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VIDEO: 2018 THON Pep Rally Dance

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Among the most highly anticipated THON weekend events, check out men's soccer's athlete hour pep rally dance!

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A changing of the guard has struck the Penn State men's soccer program at the highest level. As esteemed head coach Bob Warming stepped down in pursuit of retirement this offseason, the Penn State program searched for another reputable figure to continue the legacy of the Blue and White.

 

A 27-year coaching veteran has graciously accepted the honor to fill Warming's shoes and to find his own path of player development, success and legacy to lead within the confines of Jeffrey Field and the tradition of Penn State Athletics.

                      

His name is Jeff Cook.

 

"When you look at coaching positions across this country, whether if that's collegiate or professional, I do believe this is one of the best coaching positions in the United States and I am very proud of the title," head coach Cook said.  

 

Before accepting the offer, Cook played and coached across the nation's pitch. Most notably, Cook led Dartmouth University to five Ivy League Championships and seven NCAA appearances throughout his 12-year tenure as head coach. Most recently, Cook haled as an assistant coach to the Bethlehem Steel FC, a Philadelphia Union United Soccer League affiliate, while also head coaching the under-19 Union Academy team.

 

"I think simply put it is a pleasure for me to be here after more than 25 years in soccer coaching," Cook said. "The chance to represent Penn State University, this incredible institution, it was an opportunity I am delighted to have the chance to accept...The potential of men's soccer specifically is just a fantastic chance for me to take the next step in my career and I cannot wait to get working with our student-athletes and get to know more about this very special place."

 

Cook has been instrumental in the development of young male soccer players from across the board and ages. He coaches a high-tempo, fast style of play with a foundation geared in the importance of an athlete's physical and mental growth.

 

"I really believe the biggest change in the last five-year window for example would be in my mind the psychology side," Cook said. "There are relationships in the why of why you play [that] are just as important as the tactics. That's something you can't replicate...so in a day-to-day basis you want well-organized practices that target specific skill development or team organization but at the same time if the players don't want to play for each other and for the program then all of that stuff is kind of negated."

 

As both an assistant and head coach, Cook is well versed in all facets of coaching, especially preparing for matches, creating and perfecting training sessions, analyzing scouting reports and video, and optimizing player potential and development.

 

Cook hopes to bring his coaching expertise to Jeffrey Field with a strong emphasis on a team-first mentality and a reliance on current players that have been in the program, like Dani Marks, Aaron Molloy and Brandon Hackenberg.

 

"Everything we do here with the Penn State men's soccer program is going to be centered around the idea of a team concept so how we play and possession of the ball," Cook said. "We'll have a lot of combination play, a lot of ball movement rather than kind of relying on two extremely talented players that might carry the game so to speak. We'll be a team centered group."

 

Cook also wants to hit the ground running immediately to help the juniors and seniors achieve their optimal road to success before their imminent departures as graduated student-athletes.

 

"We need to look forward and the older players really offered their support and their commitment to really embrace this new direction, while we go forward," Cook said. "I want the Penn State fans and the soccer fans to know that this for me is that we want to be good now and it's not going to be easy and we aren't going to make any promises about what we will do next season, results wise, but my commitment to the older players especially is that we are going to try to be successful as soon as possible."

 

As a new face leads the Penn State men's soccer core with goals towards immense achievement and success, the Blue and White faithful should expect the same dedication to tradition, greatness and victory seen every season between the goal posts of Jeffrey Field.

 

"We want to be prepared and as successful as we can be next fall," Cook said. "It starts immediately."

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms.

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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Penn State extended its season long winning streak to three to cap off the regular season with a 2-1 win on Sunday against Northwestern.

On a wet a sloppy day at Jeffrey Field, both teams struggled to control the ball in a hard-fought game on senior day for the Nittany Lions.

"I'm just really happy and proud of the whole team for doing such great work for the seniors today,"  head coach Bob Warming said.

