Recently in Men's Soccer Category

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By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team showed a never give up attitude and flashes of excitement through a challenging and grueling 2016 campaign.

 

"They never stopped themselves," said head coach Bob Warming. "They're super bright, super competitive and they kept on battling. If we keep doing that, I don't see a way we can be stopped."

 

Warming wishes that the Nittany Lions would still be playing into the latter half of November, but that's not stopping him and his team from preparing for improvement next season. He's already hit the recruiting trail early and has met with Penn State's new director of sports performance in regards to improvement in the growing sports science areas of GPS and heart rate monitoring.

 

"You can't spend a whole lot of time looking back but it's important to look back to see where you need to improve," said Warming. "You have to look within your current team and you have to look at what you're doing training and fitness wise and not repeat exactly what you've done and look at the trends in the sport to build your team to be more successful."

 

Warming saw young players like quick-footed Dayonn Harris and All-Big Freshman selection Pierre Reedy make tremendous strides in their games, while the senior class played their last games as Penn State student-athletes.

 

"The seniors are just the greatest bunch of guys," said Warming. "Mason Klerks came here a part of the Schreyer Honors College. He's a fantastic human being and helps other people all the time. Robby Sagel transferred in and is an incredible player. I wish we had him for another year. He's made so much progress in the last year and a half."

 

When the Nittany Lions take the pitch next season, four-year starter, three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection and prolific goal scorer Connor Maloney won't be dazzling opponents for the Blue and White, instead doing so in the professional ranks.

 

"Connor Maloney is someone everyone has appreciated watching," said Warming. "This was a very, very, very special player. We'll miss him. Players make things special and his abilities were special and the other guys are just the greatest guys."

 

Not only did Connor fill highlight reels with incredible goals and moves, he led the team passionately. He wore the captain armband with pride and honor.

 

"All the guys had a great role model," said Warming. "He brought an energy and enthusiasm to the team that was noticeable when you walked out to training."

 

Even with Connor's departure, there will be a Maloney on the team next year and that's Connor's younger brother, Austin. When looking back at the 2016 season, Warming reflected upon Austin's first collegiate goal on a game-winning double overtime penalty kick as one of the more memorable moments of the year.

 

"It's a frozen moment in time because everybody is quiet," Warming said. "Everybody is watching. It takes forever it seems like and then there's a rush of emotion. All the guys going to pile on him." 

 

That moment was one of the many that Warming and is team will look back on fondly. 

 

The Nittany Lions finished 8-8-2 (4-4-0 Big Ten) in an exciting and up and down 2016 campaign.  Along the way Warming recorded his 450th win, the team had memorable moments, and built an exciting foundation for the years ahead.  

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By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer heads into postseason competition with a recent host of wins to end the regular season and knowing exactly what's at stake as they look ahead.  

 

Senior team captain Connor Maloney put postseason in the simplest of terms.

 

"It's do or die," said Maloney. "You lose you're done."

 

The Nittany Lions (8-7-2) open Big Ten Tournament play when they travel to take on No. 15 Michigan State (12-4-1) Sunday at 1 p.m. Penn State will play against the Spartans, a familiar foe, for the second time this season and the third time in as many years in the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State holds a two-game winning streak as the Nittany Lions beat the Spartans 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament last year. Most recently, Penn State won 1-0 in double overtime on Oct. 15 as senior defender Robby Sagel notched the game winning header to knock off then-No. 19 Michigan State.

 

Through the ebbs and flows of the grueling regular season against stiff competition, Penn State has been resilient and shown they can beat some of the best teams in the country. The hard-fought regular season victory over Michigan State was amid a five-match home unbeaten streak before dropping a match to Northwestern in the regular season finale.

 

"We feel that we can make a run," said Maloney. "We learned another lesson against Northwestern. We've shown that we can take those lessons and get better from them. We're a very good team and we've shown it a couple times throughout the season, not consistently enough but we're going to the postseason feeling good about ourselves."

 

Head coach Bob Warming knows it will be a challenge to get a road win against a talented Spartans team, but his team is filled with confidence. Michigan State is yet to surrender a loss at home but it helps the team's confidence knowing that they can beat them, per Warming. Beating a team twice is also another challenge.

