events throughout
the weekend, in addition to squads participating in Saturday's annual pep rally
and team dance competition.
We would also like to
wish GoPSUsports.com student writers Matt Allibone and Kelsey Detweiler, along
with Penn State Athletic Communications student assistant Angelis Lau the best
of luck as they dance over the weekend, and the several student assistants
actively involved with THON.
From start to finish, take a look through the updates from the involvement Penn State Athletics had in THON over the weekend on GoPSUsports.com.
4:45 p.m. - VIDEO: Pre-Dancing Interviews with Student-Athletes Just over one hour from beginning the quest of spending 46-straight hours on their feet, we caught up with Marika Racibarskas from women's volleyball and Katlyn Elliott from women's golf for their final thoughts before the start of THON 2013.
5 p.m. - VIDEO: Coach Chambers Addresses Crowd, Donates $14,200 Head coach Patrick Chambers pledged to donate $10 to THON 2013 for every student in attendance at Penn State's clash against Iowa on Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center. On Friday evening, just before heading to the airport with the Nittany Lions for their trip to Michigan, Chambers addressed the crowd at THON and presented a check for $14,200. Take a look.
Saturday Coverage: 8 a.m. - VIDEO: Hour 14 Interviews from Penn State Athletics Dancers GoPSUsports.com caught up with women's volleyball student-athletes and 2013 dancers Marika Racibarskas and Kristin Carpenter just before 8 a.m. on Saturday morning for an update on how things were going 14 hours into the 46-hour dance marathon. Additionally, we talked with GoPSUsports.com student writer and broadcaster Kelsey Detweiler, who is also dancing, for an update. In addition to an interview, we asked all three what time they felt like it was. Dancers are normally asked to avoid looking at the clock, and they rarely know what time it is. Take a look at an hour 14 update from three Penn State Athletics representatives dancing in THON for the fight against pediatric cancer.
2 p.m. - VIDEO: Football Hosts THON Make-A-Wish Event Seventy members of the Nittany Lion football team welcomed 28 THON Make-A-Wish children and their families to a special tour of the Lasch Football Building on Saturday afternoon.
The Make-A-Wish event is circled on the calendar for the Nittany Lions every year. The THON families gathered inside the home of Penn State football to take photos, get autographs, tour the facility with the Nittany Lions, eat ice cream from the Penn State Creamery and take a photo in the locker room.
Head coach Bill O'Brien spoke to the group after it received the facility tour and signed autographs with the THON kids. Take a look at the Make-A-Wish event at the Lasch Football Complex on Saturday.
4:10 p.m. - PHOTO - Teams Participate in Athlete Hour Student-athletes from across Penn State Athletics spent time with THON families and children inside the practice gym of the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon for Athlete Hour.
10:10 p.m. - VIDEO: Pep Rally Dance Competition Highlights One of the THON highlights every year comes on Saturday night when the teams of Penn State Athletics hop on stage and compete in a dancing competition during the annual pep rally. In all, 11 different teams competed in the 2013 version of the dance-off.
With resounding approval from a packed house in the Bryce Jordan Center, the Nittany Lion men's swimming team was named champion of the team dancing competition, largely thanks to its use of a prop pool to create a swimming scene mid-dance. We have highlights of every team dancing on Saturday night at THON. Take a look.
Sunday Coverage: 12:55 p.m. - VIDEO: Coach O'Brien Addresses THON 2013 Head coach Bill O'Brien took the stage at THON on Sunday afternoon, urging the dancers to push through the "fourth quarter" of the 46-hour marathon. O'Brien spoke before a capacity crowd inside the Bryce Jordan Center. Take a look.
4:12 p.m. - VIDEO: THON 2013 Reveal - $12,374,034.46 THON 2013 reached new heights on Sunday afternoon when it was revealed that this year's efforts raised $12,374,034.46 for fight against pediatric cancer. Watch a truly inspiring moment in front of a capacity crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center during the revealing of this year's total. Congratulations to everyone involved in THON 2013.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It has been over a week since its last game, but Bob
Warming's squad did some celebrating over the weekend after Michigan defeated
Michigan State Saturday night to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season
crown for the first time since 2005.
"On Saturday night I was just watching GameTracker hoping that (Michigan
State) would either tie or lose," said senior captain Jacob Barron. "When I saw
the goal, the last 15 or 20 minutes I was just waiting and waiting and when it
finally happened it was a great feeling."