Seniors honored postgame were Aymar Sigue, Dani Marks, Cameron Steele and Sam Bollinger, all participating in their final home game at Jeffrey Field.

Sigue was the hero on the day tapping in the go-ahead goal late in the second half for his second goal of the season. Marks also had a strong day as the stalwart on defense played his typical physical defense. 

Penn State got on the board first when a corner kick went to the top of the 18 yard-box to Aaron Malloy. After taking a touch to settle the ball, Malloy sent a rocket to the top corner of the net, giving no chance to Northwestern goalie Robbie White for his third goal of the season.

Malloy dominated the middle of the field for the Nittany Lions, playing with great aggression and leading the team with five shots on the day.

"It was set up for Aaron because their back four line and their midfield line were dropping very deep so it was going to be a lot of space between them and their forwards," Warming said. "He (Malloy) took advantage of his space really well."

The equalizer came with 10 minutes remaining in the half for Northwestern. On the cross from Tommy Katsiyiannis, Sean Lynch cut across the face of the goal and was able to flick a header just past Penn State's goalie Josh Levine.

Penn State was very aggressive, especially Malloy and Ethan Beckford, taking shots from outside the 18-yard box for the rest of the half, but were unable to pull ahead and went into the locker room tied 1-1. 

With 23 minutes remaining in the second half Sigue put Penn State ahead for good. Northwestern goalie Robbie White was unable to handle a shot from the outside bouncing off his chest. The rebound fell right to the feet to Sigue who was able to put away the easy go-ahead goal from six yards out. 

"We were just trying to build off a couple great performances that we've had this year," Sigue said "It's a great honor scoring on senior night." 

Tom Katsiyiannis had the final opportunity for Northwestern sending a shot just wide of the net from the corner of the box with under a minute to play.

Penn State outshot Northwestern on the day 18-12 holding off the late Wildcat attack to pick up the win.

While the regular season may be over, Sigue thinks this team and his Penn State career is far from done. "We still have it all to play for. We can still win the Big Ten Tournament, and make it to the NCAA (Tournament)," Sigue said. "We have the opportunity to end someone else's season." 

Penn State now awaits its opponent in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament which will take place next Sunday.

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - He may have played soccer across the nation in California and Florida, but he found a home in Penn State's neon goalie jersey. From an eager recruit to a seasoned redshirt senior, Evan Finney reflects on his five years between the posts of Jeffrey Field with gratitude and motivation to move forward.

 

"I think that playing for Penn State is a huge, huge honor," Finney said. "Obviously one of the best athletic and academic schools in the nation."

 

When one imagines a soccer game, they picture freshly mowed grass, sunny skies, and a picturesque breeze, but Finney's initial recruiting trip during the height of a State College winter saw beyond the frigid weather that dawns mid-soccer season and recognized Penn State's historic legacy of excellence.

 

"I will never forget it, it was like zero degrees outside it was freezing and I remember standing on Jeffrey Field for the first time as a recruit with a foot of snow and then just touring the school and seeing all of the facilities, campus life, everything," Finney said. "I just pictured myself for four years and I just made the decision."

 

Finney found a natural desire to join the large sea of Blue and White walking to class bundled up against the winter elements, but most importantly he embraced a culture and team that gave him soccer, lifetime achievements, home, and family.

 

"I thought first coming here would make me feel like a little fish in a really, really, really big pond like an ocean but you know being on a team with a bunch of guys I feel like a big fish in a little pond just because I have those guys," Finney said. "We are all family...that's what helped me be away from home for so long."

 

Finney began manifesting the relationships and familial bond with the rest of the men clad in Penn State Blue and White from the onset, especially as he lifted a Big Ten trophy his first season on the squad.

 

"The most memorable being definitely winning the Big Ten Championship back in 2013," Finney said of his favorite times in the Blue and White. "We beat Northwestern in overtime and that was a huge, huge moment...I will never forget that with all the guys."