 

"Our preparation has been good," said Warming. "This team is ready to go on the road. Sometimes at the end of the year you're not ready to go on the road because the travel schedule has been so hard."

 

Warming plans to adjust with the addition of more visualization drills and better monitoring of hydration. Not only is Warming changing a few preparation tactics, the Nittany Lions must adapt to Michigan State's firm playing surface. Aside from the playing surface, the Big Ten Tournament requires playing with a Wilson ball, different from the Nike ball Penn State is used to playing with. The Nittany Lions trained with the Wilson ball this week to get a feel for it.

 

"I was concentrating on getting guys to hit the ball harder," said Warming. "It doesn't feel off your foot like a Nike or Adidas ball. You have to hit it harder to get it there."

 

One thing won't be changed, the philosophy of continuing offensive pressure. Constant offensive chances are a team strength with the quickness of the forwards but they're looking for more balls to get behind opponent goalkeepers. Per Maloney, Penn State had 57 entries into the penalty area in their last game against Northwestern, and the Nittany Lions look to do the same against Michigan State.

 

"We're going to play it like we played the last game against them (Michigan State)," said Maloney. "Attacking wise, we're going to throw guys forward. We have been getting a lot of opportunities but not connecting on them. Hopefully we can get a couple (goals)."

 

When the offensive struggled, the back line held strong even with changes in the lineup throughout the season. Robby Sagel, a keystone of the defense repeated the same message about the Sunday's game plan as fellow senior Maloney did.

 

"Our game plan isn't changing too much just making some tweaks to improve on little things that we struggled with against Northwestern," said Sagel.

 

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 Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the final regular season home match of the season, Penn State men's soccer sent its seniors out in with a 1-0 non-conference victory over Wright State Tuesday night at Jeffrey Field.

Malik Cameron, Evan Finney, Riley Grant, Mason Klerks, Connor Maloney and Robby Sagel were honored after the match with their individual framed jerseys and action photos from their Nittany Lion careers. Penn State head coach Bob Warming applauded this senior class as a group of mature young men that represented Penn State on and off the field tremendously

"I'm going to miss everything about them (the seniors)," said Warming. "I've been coaching for five decades and I can tell you this generation of students is the best to be around out of any of them. They are so wired to what's going on in the world. We go on the road and we can talk about anything. They are global human beings. What I'm going to miss about them are the relationships."

As for the match itself, the lone goal of the match came in the eighth minute when the Nittany Lions (8-6-2) were on the attack against Wright State (9-5-2). Speedy Dayonn Harris sprinted down the sideline. He stopped then passed it off to Connor Maloney at the top of the box, then Maloney passed to a streaking Pierre Reedy charging at the top of the box. Reedy dribbled for a few seconds, hesitated to shoot instantly because of defender traffic in the box, but then sent a world-class left-footed shot into the left side of the net from 19 yards out to register his first career goal as a Nittany Lion.

"It felt good," said Reedy. "It was a long time coming so to finally get it, it was a good break for me."

On a night that celebrated the careers of seniors, Reedy, a freshman stood out. Fittingly enough, Maloney, a team captain and phenomenal player in Penn State history was credited with the assist. Maloney to Reedy was the passing of the torch in a sense.

"Look at the youth on this team; there's a lot to be hopeful for," said Warming. "There's a big, bright future for the team going ahead."

Reedy's goal put Penn State up 1-0 and the score didn't change the rest of the match. The Kutztown, Pa. native showed flashes of quickness down the wing all season but had no goals or assists to show for it.

"He's worked so hard all year long," said Warming. "He couldn't get an assist. He couldn't buy one then he gets two the last game in front of half of his high school then tonight to get a spectacular goal for first collegiate goal."

After Reedy's game-winning goal, Penn State continued offensive pressure throughout the first half with a few more scoring chances among their 12 shots. Most notably Sam Bollinger took a shot that hit the crossbar in the 43rd minute.

Coming out of halftime, the Nittany Lions sat back in defensive mode and the Raiders played most the last 45 minutes in Penn State's defensive end. The Raiders didn't have great chances to score but had a bunch of plays in the box in the latter stages of the match the Penn State held off. The game featured 26 shots in all, only three of them were on goal including Reedy's goal.