For the seniors, they were able to earn the conference title, something
they all came to Penn State to do. Coming off a 0-6 Big Ten season in 2011, it
seemed unlikely, but Warming was able to keep the team focused on their goal of
winning the conference, no matter how unlikely it seemed.
"I couldn't believe it at first," said senior captain Brian Forgue. "We
needed two things to happen in two separate games on two separate nights with
the Indiana vs. Northwestern game and the Michigan vs. Michigan State game."
"Fortunately they both came through and that was a culmination of our
hard work this year in the big ten and it was an unbelievable feeling, one that
I haven't had since I have been here."
Now the Nittany Lions will move on to the conference tournament on
Friday where they will be the No. 1 seed, which means they will get a first round
bye. By the time they hit the field in Evanston, Ill. on Friday it will have
been nine days since the blue and white took the field.
However, for a team with a few injuries on the defensive side of the
ball the extra time off will serve as an advantage. Penn State will be able to
get players like Eli Dennis back because of the first round bye, as well as being
able to have more days of training.
"I think it actually helps us," said Forgue. "It is going to make the
trip a lot easier and we have some time to do the right things nutritionally,
get the right amount of rest and come out firing on Friday."
As for who their first round opponent will be, Penn State will face the
winner of Michigan State and Indiana, two teams they played very close with in
the regular season. Penn State fell to Indiana 1-0 in double overtime in its
Big Ten home opener on Sept. 29 and beat the Spartans at home 2-1 on Oct. 14.
Being able to have more than a week to prepare for two teams isn't
something that happens often in post-season play, but Forgue, Barron and the
Penn State leaders are making sure they can draw every advantage possible from
being the number one seed.
"It focuses us," said Forgue. "We can go back to the game plan from both
of those games and tighten some things up where we need to. We know we are
going to play one of two teams instead of one of six so we will put a good
focused game plan together for either team."
By Ryan Mellon, Special to GoPSUsports.com from the College
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State goalkeeper Emmanuel Martin is 3,849 miles
away from home in Cormontreuil, France.
But he is right at home keeping opposing teams from scoring no matter where the
goal is located.
Martin, 23, came to America in August of 2011 to join Penn State's men's soccer
Before making the trip to America, Martin gained significant experience playing
in France for Stade de Reims at the U-16 and U-18 levels. Stade de Reims is one
of 128 clubs in the Championnat de France Amateur 2, or CFA 2. The club is
known for being one of the most successful clubs in France, owning six titles
in their league.
Martin said playing 60 games in the CFA 2 prepared him in a more technical and
tactical sense of play.
"The French education for goalkeeper is a good one," Martin said. "I bring some
good technical skill and it helps me on the field to play my game."
Martin said the style of play between France and the Big Ten is slightly
different, citing more tactical play in France and more physical play in the
Martin's role on the team at Penn State extends beyond just keeping the ball
out of the net. Assistant coach Bo Oshoniyi, who works primarily with the
goalkeepers on the team, said Martin brought leadership with him.
"Manny played at a high level over in France, so I think he was a natural
leader when he came in to Penn State," Oshoniyi said.
"I definitely think he has helped some of the younger guys deal with the
everyday life of college soccer and the grind that it can be with the
Oshoniyi brings some leadership of his own to the Penn State coaching staff
having won all-America goalkeeper honors twice at Southern Connecticut State
University and playing with the Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards of Major
For Martin, who hopes to go to the MLS one day, Oshoniyi's experience can
certainly be very helpful.
After gaining experience in the Premier Development League this summer with the
Reading Union, that plan could become a reality.
"I think he could have an opportunity," Oshoniyi said. "If he did get that
opportunity, he would run with it and make the most of it."
While Martin's American soccer experience is not over yet, he is certainly glad
the opportunity was given.
"I can tell you right now I'm really thankful to be in the United States and to
be at Penn State for the great education," Martin said.
"I like playing with these guys and the coaches and the environment is really
good. I'm really thankful for that."
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - It was only fitting for a match that had four Penn State goals, to have
all of them come off the foot of a Nittany Lion senior in what was their last
game together on Jeffery Field.