 

Although he redshirted his true freshman year, Finney's presence was felt between the posts and amongst his teammates for the remainder of his career.

 

His best season, as a redshirt junior, also gave way to another career defining and memorable experiences for the goalkeeper.

 

"Last year beating Michigan State in double overtime when Robby Sagel scored on a header with literally minutes to go," Finney said on some of his most memorable moments. "I thought that was a pretty special one as well because it had been a tough year for me with injuries and stuff."

 

That season Finney started all 13 of the matches he spent in net. Throughout the 2016 campaign he recorded four shutouts, while also ranking second in the Big Ten for save percentage (.810) with 47 total saves. He also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors on two separate occasions.

 

Throughout the 2017 slate, Finney continued to shine through nine games with 31 saves before having to put away the starting jersey due to injury.

 

Finney wants to continue and motivate his success beyond Penn State's last line of defense as he looks towards the Major League Soccer (MLS) Draft in January.

 

"I am definitely going to go into the draft," Finney said, who added it's always been a goal of his to be drafted and play in the professional ranks. 

 

As a productive and noteworthy staple on the Penn State men's soccer team for the past five years, Finney has become a part of the honorable, historic, and excellent standard of Penn State that originally motivated the young recruit to immerse himself in a community rife with Blue and White.

 

"When you hear about Penn State you hear about the history, the commitment, the drive you need to play here so being able to play here for not only four years but five years has been probably one of my proudest accomplishments in my life I couldn't be more thankful," Finney said.

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms. 

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - He may have grown up going to the Berkey Creamery and spending Saturdays in Beaver Stadium, but he found another kind of home on the Penn State men's soccer team. As a walk-on, State College native Sam Bollinger uses his coveted Blue and White No. 26 as a motivation to consistently work hard and remain resilient in all facets of his life at Penn State.

 

"Sam Bollinger is just a tremendous story to begin with," head coach Bob Warming said. "A local guy whose put himself in the position to not only be on our team but be a starter on our team, be a scholarship player on our team, to be Academic All-Big Ten."

 

After his freshman year as a Penn State student, Bollinger worked restlessly to earn a spot on Jeffrey Field's pitch as a student-athlete.

 

"What you leave behind is a legacy and the legacy is how hard you work every day and what the standard continues to be for the program no matter what and they've really helped leave a great legacy for us," Warming said on the senior class.

 

Bollinger's legacy began when he played meaningful minutes as a walk-on sophomore. In his sophomore campaign, he appeared in 14 games for 495 minutes and notched a season-high three goals.

 

"Most memorable on the field was probably my first goal at Ohio State two years ago," Bollinger said. "Obviously I wanted to play for Penn State my whole life it was a dream come true to be able to contribute in that way by scoring."

 

As a junior, his playing time increased through 13 games, two starts and 570 minutes; he even played a season-high 90 minutes through three consecutive games on the field in 2016.

 

He continues to contribute as a forward and midfielder throughout this season's senior campaign. Through fourteen games Bollinger has already notched 734 minutes of total play with two crucial assists.

 

Bollinger's work ethic does not only play through his time spent on the pitch, but also his education and future career path.

 

He has been recognized as a Schreyer Honors College Scholar, Academic All-Big Ten athlete and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar throughout his time at Penn State.

 

"All the things Sam's done are the things you'd love to see out of every student athlete," Warming said. "He is going to be a great physician or researcher or whatever he decides to do."

 

Following in his father's footsteps, Bollinger is majoring in chemistry and pursuing medical school after graduation.

 

"Still medical school," Bollinger said on his future plans. "I actually just completed like all of my applications for all of the schools so I'm just waiting to hear back now hopefully I'll start getting interviews soon."

 

As the Penn State men's soccer player looks towards his future beyond graduation, he also reflects upon his college experience with gratitude towards a program that enabled his hometown roots and stimulated a motivating and successful work ethic. 

