Recently in Men's Soccer Category


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.

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By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the words of Penn State head coach Bob Warming, Sam Bollinger is the "ultimate student-athlete for Penn State and one of the best stories in State College."

 

Bollinger, a former walk-on from State College, and now scholarship athlete on the men's soccer team, finds himself balancing academics, research and athletics perfectly. He originally came in as a biomedical engineer major, but realized that wasn't for him. With some influential advice from his father, J. Martin Bollinger, who's a Penn State chemistry professor, Bollinger switched to chemistry, a move he did not think he'd ever make. His father told him chemistry is a good foundational science bachelor's degree to graduate with.

 

He hopes to intern at a hospital to gain clinical experience with the ultimate goal of attending medical school after graduating from Penn State. Away from the soccer field, Bollinger uses his brilliant mind to assist complex lab work a floor below his father's office.

 

"I'm working with protein that fluoresce when there are stress conditions in the cell that cause various types of diseases and conditions in people," said Bollinger. "We're trying to find an efficient way to get protein into mammalian cells so you can attack those conditions before they start to affect the organism."

 

"The guy is crazy, wicked smart," said Warming. "He is a brilliant student, great kid, great story, worked hard as heck on his skills, and his attitude is infectious every day. He comes ready to go. He is sleeping five hours a night because he is up late studying and he comes with a 'hey let's go' attitude every day."

 

Bollinger has little time to waste when it comes to academics, playing soccer and conducting research, but he's maximized the most of it. The structure of his days actually helps him succeed in every aspect of his life. He earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar status this year when he recorded a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher last year.

 

"It's tough," said Bollinger. "You need to sacrifice some stuff. It's time consuming. My grades have been better since I've been on the team."

 

Bollinger wasn't on the team as a freshman as he didn't follow the same trajectory from high school as most of his teammates. He went overlooked by college teams and he, himself questioned his playing ability.

 

"Coming out of high school, I didn't know if I was good enough but I wanted to come to Penn State so I came and played on the club team my freshman year," said Bollinger.

 

Knowing that the team was holding walk-on tryouts, Bollinger missed the competitiveness of high-level soccer and trained all summer before his sophomore year. He prides himself on fitness being a main component of his game. For a midfielder, Sam's position, fitness goes a long way. He focused on distance, sprinting and interval work during his training leading up to the audition for the team.

 

"I got as fit as possible because I knew coach likes fit guys," said Bollinger.

 

Bollinger proved to Warming he had the fitness to play on the team with his 7:20 in a mile and half time. At this year's media day, Warming said the other guys weren't 'Sam fit' and his remarkable fitness was at a different level.

 

"He basically lapped everybody else that was pretty fit who were trying out for the team," said Warming.

 

Bollinger earned himself a spot on the team by putting on an impressive tryout.

 

"It's been a dream come true," said Bollinger. "It's unbelievable. I lived here my entire life. I've been coming to games since I can remember."

 

The midfielder appeared in 14 games along with three starts while notching six points with three goals in 2015.  That success has continued this year as he has started in the past two matches while appearing in nine so far this season.

 

Bollinger earned himself an athletic scholarship, and he continues to work diligently at his soccer craft, one of his many special abilities.

 

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 men's soccer found themselves in yet another game requiring extra time. The Nittany Lions were awarded a penalty kick in the second overtime and Austin Maloney beat the goalkeeper to defeat Wisconsin, 2-1, Friday night at Jeffrey Field.

 

Through eight matches so far this season, five of them were overtime matches. Penn State (4-3-1, 2-1-0 Big Ten) found themselves on the winning side Friday, but it didn't come easy against the Badgers (3-2-1, 2-1-0 Big Ten), who came into the game undefeated in the Big Ten.

 

The Nittany Lions started the match with a different looking lineup. Head coach Bob Warming decided to go with senior Evan Finney in goal. Finney was the Nittany Lions' opening game starter but took a bad collision to the head in the second game of the season. Freshman Arie Ammann filled in during Finney's absence.

 

"It was pretty emotional honestly to start," said Finney. "I took a bad, bad blow to the head. I was in the hospital for a day."