Penn State (9-4-3,
3-1-2) tied Ohio State 4-4 in double overtime on a rainy Senior Day at Jeffery
Field, but the play of Bob Warming's seniors against the Buckeyes made it a day
that will be hard to forget.
remember it without a doubt," said Warming after the match. "Today will be
bittersweet for a lot of reasons for them. To be able to remember that they
scored today will be special."
Marvin Ledgister, Julian Cardona and Daniel Parr scored for Penn State, while
seniors John Gallagher and Hasani Sinclair recorded two of the assists. Parr's
goal in the 72nd minute was the first of his Nittany Lion career.
"That was awesome,
I didn't even think about that," said Cardona. "We got Dan Parr on the board.
Nobody has ever hugged me so hard on a celebration. It was suffocating."
acknowledged the play of his seniors and how big of a day it was for them to
have, but not without a little humor.
"This means that we
are going to have to get some good recruits in that's for sure," Warming
laughed. "I am just happy for the seniors and I just told them that we are not
done, the second season starts pretty soon."
players made it clear that the tie against Ohio State does not define their
season, not only because of the fact that there is still one more regular
season game on Wednesday against Penn as well as the Big Ten conference
tournament, but also because of the improvements they have made from one year
"We have to look at
our overall performance this year, especially in Big Ten play," said senior
defensemen Brian Forgue. "I think we can be pretty happy with our overall
record, especially as an improvement from last year."
Warming made it
clear, as he has all year that they will take the positives from the match,
instead of dwelling on the negatives.
"This team has made
a lot of improvement," said Warming. "Scoring four goals against Ohio State and
it looked like a day we could have had nine, it was crazy."
A player that has
emerged for Warming in the second half of the regular season, Hasani Sinclair,
continued to improve his play as he recorded an assist against the Buckeyes and
came close to having back-to-back games with a goal as a shot in the second
half went wide off the left goal post.
"Hasani came in and
that was the best he maybe played all year," said Cardona. "He got super
unlucky and took one off the post, but he brought in a lot of energy and we
were clicking for a while."
The combination of
Sinclair and Cardona up top is something that Warming will continue to build
upon as they head into conference tournament play.
"They were good
today, weren't they?," Warming asked the media with a smile on his face. "They
were good. I mean they were really good. They were very focused and very determined
and I am excited about them in the second season coming up."
After the regular
season finale against Penn, Penn State will head to Evanston, Ill. for the Big
Ten conference tournament, which runs from Nov. 7 through Nov. 11. The Nittany
Lions are guaranteed a top three seed and a tie from the Northwestern and
Indiana match on Tuesday would clinch a share of the regular season title.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - In what will be its last match on the turf of Jeffery Field, senior day
is on the minds of the 10 seniors on the Penn State men's soccer team (9-4-2,
3-1-1). However, there is a little more at stake when they face Ohio State
(6-9-1, 0-4) on Sunday at 1 p.m. as a win for the Lions would put them in
position to be at least in the hunt for the Big Ten regular season title.
"Obviously it is a
big day since it is the last game on Jeffery Field for the seniors," said
captain John Gallagher. "It is definitely a big day. We want to get a win and
we need to get a win if we want to win the Big Ten."
with senior captains Brian Forgue and Jacob Barron have been the vocal leaders
for the Lions in 2012. The team has won three straight matches including a 1-0
double overtime victory on Oct. 21 against a ranked Northwestern team.
combination of senior day and a Big Ten championship on the line, it has been
stressed that they must stay focused on Ohio State and then take in the
experience with their families and friends after the match.
"We just have to
focus first on beating Ohio State and working on the things that we have done
in practice the last couple days," said Barron. "If we win, we can enjoy senior
day with all of our parents and everyone else."
thought of potentially beating Ohio State in their last career home match,
being in a good position to win the conference title and celebrating it with
not only their teammates, but also their families, hasn't escaped the minds of
some of the Nittany Lions.
"That would be
awesome, that would be ideal," said Forgue. "The last four years here have been
some of the best I have ever had. Getting to compete for this university and
play on these types of facilities day in and day out."
going to miss it, but if we go out with a win and potentially line ourselves up
to win the Big Ten that's exactly what we are working towards."
coach Bob Warming loves senior day because it is a confirmation that his
players have made it through their college experiences at Penn State and are
prepared to go into the world and do something great.
What Warming hopes
his seniors take out of the ceremony on Sunday and their experience at Penn
State as a whole is a lifelong connection with the program and the value of
their time at Penn State.