Warming preaches that the most common score line of college soccer games is 1-0 and Penn State found itself on the winning side of that score. Reedy's goal was enough as Penn State's senior goalkeeper Finney and the defense led by seniors held strong to post the team's fifth shutout of the season.

The Nittany Lions will look to continue to play their best soccer down the stretch as they travel to Northwestern Sunday for a 1:00 p.m. to conclude their Big Ten regular season. Depending on the result and the results of the other games, Penn State could host a Big Ten Tournament game 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 Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Six Penn State men's soccer seniors will take to the pitch for their home finale at Jeffrey Field Tuesday night.

Penn State faces Wright State as the Nittany Lions look to notch their eighth home victory of the season and conclude yet another successful home slate of games. For the seniors, this game means extra given the sentimental nature of Senior Night. Senior Night honors all the hard work on and off the field, the memories, and the progression throughout their own individual collegiate careers.

"It's great to recognize that we appreciate their efforts," said Penn State head coach Bob Warming.

The six seniors on the team came from very different walks of life, and different locations throughout the country. Seniors Connor Maloney, Mason Klerks and Evan Finney call themselves "The Big Three," since they're the three remaining from their original recruiting class. Seniors Robby Sagel, Riley Grant and Malik Cameron joined the Nittany Lions differently, as transfers.

They've all come together to gel as a giant family and see each other as brothers, according to Finney. Most importantly the senior class is made up of young men who have grown athletically, academically and socially during time at Penn State.

Warming calls the group of seniors a great representative of Penn State on the field, off the field, and in the classroom. On the field, they've taken their soccer skills and fitness levels to new heights with a high work ethic and with the support of outstanding coaches and athletic trainers within the program.

"Each one of the seniors has brought something tremendous to the program in their own way," said Warming. "They've taken advantage of everything Penn State has to offer."

Team captain Maloney has taken advantage of everything Penn State has to offer and more. Maloney is a special talent evolved his game from being a right back as a freshman to an attacking forward as a senior. He has scored seven goals and added four assists in his final season wearing the blue and white. The Harrisburg, Pa. native has been a vital player for Penn State, scoring 26 goals and adding 16 assists for a total of 68 points in his career. Maloney is a two-time All-Big Ten First Team honoree and 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year.

"He's improved his passing, shooting, dribbling and fitness remarkably," said Warming.

Since Maloney came on campus in the summer of the freshman year, he's been building upon his social skills which has led to him being named team captain. He credits former player (now assistant coach) Owen Griffith and former player Mikey Minutillo for showing him what makes it takes to be a standout leader.

"I've taken more responsibility as a leader on and off the field," said Maloney.

The second member of "The Big Three," Finney has been strong in goal throughout his career for "Goalkeeper U." The San Francisco, Calif. native earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice in his senior season and has posted three shutouts, with two of those have come after bouncing back from an injury.

He looks to build upon his favorite memories with a postseason run this season. He remembers vividly in 2013 when the Nittany Lions beat Northwestern in double overtime for the Big Ten regular season championship then later in the year upset UC Santa Barbara in front of a huge crowd at Santa Barbara in the NCAA Tournament to send the Nittany Lions to the Sweet 16. With another semester remaining, Finney is excited to treasure even more moments.

"I have another semester left and I'm going to take full advantage of it," Finney said. "I love Penn State."

Sagel, a transfer defender and Las Vegas, Nev. native has played in 31 matches with 30 starts on the backline for the Blue and White. His two career goals came in crucial moments against then-No. 10 Indiana in 2015 and then-No. 19 Michigan State this year. Sagel has been a pillar for the defense which has posted 10 shutouts in his two years at Penn State.

He faces offensive challenges from forwards on the field but he's also been challenged in the classroom. He said it's better prepared him for the future. As for Senior Night, he said he's going to be emotional but it's not going to distract from the game at stake.

"It's sad to think about," said Sagel. "I think those feelings will come in the moment. Instead of it being the end for the seniors, I think it's the start of a run."

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 Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State found itself in yet another double overtime match last night, and Friday night they were able to earn a victory, 3-2, over Rutgers on THON Night.

Penn State junior Aymar Sigue scored the game-winner late in the second overtime, which marked his second overtime game-winner of the season. In the last few games, Sigue and the rest of the forwards have had countless opportunities to score. Late in the second overtime, head coach Bob Warming told Sigue to go in and score; he did just that. Sigue helped the Nittany Lions bounce back from a late second half equalizing goal from Rutgers on a wet, dreary, windy night at Jeffrey Field.