 

Finney sported his customized rugby style head gear that he was fitted with after the injury. Perspiration got into his eyes from the headgear but he battled through it to record the victory. He felt very comfortable with the defensive backline in his first game back.

 

"It was just like I picked up right where I left off," said Finney.

 

Also missing from the lineup was senior team captain and team leader in scoring, Connor Maloney, who remained inactive after sustaining an injury in Sunday's Maryland match. Warming told the team that a collective effort was needed to replace his importance on the field.  Maloney not only scores, but with the use of GPS technology used by the team, he runs the most miles in every training and game, according to Warming.

 

"We had a lot of miles to make up with everyone else," said Warming. "I thought Aymar (Sigue), Dayonn (Harris), Mason (Klerks) and all these guys made up all that ground that we lost from the running of Connor."

 

At halftime the match remained scoreless with little scoring opportunities. Early in the second half, Penn State benefitted from a Wisconsin miscue. In the 54th minute, Wisconsin defender Sam Brotherton headed Pierre Reedy's header directly into the top center of the net to put Penn State up 1-0.

 

The Badgers turned up the offensive pressure later in the second half. In the 77th minute, Wisconsin's Christopher Mueller snuck a rolling shot into the right side of the net from 12 yards out, beating a diving Finney to even the game at 1-1.  A score that stood at the end of regulation.

 

Physicality on the field turned up a notch in extra time. There were more tough challenges for the ball as each team vied to an important Big Ten win. Overtime was a tale of two ten minute periods. Wisconsin had pressured to score in the first session, before Penn State finally broke through in the second ten minutes. Wisconsin committed a foul on Noah Pilato in the box which led to the game-winner.

 

Without Connor Maloney, the Blue and White had to go with alternate penalty kick taker. Dayonn Harris was supposed to take the kick but felt extreme leg fatigue from playing 87 grueling minutes, so Austin Maloney, Connor's younger brother took the kick. The sophomore midfielder scored as he went top left corner as Wisconsin's goalkeeper went right.

 

Maloney sprinted across the field to celebrate his first career collegiate goal with the roaring Sons of Jeffrey student section. Also celebrating the goal was honorary captain Bob Little, a former Penn State men's soccer player who played on the 1954 and 1955 national championship teams.  Maloney's game-winning penalty kick was a bit more special to Little as he donates the money to endow Austin's Maloney's scholarship.

 

Alongside Little were Dick Packer, Ron Coder and Don Shirk who served as honorary captains for the match. They sat with the Nittany Lion team during the game and were honored for playing on Penn State's national championship teams under legendary coach Bill Jeffrey.

 

The Nittany Lions are back in action when they take on Temple at Jeffrey Field on Sept. 27 at 7 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. - Penn State's flurry of 4 first half goals proved to be too much to overcome for Ohio State in the Fourth Annual Mack Brady Match.

 

The Nittany Lions (3-2-1, 1-0-0 Big Ten) defeated the Buckeyes (1-5-0, 1-1-0 Big Ten) by a score of 4-2. It seemed to be a special night in all aspects. It was the Mack Brady Match, a pristine night and vuvuzela giveaway night, the humming horns that were made popular in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

 

Among the humming came a quick Penn State goal. Almost 50 seconds into the match, Ohio State's passing mishap in the backfield led to Dayonn Harris breaking free. Harris made a nice move to get the ball to Connor Maloney. Maloney gathered for a few seconds and set up senior midfielder Mason Klerks with a soft leading touch pass who was actively looking for an opportunity on net. Klerks then drilled a low screaming one-timer from 19 yards out into the bottom left corner of the net.

 

"Connor was dribbling in," said Klerks. "I saw some space. I checked to the ball. He laid it off to me and I hit it in."

 

Klerks, a senior defensive midfielder and an unlikely goal scorer entered Tuesday's match with one career goal. Klerks registered two tallies in Penn State's Big Ten opening game that also extended the program's unbeaten record of 4-0 in Mack Brady Matches.

 

Klerks's second goal came off a Maloney free kick in which Klerks headed the ball into the net to put the Nittany Lions up 2-0 in the 26th minute of action.