Warming wants his
seniors to emulate what a past alumnus did during alumni weekend a few weeks
ago, and that is come back to the program no matter how long ago they
"Penn State soccer
alum Dick Packer, who graduated 57 years ago, came back 57 years later and is
as passionate as can be about Penn State soccer," said Warming. "I told all of
these seniors, I want somebody in this room, hopefully multiple guys, 57 years
from now back in the locker room with the team and talking about how valuable
their experience was at Penn State."
The relationship of
the seniors, as well as the rest of the team has not gone unnoticed in 2012 and
the leadership that has developed has led to the Nittany Lions being on the
brink of their first conference championship since 2005.
"Everybody on the
team is real close with each other, but for the seniors that leadership
expectation brought us all together," said Gallagher. "Guys haven't had to do
that from their freshman year to now, but since they have this year we all just
came together and led the team."
Sunday will be
another tough Big Ten test for the Nittany Lions as Ohio State comes in after
nearly beating No. 1 ranked Akron on Wednesday, reminding Warming of his Penn
State team from a year ago.
"Ohio State is an
absolute handful, they are certainly the Penn State of last year," said
Warming. "They are the team that nobody wants to face right now."
Kickoff on Sunday
is set for 1 p.m. at Jeffery Field.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With its last-minute, 1-0 victory
over Northwestern in double overtime Oct. 21, Penn State men's soccer clawed
its way back in the running for the 2012 Big Ten regular-season title. The
Nittany Lions (9-4-2, 3-1-1 B1G) top the conference standings with 10 points,
edging rivals Indiana (3-1-0 B1G) and Northwestern (3-1-0 B1G) by a single
While the Nittany Lions have just one conference clash remaining against Ohio
State, the Hoosiers and Wildcats will play two more matches, including a Nov. 1
matchup between the teams in Bloomington, Ind., to close the regular season. With
multiple variables still yet to be set, the Lions' hunt for their first Big Ten
title since 2005 is still alive.
For each of the following scenarios, Penn State must defeat the Buckeyes at
Jeffrey Field Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Northwestern visits Madison, Wis., for a showdown with Wisconsin at 1 p.m.
Sunday, while Indiana faces Michigan State at the same time in East Lansing,
Mich. If both the Wildcats and Hoosiers lose, the Nittany Lions would be
declared Big Ten champions, while a tie by both teams would result in at least a
share of the conference crown for the Blue and White.
A second scenario involves either one of the teams losing this weekend, but
winning the Nov. 1 matchup. For example, if Indiana loses to Michigan State
Sunday, but defeats Northwestern in the final regular-season match, Penn State
would be the conference champion. The same situation exists if Northwestern
loses to Wisconsin before downing Indiana.
In the event of a tie with Ohio State, Penn State would need Indiana and
Northwestern to lose their games this weekend and tie each other Nov. 1 to
collect the Big Ten championship. With a loss to Ohio State, the Nittany Lions
would need the same sequence of events to share the title with Indiana and
With the win over Northwestern, Penn State finished the 2012 season undefeated
on the road in Big Ten action with a 2-0-1 record, the first time it has done
so since finishing 6-0-0 in the conference in 2005. The Lions opened conference
play with a 1-0 victory over Wisconsin on the road Sept. 21 before battling to
a 1-1 draw with Michigan Oct. 6. After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in double
overtime against Indiana at home Sept. 29, Penn State rebounded with a 2-1 win
over Michigan at Jeffrey Field Oct. 14.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - On a team loaded with seniors and loaded with talent, every piece of the
puzzle must be put together in order to have success in the Big Ten Conference.
A piece of this puzzle that has drastically improved as the season has
progressed has been senior defender John Gallagher's ability to create chances
off set pieces and become a versatile player for the 8-4-2 Nittany Lions.
produced two goals in the past two matches for Penn State, both of which have
been games the Lions have won. Gallagher continued his success on set pieces by
forcing an own goal off of a corner kick against Michigan State Oct. 14. Three
days later, the lefty scored a goal in the 22nd minute, with his right foot.
however, hasn't simply just appeared on the scene in the 2012 season, it has been
produced by the work put forth off the field by Penn State's senior captain.