"It just shows our persistence as a team," said Sigue. "Even though we could have done better defensively at the end of the second half, we still pulled through. As a team, we pulled together and said we're not going to lose at home. We were determined to keep our undefeated streak at home."

The Nittany Lions (7-6-2, 4-3-0 Big Ten) look to be playing their best soccer of the season, especially when they play on their home turf. Penn State holds a 7-2-1 record at Jeffrey Field. Penn State hasn't suffered a home setback since Sept. 27 against Temple.

Aside from playing well, Penn State has played three-straight double overtime games and eight games needing overtime. At this point of the season, the Nittany Lions are playing with even more determination in order to overcome exhaustion and injury.

"We are exhausted but we're a proud team," said Warming. "We kept battling tonight. I'm pleased to see how proud they are and determined they were for this one not to get away."

Team captain Connor Maloney repeated the same line as his coach.

"We're absolutely exhausted," said Maloney. "Yesterday, actually coach got us a couple massages. We were feeling good. We weren't going to feel absolutely 100 percent but we did all we could do to recover from the game a couple days ago. We did that well and played another double overtime game and got the win. This team is rolling right now. We're very happy but we're very exhausted."

Maloney was assisted off the field early in the second half with an ankle injury from a rough Rutgers slide tackle but his grit allowed him to get back on the field and ultimately score an important goal in the game.

"I didn't want to stay on the bench," said Maloney. "I hate watching from the sideline when I'm injured. I went back out there, gave it all I got and luckily I got a goal."

Maloney is a leader for Penn State and it rubs off on the rest of the team, especially freshman forward Frankie De La Camara. De La Camara feeds off of Maloney's ultra-competitive personality during training. He's caught up to speed of college soccer as he's been getting more playing time.

De La Camara, a prolific goal scorer from Florida, found the back of the net for his first career collegiate goal. Freshman Pierre Reedy dribbled into the middle of the box, passed it over to an open De La Camara on the left side of the box who took a shot from 18 yards out into the middle of the net.

"I'm finally getting a lot of minutes late in the season," said De La Camara. "It was big for the team that I scored. It was a great run by Pierre and I did the rest."

"Honestly, we have seen him score," said Warming. "This is no exaggeration; we have seen him score 100 of those in training, that same shot."

Despite long, physically taxing games, the Nittany Lions are getting contributions from players young and veteran. The common element of all is the will to win.

"The pride and determination to represent Penn State, to be the team that wins the tough, close game, that's those guys," said Warming.  "There's no coaching in that. That's them making the decision to do it and they're doing it."

Penn State looks keep up its winning ways and to get some much needed recovery before its Senior Night home regular season finale against Wright State on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

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 Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In a game filled with a host of scoring chances, two overtimes weren't enough to break a 2-2 deadlock between Penn State and No. 22 Akron Tuesday night at Jeffrey Field.

"I think the whole game was a great advertisement for college soccer," said Penn State head coach Bob Warming. "This is what great college soccer should look like: skillful, teams play hard, move the ball well and they were exciting players on the field on both teams. I'd like to play this game every week."

Penn State's offense moved the ball into Akron's defensive end early and often. The Nittany Lions (6-6-2) knew Akron (7-4-2) could make things happen offensively after the Zips scored seven goals in their last match, but knew their aggressive play could be taken advantage of.

"We put two more attacking midfielders so I got to play alongside my brother which is always awesome. We were a lot more attacking minded today," said team captain Maloney. "We knew they were throwing guys forward so we threw guys forward because we knew they weren't going to have as many back. We put guys forward and we had those opportunities. We finished two of them but we could have finished more but that's how the game of soccer is."

Connor Maloney and Dayonn Harris constantly were on the attack. Right out of the gates, the Nittany Lions were on the prowl. Despite having several near goals but not finding the back of the net, Harris put fear into Akron's defense with his blazing speed to get behind the defense, craftiness and peskiness. His play ultimately led to Penn State's two goals on the night

"His activity level is insane right now," said Warming. "They had no answer for him. It was unbelievable."