 

"It just kind of was like my freshman year, I wasn't on the team and I kind of was like lost," Bollinger said on his first year at Penn State and the importance of the men's soccer team. "I had my high school friends but didn't really know my place at Penn State and being on the team just gave me a lot more meaning in my college career. It kind of helped me structure my time a lot better, it gave me a sense of purpose waking up everyday...it made my college experience a million times better than it would've been otherwise."

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms.

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - He transferred from Tulsa University and extended his stay away from his home country just to play for the Penn State men's soccer team. Aymar Sigue's dedication to the game plays through his performance on Jeffrey Field, and will see him through to professional opportunities after he retires the Blue and White.

 

"Aymar is terrific," head coach Bob Warming said. "A guy that I'm really going to miss having around the program."

 

Sigue's immense dedication to his craft transcends into a positive presence on the team as he motivates his fellow Nittany Lions to focus, learn, and maintain composure even on the worst days or through a trying experience.

 

"Aymar has never had a bad day," Warming said. "Days he hasn't played well, he has days where things are going wrong with him, he had Malaria for goodness sakes, deathly ill and just wanted to play soccer so guys like that you just love to have around."

 

The Nittany Lions also love to have the explosive forward in the box looking for his next chance to connect ball with net.

 

As a newcomer in 2016, Sigue proved to be an asset to the offense as he started 11 of the 16 matches that he saw playing time. He scored three goals on the season, including the ultimate golden goal in double overtime against Rutgers.

 

The 2017 campaign has kept the graduating senior as a constant in the lineup. Sigue has played in all but one of the 13 matches so far. He continues to add a spark to the team's offensive scheme.

 

Sigue's dedication to the game transcends ball and cleat as he also encompasses and appreciates the men wearing the Blue and White.

 

"One of the most memorable moments as a senior that I had this year was the overtime win we had versus Saint Francis because they're our Pennsylvania rivals and I've never seen the team come together as much as we did for that win," Sigue said. "It was one of the first times I really felt like apart of a brotherhood."

 

That brotherhood has given the game of soccer even more meaning to the striving athlete as he has created a home well beyond the confines of Albert, Canada, his hometown. Once again, he cites his teammates and their bond as an essential piece to his entire Penn State experience.

 

"Just assimilating myself with the guys because originally I'm from Canada and I went to school in Oklahoma so going to Penn State was a big transition for me just going to a big state school," Sigue said.

 

As Sigue continues to prepare himself for another life transition, he plans to continue to lace up his cleats and chase the ball into his future with the help of the foundation that he continued to grow as a Nittany Lion.

 

"After graduation, I of course want to pursue my dream of becoming a professional soccer player. I am going to go on some trials, probably gonna go back to the Vancouver Whitecaps, which is my academy team from back home," Sigue said.

 

"I'm really happy for them I feel like they are prepared for what's next," Warming said on Sigue and his senior classmates. "They are all going to do great things and I think they are going to be great representatives of Penn State when they leave."

 

The Penn State men's soccer program gave a great experience to the senior, but Sigue will also leave the influence of his dedicated attitude on Jeffrey Field for the next no. 7 to learn from and appreciate.

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms. 

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As a transferring junior, he replaced the Red and White of North Carolina State for a No. 17 Blue and White jersey. Now a senior with graduation dawning, midfielder Cameron Steele continues to find great opportunity in his decision to transfer and play for the Penn State community.

 

"I absolutely loved it ever since I got here," Steele said. "The community support here is amazing and I loved the group of guys and the coaches I have gotten to meet here. I am so really grateful to be apart of Penn State."

 

Although Steele transferred from his home state of North Carolina prior to his junior year, he still made an impact in the Nittany Lions' lineup as a latecomer to Happy Valley. Steele appeared in 10 games with one start, while seeing his most action of the 2016 season against the No. 4 ranked Maryland Terrapins.

 

Steele's minutes and starts have drastically increased in the 2017 campaign as head coach Bob Warming has seen the senior achieve his full potential on and off the field.