 

"I don't score a lot of goals so that was really big for me," said Klerks

 

During training this week, Klerks stood out as an outstanding header. Assistant coach Chad Duernberger told head coach Bob Warming that Klerks surprisingly was the team's best header of the ball even though he plays more of a defensive role on the team.

 

"We've never had him up there, said Warming. "He's been here four years. It's about time. It only took me four years to realize he's really good with his head.

 

"With Mason getting two goals, you're always happy when anybody steps up but when it's a senior who's done the dirty work for three and a half years here, to be the defensive midfield player, to run nine to 12 miles a game, and go and win tackles and give the ball to someone else," said Warming. "For that guy to get rewarded and to score goals, that's huge so I'm happy when anybody gets goals but it was especially rewarding to him.

 

The Nittany Lions continued the excitement with two more goals to hold a 4-0 advantage at halftime. Penn State scored four goals for the first time in a game since 2012. In the 28th minute, Pierre Reedy was fouled in the box. Maloney took the penalty kick and put it easily into the left corner for his fourth goal of the season to extend Penn State's lead to 3-0. In the 42nd minute, an Ohio State turnover in the backfield led to Maloney finding Aymar Sigue who snuck behind the defense and beat the Ohio State goalkeeper for his second goal of the season.

 

Among all of the scoring was a moving moment. A Penn State foul in the box led to goalkeeper Arie Ammann making a world-class save on a Ohio State penalty kick. Ammann guessed right and dove toward the right post to deny the penalty kick.

 

"I love penalties," said Ammann. "I knew where he was going right from the start. It's not from video; I have a personal deal I do. I know where some guys are going."

 

Eerily in last year's Mack Brady Match, Penn State goalkeeper Matt Bersano also made a save on a penalty kick taken from that exact spot. Warming felt like there was a presence of the late Mack Brady. Mack, a child who dreamed of being a Penn State goalkeeper is honored annually after passing away unexpectedly from a blood infection at the age of eight a few years ago.   

 

"It's inspiring," said Ammann. "It's something else other than just a game for us. There's a meaning to it. We went out there and fought for a cause other than ourselves. That's something that fueled us today and fuels us every day."

 

The Nittany Lions look to feed off of the Mack Brady victory when they travel to College Park, Maryland to take on No. 4 Maryland Sunday at 5 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. - Penn State's Big Ten opener against Ohio State is no ordinary game. It's much bigger than a game itself. It's bigger than the players on the field.

 

Tuesday's game at Jeffrey Field marks the playing of the fourth annual Mack Brady Game. It's a game and night that holds a special place in the hearts of many within the Penn State men's soccer program. It's a day when the team "lives the dreams of Mack and the dreams of a lot of other people. It's a day of appreciation and thankfulness for the opportunity that all of us have to live other people's dreams," according to head coach Bob Warming.  

 

Penn State plays in honor of Mack Brady. Mack and his father Christian Brady, former Dean of the Schreyer Honors College, attended Penn State soccer games frequently. Mack played soccer on a local youth team and dreamed like many young children. At age five, he dreamed of becoming a goalkeeper for Penn State and eventually becoming a goalkeeper for the U.S. national team. Tragically, Mack passed away unexpectedly from a blood infection called sepsis on December 31, 2012, just two days after seeing a doctor.

 

The day celebrates Mack's life with special events, giveaways, t-shirts, gloves for sale and ultimately the match itself.

 

"It's not a saddening vibe; if anything it's uplifting," said senior goalkeeper Evan Finney. "Playing for someone that's passed away who aspired to be a goalkeeper here, that means a lot. I've been here for four years now and every Mack Brady Game is something special."

 

Mack has left his mark on Penn State men's soccer permanently. Shortly after Mack's passing, his father Christian Brady thought it would be a brilliant idea to start the Mack Brady Memorial Men's Soccer Fund at Penn State, a scholarship and endowment fund. It was created in partnership with the Penn State men's soccer program to provide funding for scholarships, equipment and aid, especially for the goalkeeping position Mack fell in love with.