Penn State found themselves trailing early to Akron. In the 11th minute, Stuart Holthusen took a lead pass to get behind the backline. Penn State goalkeeper Evan Finney didn't fully commit to coming out to get the ball causing Holthusen to shoot it around Finney to the right side of the net. It was rolling wide but he chased it down and tapped it in the right corner. Surprisingly, Holthusen's first score was the only goal of the half, despite both teams having multiple opportunities to score.

The Nittany Lions finally broke through for a goal in the 65th minute to tie the score 1-1 when Harris received a pass at the top of the box. He then dished it back to Maloney who hit a perfectly placed kick from just outside the box into the top right corner of the net, beating Akron's leaping 6-foot-7 goalkeeper. Penn State's scoring leader notched his first goal since scoring off a penalty kick Sept. 13 against Ohio State.

But Maloney wasn't done. A few minutes later in the 74th minute, once again Harris had the ball deep into the box. An Akron defender tried to clear the ball but it deflected off Harris onto the foot of Maloney all alone in the red side of the box. Maloney capitalized for his sixth goal of the season as he drilled it into the lower right corner just before Akron's diving keeper could get there. Maloney knows it's the goal scorer who usually gets the credit, but said Harris deserved it more than anyone for Maloney's two goals

"Dayonn worked very, very hard tonight and got those assists for me so a credit to him," said Maloney.

Several minutes later, Akron knotted the score at 2-2 when Holthusen headed a cross for a goal. The Zips recorded many scoring opportunities throughout the back and forth game. Last minute chances didn't result in any goals for either team so extra time was needed on what felt like a summer night.

An extra 20 minutes on top of regulation still couldn't decide the game. Akron's constant pressure in overtime caused the Nittany Lions to be on their heels. The new, rearranged backline bent but didn't break. Former Akron player now Penn State defender Riley Grant has settled into his new role switching from forward.

"It's tricky since I never played there before but coach is helping me out with film and all the guys are talking on the field so I know where to be," said Grant. "I'm getting accustomed to it now so it should be a good thing going."

Playing against his old school and against former high school teammate Brad Ruhaak isn't anything new for Grant as they have matched up every year since he's transferred to Penn State. The relaxed, soft-spoken, Copley, Ohio native seemed to take it as just another game.

"I did it every year since I transferred," said Grant. "I'm used to it, it's another game. It's good to see all those guys again. When I go home, I see them a lot."

Penn State has beat and tied ranked teams in their last two matches and that's going a long way for the team's confidence.

"Our confidence is soaring right now to honest with you," Maloney. "Especially going into the end of the season, this is where you want to be your best; right now we are at our best."

Penn State's explosive weapons are hitting stride and playing more as a unit which is a good sign as the regular season ticks down in time for the all-important postseason.

A favorable result again a ranked team is a good sign, but seven of Penn State's 14 matches this year have required extra time. Warming is pleased with his team's hard work but knows of the wear and tear of a long, grueling college season. After playing games Sunday and Tuesday, he looks to get his guys back in top condition for Friday's game at home against Rutgers.

"They were really exhausted," said Warming. We're going to take a couple days to do 're-gen' with everybody. They've had great work ethic coming early, staying late and doing extra shooting on the goalkeepers, now we're in that phase of the year where you have to manage your body because everyone is starting to break down a bit."

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 Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's strong backline play was rewarded Saturday night when defender Robby Sagel scored a game-winning header in double overtime to lift the Nittany Lions past No. 19 Michigan State, 1-0.

The match remained scoreless until the 103rd minute when Riley Grant took a hooking free kick from about 40 yards out that found a leaping Sagel, who headed the goal to beat Michigan State's keeper. Sagel, a humble team-first player, proceeded to celebrate by tearing his jersey off immediately before getting mobbed by his teammates.

"It could have been anybody," Sagel said. "I really could care less that it was me. I'm just glad it happened, it's unreal."

It was fitting that Sagel's second career goal sealed the deal for Penn State, because defense doesn't get much individual recognition in comparison to forwards who score goals. Also, the last time Penn State knocked off a top 20 opponent on Sept. 13, 2015 against then-No.10 Indiana, Sagel scored his first career goal.

The senior from Las Vegas, Nevada also played a key role in helping the Nittany Lions (6-6-1, 3-3-0 Big Ten) keep the Spartans (9-3-1, 3-2-1 Big Ten) without a goal and to snap Michigan State's five-game stretch without a loss.