 

"Cam Steele is one of the special ones really," Warming said. "I think that you have a collegiate athlete, a guy who is a fantastic student. He's really dedicated to people off the field, his teammates and other people and just works hard every single day on the field."

 

So far on the season Steele has played in nine games, started seven games as a midfielder or forward and played 697 minutes. The Nittany Lions still have three regular season games on their slate and Steele already tripled his minutes from last season.

 

"The legacy you want to leave is the culture, the work ethic and the determination to keep trying to improve every single time that they are on this field," Warming said.

 

Steele's work ethic and determination play through his drastic increase of appearances in the starting lineup and overall minutes on the pitch throughout the hustle and grind of the 2017 campaign. As a senior, his lead and example speaks volumes to the level of play that other transfers and freshmen must strive for in order to make their own legacy.

 

"He's really one of the special guys and a great role model for what we want our Penn State players to be," Warming said.

 

Although Steele made his impact on the Penn State men's soccer team with barely two seasons under his belt, Warming and Steele both see more opportunity for the seniors to leave their mark.

 

"Even though we haven't gotten the results we've wanted so far we still have a few games left to get momentum going into the tournament and then just take it one game at a time," Steele said.

 

"That's up to them...we're not done yet," Warming added.

 

No matter how the season plays out for the Nittany Lions, Steele hopes to continue his soccer journey after the positive legacy that the Blue and White has imprinted on his professional and educational career.

 

"I really want to keep playing after college," Steele said. "I am just hoping to get my degree then go from there."

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms. 

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - He can be seen by the Blue and White faithful hugging the wing, holding the defensive unit firm, or helping add an element of surprise to their set pieces. Standing at 6'4", freshman Callum Pritchatt has made his presence known on an already skillful Penn State men's soccer team with his technical ability, left-foot, and size.

 

"He honestly has already stepped into a leadership position just because of his background at West Brom (West Bromwich Albion Football Club) over in England," said senior goalkeeper Evan Finney. "He has really kept his head very well, you know it's not easy to just play in different positions every other game...I think that he has really done well to be able to move from center-back to defensive-mid now to right-wing."

 

The jack-of-all-trades on the pitch is a freshman standout with years of elite experience under his cleats. Pritchatt dedicated his life to soccer from a young age in the United Kingdom, his home country, and a place rife with a cultural emphasis on futbol.

 

At the age of 14, Pritchatt joined England's West Bromwich Albion, an English football club based in West Bromwich in the West Midlands. As Pritchatt joined the club circuit, he developed the foundation that brought him across the pond to suit up and represent the Blue and White.

 

"I joined West Bromwich at the age of 14, which is probably the highest level you can get in England so all the coaches there were top quality," said Pritchatt. "Instead of focusing on certain things they would just try to join in every aspect, so even if you play on defense you would work on stuff the strikers worked on. So, it just improved your game overall and I think that's helped me coming here, getting adjusted."

 

Head coach Bob Warming and his coaching core were so impressed with Pritchatt's versatility that they quickly adjusted his stagnant role as a defender to a transitioning threat throughout the entirety of the pitch.

 

"First of all, he is a very talented left-footed player," said Warming. "He has some physical qualities that are good for a very tall player as well. I think he is adjusting to the college game. This college game is so different than club soccer and I think he's learning to adjust. He has a big future ahead of him."

 

Pritchatt's teammates also find confidence and opportunity in the young player's skillset that capitalizes on his left-footed strength, especially in the attacking third and set play situations.

 

"You know it's his left-footed crossing ability and free kick ability," said Finney. "It helps me knowing that we can get a lot more chances in the goal if there are a lot more crosses coming in from that side...it kind of takes some relief from the defense. His left foot is wicked, it's good. I think we are going to get goals off it, it's just a matter of time until it comes."