"We have these free
kick dummy's and I come out either before or after practice and set them up in
positions on the field that I know I am going to be aiming toward during the
games and I take maybe 20 or 30 to focus on driving them and getting them in
the right spots," said Gallagher. "It helps because my deliveries have been a
lot better this year than they were last year and one of my goals was to have
every set piece I take be a scoring opportunity for us."
Set pieces have
been where Gallagher has thrived in the second half of the season and his
practice and ability to know where teams will line up on set pieces have
resulted in his teammates being in a good position to get a shot on net.
Gallagher has been working toward this improvement since the summer has the
team has shown improvement in the set piece plus and minus category that he
First knowing where
his team will be and then picking up where his opponent is lined up, Gallagher
focuses on a specific plan of attack before he puts the ball in play. This pre-kick
focus allows him to pick a spot on the field and force the defense to make a
decision on the ball.
"On corners a lot
of teams line up the same way so there is a pretty specific spot I like to put
it, but yeah it is just whipping it in there hard," said Gallagher. "Just like
against Michigan State, if you drive in a good ball nice and hard anything can
happen and I think that was proven by the own goal."
Head coach Bob
Warming stressed the importance of being able to make sure that Gallagher gets Penn
State players on the right end of it and now Gallagher is doing exactly that
after missing a few games in early October.
"In his time off he
probably hit a thousand crosses out here and I think his quality of crosses has
improved since then," said Warming. "It's just practice, practice, practice. His
legs were ready to fall off because he kicked so many balls."
As well as
improving on set pieces, Gallagher has spent time in the racquetball courts to
work on his footwork with both foots as he feels opponents view him as a one
footed player. In his last season in Happy Valley, he has made it a point to
prove opponents wrong and show that he can play anywhere and score with either
"Johnny has played
every where," said Warming. "He has played as a forward, wide midfield and has
played in the back. He is getting to become a better and better soccer player
and there's not many left footed guys that can run like that and pass that well."
Gallagher and the
Nittany Lions will travel to Evanston this weekend to take on Northwestern
before coming home one last time to play Ohio State on Oct. 28 for senior day.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Staff
Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After
playing close with No. 10 Indiana and earning a draw at conference foe
Michigan, the Penn State men's soccer team (6-4-2, 1-1-1) welcomed No. 3 Akron
(8-1-2, 3-0-0) to Jeffery Field on Wednesday. The Zips, who only have one loss
on the year, scored two first half goals to hand Penn State their second home
setback of the season.
Even with the shutout loss,
the Nittany Lions looked at the positives post-game after only allowing what
head coach Bob Warming called the slickest passing team Akron has ever had to
only three shots in the second half.
"I don't think we will play
anyone this year that will pass the ball like that," said Warming. "Our speed
of thought improved as we went along in the game we got more tackles and
started winning some balls and I think that will transfer over into Sunday."
However, after playing a team
that moves as fast as Akron did Wednesday night, the pace of future opponents
will look slower for Warming's team and that is an adjustment they will have to
make against Michigan State.
Warming has been able to get
a few players on the field that didn't get a lot of minutes earlier in the
season to make some of those adjustments, including Eli Dennis and Hasani
Sinclair who both saw big minutes Wednesday. Dennis came on in the 15th minute
replacing senior defender Brian Forgue, who sat for the first time all season.
"Eli came in and did a great
job so he really came in and gave us a boost when Forgue had to come out," said
senior midfielder John Gallagher. "If we need Eli again he will step in and do
Sinclair, who has seen his
minutes rise in the past five matches, had a big opportunity with seven minutes
remaining in the first half but could not connect on a cross from Julian
Cardona. However, Sinclair's role has grown to getting more shots on net and
adding to the variety of players on the offensive end for Penn State. Sinclair's
personal goal while on the field is simple.
"Basically I just want to
help the team try and score and work as hard as I can to help the team," said
Moving forward to Michigan
State (5-6-1, 1-1), a team that outshot Penn State 11-4 in a 1-0 Spartan home
victory, the Nittany Lions will look right back to the Akron match to see what
they need to do to notch their first victory in five matches.
Gallagher said he doesn't
think they will face a team like the caliber of Akron and it will allow them to
have confidence when they play the Spartans at Jeffery Field on Sunday at 3 pm.
"Akron is number 3 in the
nation right now, everyone on that team can play and has a great touch so for
us to be able to come out and compete as well as we did is going to be great
for us against Michigan State," said Gallagher.