"As defenders, the thing we're most proud of is blanking the other team," Sagel said.

Penn State's defenders have had their fair share of challenges so far this season. Head coach Bob Warming adjusted the lineup due to injuries and to see what would work best. The defense is continuing to get better. Penn State posted clean sheets in the past two matches.

"They're organized in the back and they're together," Warming said. "They're squeezing at the right time and dropping off at the right time. I'm really proud of the progress they made."

"It's what we have to do to move forward," Warming said. "We've been giving up way too many goals. I feel like our guys are settling in and I give a lot of credit to Robby and Mitch [Bringolf]. Mitch played top class center back today. The things he did were unbelievable."

New pieces of the defense, Ryan Gallagher and Riley Grant have both stepped in to contribute for Penn State's backline. Warming applauded their key contributions.

"Ryan Gallagher has done everything right for the last three years to put himself in position to play for us," Warming said. "Two games. Two shutouts. Unbelievable for him. Riley, we put back there and Riley never played in the back before. He did well."

Aside from superb defensive play, the Nittany Lions knocked on the door with great scoring chances in the first overtime session after minimal chances in regulation. Grant found Dayonn Harris in the box but Harris' shot went just wide right of the net.

A few minutes later, a hard slide tackle from Michigan State on Harris awarded Penn State a penalty kick. Team scoring leader Connor Maloney took the penalty kick. Maloney shot left and Michigan State's goalkeeper went left in order to save the shot.

Missing a penalty kick didn't deflate Maloney or his teammates, instead they were more motivated to score. Early in the second overtime, Sagel got the job done when he found the back of the net.

Penn State is playing its best soccer of the year as the Big Ten regular season slate winds down with two Big Ten games and two non-conference games remaining. The Nittany Lions look to continue their winning ways against Akron Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

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



By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State extends its reach internationally as an academic institution and the men's soccer team is doing its part with having four international players on the roster, three of whom are from the country north of the United States, Canada.

Dayonn Harris, Aymar Sigue, and Mitchel Bringolf make up the trio of players on Penn State's roster from the second-largest country by area in the world. Each come from different provinces throughout the vast country. Harris, a speedy sophomore forward hails from Milton, Ontario, only a five-hour drive away from campus. Sigue, a junior transfer is from Tulsa and physical forward from St. Albert, Alberta, which is above Montana, a trip that can't be covered in one day by car from University Park. Bringolf, an impact freshman defender hails from Montreal, Quebec, about eight hours away.

With the growing trend of more collegiate programs looking internationally for players, head coach Bob Warming knew he could take advantage of Penn State's proximity to Canada. Penn State and Warming have made a splash by tapping into the talent from all over Canada in recent years.

"There aren't many foreign countries you can drive to," said Warming. "They're closer to us than a lot of the other American players that we have."

Location isn't the lone factor for recruiting Canada. Warming applauds the people of Canada, especially the Canadians on the team for their genuine kindness and overall positive nature.

"No offense to any other country in the world including our own but Canada has to be the nicest bunch of human beings on the planet," said Warming. "They're very positive people and all of us need positive people around us. I absolutely love the guys."

"If we get an opportunity, we'll go back and get a couple more," said Warming with a grin on his face.

Summer Canada Trip

This summer, Penn State men's soccer traveled north to Canada for a 10-day foreign tour, training, competition and touring Montreal and Quebec. The Nittany Lions also happened to be in Montreal for St. Jean Baptiste Day.

The trip impacted the team in a variety of positive ways and the Nittany Lions experienced much more than just playing of the game of soccer. From a Niagara Falls tour to exploring Toronto and Montreal to going to two MLS matches, the team used these experiences to prepare for this season and beyond.

About the Canadians

I sat town with the three Nittany Lion Canadians to learn more about the group from up north. 

#10 Dayonn Harris

What's it like to be Canadian on the team? "The guys kind of make fun of me for my accent, like how I say 'aye'. It's all out of fun though."

Favorite memory from the summer Canada trip: "We went to downtown Toronto and saw the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre and went shopping. It was amazing for the guys to see my hometown. We were pretty close to where I live.