 

Although the team's season is not over, Pritchatt's experience with the Nittany Lions has already come full circle for the freshman. He began as a constant on the backline and now pays homage to his positional origin with the help of creating offensive opportunities and keeping the pressure away from Finney's box.

 

"It's been good, but it's also been a challenge," said Pritchatt. "I'm more comfortable outside at the back four. All throughout my whole career I have played many different positions and obviously coach has seen something in me as a forward so if it's going to help the team then I am willing to try that."

 

Pritchatt's willingness to help in any facet comes from his respect for the Blue and White and the game itself.

 

"I'm just trying to focus on the soccer as much as possible," said Pritchatt.

 

He was raised on the sound of fans, the smell of freshly groomed grass and the feel of ball connecting with cleat. Soccer is the connective force between his home, West Brom, and now his time with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

 

Pritchatt is quickly realizing soccer is the sport that keeps on giving as he gains more connections through his time spent across the pond with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

 

"It's huge I didn't realize 'til the first game how much it means to the public and the fans like even though the futbol is big in England you don't really get the family feel like you do at Penn State," said Pritchatt.

 

After this season, Pritchatt will have three more years to continue to develop his left-footed threat and dangerous versatility under the support of his Blue and White family, friends, and fans at Jeffrey Field.

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms. 

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions (2-7-2, 0-5-0 B1G) battled the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers (10-0-2, 3-0-2 B1G) under the lights of Jeffrey Field on Saturday. Although Penn State fell to the Hoosiers in a 1-0 bout, the Nittany Lions held a team with 30 goals through twelve games to a single tally on the scoreboard.

 

"The thing I enjoyed about the game is that I thought our guys got better as the game went along," said head coach Bob Warming. "They adapted to how fast the speed of play was and you don't get that when you play against bad teams. When you play against the best you either quit because you're frustrated or you fight and figure out how to solve a problem and our guys fought and figured out how to solve the problem."

 

The Blue and White's defense shined brighter than Jeffrey Field's lights as they managed to contain a lethal offense through 90 minutes of play.

 

"[They] Blocked so many shots, they blocked so many crosses that would've been dangerous chances," said Warming. "Very, very proud of those guys... those guys did a great job."

 

Captain Dani Marks and Ryan Gallagher were a formidable duo on the backline throughout the entirety of the match, while defenders Callum Pritchatt, Brennan Ireland, Brandon Hackenberg and Kyle Perno offered crucial support on the flanks.  

 

"We changed our system to a four in the back so we had some changes and stuff we were working on in training and I think we've been playing really well," said Marks. "We have a good solid group of guys even guys who come off the bench...We played the best team in the country...It was tough but I think we handled them...The back four of our defensive line is good, strong."

 

While the back four maintained command of Penn State's defensive third, goalkeeper Josh Levine took control of his box against the best offense in the nation.

 

"I think it was a great performance, a great opponent," said Levine. "I think we came in well prepared. We've been really, really working on try to limit defensive lapses learning to defend when we're really pressed in for a couple minutes at a time and then trying to find ways to exploit that and counter it. So overall I thought it was a good strong performance from us today."

 

Although a redshirt freshman making only his second career start Saturday night, Josh Levine has been playing like a veteran between the posts. The Hoosiers had 24 shots and five corner kicks at the end of the contest, but Levine answered with a career high 11 saves and only one goal allowed.

 

"Very proud of Josh, my goodness what a job he's done," said Warming.

 

"Fantastic," said Marks on Levine's performance. "That's it. Fantastic."

 

While the outcome fell in Indiana's favor, Penn State's defensive unit continued to prove that it is a wall of strength, intensity and formidability within the confines of the eighteen.

 

As the Penn State Nittany Lions look to redeem themselves, they leave Jeffrey Field behind for a four-game road campaign. The Blue and White's first stop is to the neighboring Pittsburgh Panthers on Oct. 10 under the lights. 