The Spartans and Nittany
Lions have played each other tight going 2-2-1 in their past five meetings. Each
team has split their past two matchups including a 2-1 win at Jeffery Field in
2010, the last time both teams met on the Penn State campus.
Warming said that there are a
few areas that his players will focus on before Sunday, but his team is
familiar with Michigan State and remembers the 1-0 loss from a year ago.
"For some guys focus is
getting rest, for others a little technical training," said Warming. "I drove
down on Sunday and watched them play against Ohio State, they present a really
good challenge for us. We lost up at their place on a free kick and I think our
guys will be excited to play against them."
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - Brian Forgue defines the phrase student-athlete. Student: He is on track
to graduate a semester early with close to a 4.0 grade point average while
being a part of the Athletic Directors Leadership Institute and the student
athlete advisory board. Athlete: The senior defender has played every single
minute in the 2012 season. That is 935 minutes.
"Brian is a Penn
State guy," said head coach Bob Warming, who began to rattle off Forgue's
achievements off the field. "He is a pretty good role model in terms of what it
means to be a Penn State guy."
Forgue, a native of
Glenmoore, Pa., said that on his first official visit to Penn State, he got a
feeling that he didn't get anywhere else. After that visit, Forgue recalled his
mothertelling him she never saw the
smile leave his face during his visit, and that is when he knew he had to go to
"I have grown to
love this place from my first visit to now," he said. "That pride in this
university has never really waivered for me."
From the first time
he stepped foot on campus, Forgue knew what a great opportunity he had in being
a student athlete at Penn State. Playing soccer for the Nittany Lions has given
him a reason and a need to not only play hard on the field, but to represent
his school off of it.
Forgue is a member
of the Athletic Directors Leadership Institute, which his comprised of 64
student-athletes from all sports and they study leaders and how to properly
lead their respective teams.
"It is just a
wonderful tool to reflect on our own leadership style and mold that identity as
a leader," said Forgue.
On top of that, he
is also the student athlete advisory board representative for men's soccer
which launched his involvement with Penn State's dance marathon, THON, which
helps raise money for children with pediatric cancer.
"I have been given
such a phenomenal opportunity to not only do what I love day in and day out and
that is play soccer, but to represent an incredible university doing it," said
Forgue. "That is the main reason why I feel giving back is important."
Forgue leads the THON wish program for the men's soccer team where families are
brought into the multi-sport complex during THON weekend and spend time with
members of the team and get to play soccer with division one athletes.
It is a chance for
kids who are battling cancer to at the same time enjoy a pick up game of soccer
with Forgue and his teammates. Opportunities like those are the most fulfilling
for Penn State's captain.
"It gives us a
great opportunity to give back and get to know these kids and give them all
access to a Penn State student athlete," said Forgue. "It's a wonderful thing,
possibly the most rewarding thing I have done since I've been at Penn State."
"Given the platform
that the student athlete is on, especially at a place like Penn State, you have
to use it in a positive form and as a way to give back."
Knowing all of the
work Forgue does to give back, fellow senior defensemen Jacob Barron
acknowledged Forgue's work off the field and sees an easy translation of it on
when he first transferred to Penn State and how Forgue was the one that helped
"When I transferred
here he was really welcoming and easy to talk to and helped me get used to
everything," said Barron. "He is a great guy to be with and you feel really
comfortable when you are with him."
As far as the game
of soccer goes, Forgue has seen an increase in minutes from a year ago where he
was primarily a sub for Bob Warming's defense, but had no problem with doing
what's best for the team.
His role might have
changed in 2012, but the overall focus remains the same, putting team success
before personal success.
"My personal role
is to not be an individual and make this back line as cohesive as possible,"
said Forgue. "If I have to play every minute and be a leader on the back line,
then that is what I am going to do."
Warming has seen
improvement in Forgue's game ranging from his passing to his organizational
skills on the back line, but the biggest improvement he thought the senior made
was turning negatives into positives.
Once Forgue was
able to that, his game on the field has evolved through watching more film and
trying to correct the negatives on the field. In terms of how much time he
spends on the field, Forgue credits his coaching staff and their focus on
keeping guys rested and healthy.
"The objective here
is to have the guys we started the season with still going strong at the last
game of the season," said Forgue.
Forgue and the
Nittany Lions will try to get their second Big Ten win of the season as they
travel to Ann Arbor to play Michigan Saturday at 7 p.m.