What was the impact of the summer Canada trip? "We grew as a team for sure, just from little things like team dinners, jokes and banter helped make us more of a team. We actually played my home team. It was great to score on them for bragging rights as well."

Why did you choose Penn State? "Coach Warming traveled to Canada to watch me play and train. He came and watched me hit an upper-90 shot in training and it was amazing. "I was always looking to come to the United States ever since high school. The family environment felt welcoming from everyone here especially the seniors. They welcomed me in open arms."

What strengths do you bring to the team? "My speed is my strength, being able to run into channels to get us opportunities and alleviating pressure off our defense."

#7 Aymar Sigue

Being from Western Canada, what's it like being far from home and is the culture different? "I'm used to it. I lived far from home for a while but the culture in definitely different. Sports here are a lot bigger and the football culture is different especially."

Favorite memory from the summer Canada trip: "I've never been to Montreal before being from the Western Canada. I speak French so it was nice to actually be around people who also spoke French. I'm not French Canadian but I speak French. It's a question I get a lot."

What was the impact of the summer Canada trip? "It made the team a whole lot closer especially for me since I was an outsider coming in. It allowed us to have a common experience to bring us together."

What made you choose playing collegiate soccer in the U.S.? "I had the option to stay with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy team but I thought I might as well get a degree and keep playing. I go back to Vancouver during the summers to train with the team."

Why did you choose Penn State? "I transferred from Tulsa. I'm from the west side of Canada but I wanted to try something new. The winning culture and coach Warming is great. The campus is beautiful and the alumni group is really supportive."

What strengths do you bring to the team? "I'm a physical presence. We have smaller players like Dayonn who are quick forwards. I offer a different dimension to the team."

#15 Mitchel Bringolf

Is there a difference between Canada and the United States? "I don't really find that there's a big difference. Canada and the United States are very similar."

What's it like to be Canadian on the team? There's just a lot of making fun of us for saying 'aye' or the stereotypes of igloos, moose and other stuff."

How were you involved in the summer Canada trip? "I didn't go because I'm a freshman but I actually played against Penn State. We tied 1-1. My club team was the only team Penn State didn't beat."

How do you feel about going to school in another country? "Obviously I miss home but it's nice to experience something else. Even though it's a bit similar. Living on campus and living with everyone else, there still a little difference than living at home."

What was your path to Penn State? "I played with a USL team in Montreal and studying at McGill University in Montreal but it wasn't connected. The school didn't care that I played soccer and soccer didn't care about schooling. If I would have stayed, I would have had to choose one or the other."

Why did you choose Penn State? "Honestly, it was a mixture between one of the best athletic programs in the nation plus this school academically is one of the best schools in the nation plus the second I started talking to the coaching staff, it just all felt good."

What strengths do you bring to the team? "I'm a defensive player so my work ethic, being solid defensively and being clean with the ball are my strengths."

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


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer hosted Canada Night as its promotion Tuesday, and it was only fitting that Canadian Dayonn Harris would net the game-winning goal to elevate Penn State past Pittsburgh, 1-0.

Harris, an Ontario, Canada native, scored the match's only goal in the 40th minute when freshman Frankie de la Camara found him with a through ball as he got behind the backline in order to break free. Harris opted to chip the ball over Pittsburgh's aggressively charging goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt from outside the box. He utilized his speed to chase after his lofted shot all the way to the goal line where he easily kicked the ball into the open net for his third goal of the season.

"Frankie coming in was pretty big for us," said Harris. He assisted that goal obviously. I saw the goalie coming out so I just chipped it up to myself and the goal was wide open for me. This one goes out for Canada."

The other Canadians celebrated on the night were Aymar Sigue and Mitchel Bringolf. Each contributed to the win. Forward Sigue had scoring chances and defender Bringolf helped limit Pitt to only one shot on goalkeeper Evan Finney.

 

When Penn State last took the field, the Nittany Lions matched shots with Indiana, a team known to get a lot of shots off. The Nittany Lions picked up right where they left off with another wealthy display of shots.

Before and after Harris's goal, Penn State (5-6-1) kept constant pressure in their offensive end. The Nittany Lions continued to get scoring chances all game but just couldn't fully capitalize on them. Penn State took 22 shots and put 13 of them on net. Outcalt made 12 saves, many of them near goals, in order to keep Pittsburgh (2-9-2) within reach.