 

"We proved to ourselves that we are capable of playing to that level and to everyone else so we have to build off of this game," said Marks. "I'm not going to say loss, I'm going to say we are going to build off of this game...move forward from here."

 


For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms. 

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By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Blue and White faithful fill the stands of Jeffrey Field to see a show of athleticism and a proud representation of Penn State through the men's soccer team.  While the player's shots, skills, and heart seem as natural as the blades of grass supporting their play, the men, garbed in coach's gear, stand back on the sideline and work endlessly to help make that display unfold.

 

"We don't have anything unbelievable under the rug that we do," associate head coach Chad Duernberger said. "We just try to make sure that our guys get better every single day going forward."

 

Duernberger is a crucial asset to the Nittany Lions' coaching staff as he takes responsibility for recruiting, mentoring and scouting, in addition to his other developmental coaching duties.

 

"You know Chad Duernberger has done a fantastic job," head coach Bob Warming said. "All the credit to Chad for getting them prepared and then to our guys for executing."

                                                            

As October arrives on the schedule, the men's soccer team will head on the road for four consecutive games in the coming month. As Duernberger worked his way up the ranks under Warming, he has become no stranger to traveling with the team and for the team.

 

"Recruiting is obviously the biggest piece," Duernberger said. "I'm the lead recruiter for the team so long hours driving, flying, spending nights in hotels by yourself and you travel to find the next guys to represent Penn State University."

 

Although fans can always find Duernberger flanking Warming with assistant coach Owen Griffith on the sidelines, he is usually spending every other moment researching possible new additions to the squad or on the road pursuing the next talented athlete who upholds Penn State's standards of excellence.

 

"As the lead recruiter, you are always thinking about the next class and the class after that," Duernberger said. "You spend a lot of time with your current players but you're always looking and searching for the next player who will represent the school."

 

He even traveled for the match against the Wisconsin Badgers just to leave the team immediately after to hop on an airplane in the pursuit of the next possible addition to the Penn State Nittany Lions men's soccer core.

 

With nine international players donning the Blue and White, one wonders why they committed to a school in the middle of Pennsylvania relatively far from any major city. Two words: Chad Duernberger.

 

"I think when you recruit players from far away, they need to see that I truly believe in everything I am telling them about Penn State University, which means the absolute world to me," Duernberger said. "So, I think that is a massive piece, besides helping them get comfortable seeing it through me,  that I am a Penn Stater, and Penn State is the place to be."

 

Aside from recruiting, Duernberger also commits himself to mentoring student-athletes on and off the pitch.

 

"Just to watch them grow as men and that's first and foremost," Duernberger said. "We are gonna win a lot of games, we are gonna drop a few games but we always tell them that it is our main focus to develop you as a man so when you leave here you take a lot of values and things we've been building to take onto your professional and family life."

 

Duernberger builds that trust to develop these young men through the relationships he creates during recruitment and the effort he puts into improving their game once they arrive at Penn State.

 

Showing student-athletes pregame video highlights of professional players at the next level, he uses film as a method to create learning and encouragement, both which fall under his umbrella of time and dedication.

 

"For film review, that takes time. To cut clips, you spend three hours of cutting videos to present to the players for about 20 minutes," Duernberger said.

 

"Chad Duernberger has done a fantastic job in the last week or two and today again with showing clips," Warming said following the team's win over Detroit Mercy earlier this season. "They got this wonderful visual image of how it could be for a guy who is making 27 million dollars a year and then for us so it's just what you can do in that position so I just think the guys applied a lot of it tonight."

 

Duernberger has developed into a jack-of-all-trades, which embodies his role and representation of the Blue and White amongst the men's soccer coaching core. 

 

"Chad and Owen are world class assistant coaches," Warming said. "I've had a lot of assistant coaches who are head coaches now in Division 1 and those two guys are going to be terrific, terrific head coaches."

 

For more information on Nittany Lion men's soccer, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com and follow the team on the various social media platforms. 

@GOPSUSPORTS

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