Senior team captain Connor Maloney took a team-high eight shots with five of them on goal. Maloney weaved and dodged around the defense but couldn't find the back of the net. On a penalty kick awarded to Penn State after a Pittsburgh red card from Stephane Pierre, Maloney blasted it to the upper-right corner but Outcalt was there to make a leaping save.

"He made a great save on my PK, kudos to him for that," said Maloney. "The goalie today was outstanding with a lot of good saves but we have to finish those."

 

It was one of those matches in soccer when a team keeps offensive momentum all game but just can't get more by the goalkeeper. Head coach Bob Warming applauded the team's resiliency and aggressive nature of play after two tough Big Ten road matches.

"I thought they were really sharp tonight," said Warming. "Fantastic performance. Our guys passed the ball really well tonight. Our aggressiveness was in getting behind them time after time after time."

 

"The common score line in college soccer is 1-0 so that's what we did today and the win so we'll carry that over to Michigan State," said Maloney.

 

The Nittany Lions are back in action against Michigan State at Jeffrey Field Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

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 Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Advancements in sports sciences is a growing discussion among athletic teams, collegiately and professionally. Whether it be focused health, performance-related, or even both, progress is being made. This season, the Penn State men's soccer program took a step in the right direction as it started monitoring its athletes in more detail.

 

If you go to a game at Jeffrey Field, you may notice each Penn State men's soccer player wears an elastic band under their jersey. You also may see an individual on the Penn State sideline who's concentrated on an iPad.

 

These are steps in the process of implementing a new heart rate monitoring system with other innovative features. It's the first time they have experimented with this technology, and so far it's been successful. The men's soccer team looks to start a trend for athletics on campus and collegiate soccer as a whole.   

 

"Every single session, anytime we train in any form, our guys are putting on a heart rate monitor that in real-time, we can look on an iPad and see exactly where their heart rate is," said head coach Bob Warming.

 

Not only does the technology determine heart rate and how much time a player is in the target heart rate ("the red zone"). It also shows how many sprints and accelerations a player does through the course of training or a game. For example, speedy forward Dayonn Harris discovered he wasn't running enough sprints for his position according to the technology, so he's made an adjustment to his game. After training sessions, Warming said Harris constantly asks if he's been doing enough sprints

 

"It's been wonderful for our players," said Warming. "It's been wonderful for our staff to really get a look and monitor our players to keep them healthy, to see who needs to sprint a little more and to see who needs a break."

 

Another element of the new technology includes the element of detecting how long recovery time needs to be for certain players according to the amount of work that's put in during physical activity. Everyone isn't the same type of athlete so these types of technologies help reinforce recovery decisions.

 

"One size doesn't fit all in training," said Warming. "One size doesn't fit all in terms of recovery."

 

Senior midfielder Mason Klerks runs some of the most mileage on the team during games at about 10 miles. Klerks can check how much he's ran during the game and see where he's ran according to a heat map generated from the technology.

 

"It's really cool to be presented that information," said Klerks.

 

You might wonder how all of this came to fruition. Warming, a very connected coach in the soccer community, heard from a former athletic trainer about this new form of technology. Warming became excited about its potential and then formed a partnership with Penn State kinesiology researcher Andrzej Przybyla. Przybyla has worked in kinesiology for almost a decade with a specialization in human movements while earning a Ph.D. in spine biomechanics.

 

Andrzej, commonly referred to as "Dre" by team personnel, leads the team's research efforts by collecting and analyzing each athlete's specific data. "Dre" then relays his findings to Warming in a more simplistic, understandable form

 

"I spend a lot of time analyzing the data and trying to figure out how I can help coaches and provide them information they need," said Przybyla.

 

"He's a genius for what he's doing," said Warming. "He's able to compartmentalize 10,000 columns worth of data into something I can read very quickly at a glance. I think he's setting a new standard for what can happen around the country with his technology."

 

"Dre", a former soccer player and current youth coach within State College himself, and Warming know with time they'll be able to learn more about the players through the technology. Although the technology has been beneficial so far this year, Warming and "Dre" are especially excited at establishing the database for underclassmen players over the course of the next few years. With more data input, predictions and growth can be measured more accurately which will lead to advances in athlete potential, performance and health.


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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