 

"Dean [Christian] Brady is someone who has been very special in my life the last couple years," said freshman goalkeeper Arie Ammann. "Every time I came out to games he was there and introducing himself. We've had communication back and forth about just regular things which is very touching when I found out about Mack. This game means more than just ourselves now. It's something else. It's for Mack. It's something that's going to drive me and will keep driving the team for a win."

 

In the previous three Mack Brady Games, the Nittany Lions have won all three. It seems fitting that Penn State has only given up one goal in the matches. Mack would have appreciated quality goalkeeping play from "Goalkeeper U". Every game, the Penn State keepers sport a diamond with four leaf clovers and the number "7" on their sleeve in honor of Mack.

 

This year's unit of goalkeepers continues a Penn State tradition paved by former Nittany Lion and current LA Galaxy goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton. Through two weeks of this season, preseason All-Big Ten selection Finney and the highly touted freshman Ammann have each earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolades. The solid play of the backline and midfield has made their jobs a whole lot easier.  

 

"The goalkeeping position is by far the most important position in soccer and it's not even close," said Warming, a former goalkeeper himself. "The fact that we have a great goalkeeper core, it gives everyone in front of them a lot of confidence. We're one of the few teams in Division I who play with three guys in the back. We have so much confidence in our guys in the back and our goalkeeping that we can do that. We play with two forwards, nowadays most teams play with one forward. The point is if the goalkeepers are good, it makes the rest of the team better."

 

Ammann has filled in for Evan Finney, who has been sitting out due to injury after the season opener. He picked up right where Finney left off.

 

"This wasn't just another recruit or another guy joining the program," said Warming. "This is a guy who trained in a professional environment and played against pros in Watford (England). There are very few guys who can go to Europe at age 16 and jump into a pro-environment. The goalkeeping core is in great hands for the future with the addition of him."

 

The goalkeepers take pride in being a part of "Goalkeeper U" and representing Mack Brady. With Mack on their side, the Nittany Lions look to push their record to 4-0 on his night.

 

If you would like to support the Mack Brady Memorial Men's Soccer Fund, memorial gifts may be made online http://givenow.psu.edu/MackBrady or by sending a check, payable to Penn State with "In memory of Mack Brady" in the memo line, to: Penn State University, One Old Main, University Park, PA 16802. You can also visit http://www.mackbrady.com/ for more information about the fund.


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. - Junior transfer and U-20 Canadian national team player Aymar Sigue netted the game-winning goal in overtime to help Penn State defeat Oakland 2-1 at Jeffrey Field.

 

Sigue has been a busy man as he just returned to Happy Valley from a trip to Costa Rica where he participated in his country's training camp. Before Monday, the transfer from Tulsa only played for the blue and white in the season's opener at Stanford.

 

"He comes in and gets the game-winner," said Warming. "He's a difference maker for our team. He helped us a ton against Stanford and he's going to help us a ton in the future."

 

Sigue told head coach Bob Warming that he felt good to play after sleeping ten hours on his flight back to Happy Valley. Warming wasn't going to play him, but chose to sub him in during the 85th-minute which turned out to be a brilliant move for the Nittany Lions.

 

Penn State needed a pick-me-up after a late goal tied the game. Before overtime started, Warming emphasized the importance of protecting the home turf of Jeffrey Field to the team. He switched the lineup to a more offensive strategy.

 

"We took Mitch [Bringolf] off," said Warming. "We put Riley [Grant] back with Mason [Klerks] and I told him play make from deep but let's put Connor [Maloney], Dayonn [Harris] and Aymar, all three of them up there together, tight. I said let's get in crosses. Just get near Aymar. The ball with drop down because they can't stay with him. That's what happened. We got a cross and battled with them, Dayonn, Connor and Aymar right there and Aymar tucks it away."

 

The wily coach's plan worked to perfection. In the 92nd-minute, Sigue saved the day for the Nittany Lions. The St. Alberta, Alberta, Canada native fired a shot just inches from Oakland's goalkeeper, who was unable to grab the ball. The ball deflected off of the goalkeeper's hands allowing Sigue to blast a shot into the bottom corner from 6 yards out.

 

"There are no words that can truly describe how I was feeling," said Sigue. "I was just happy that coach gave me a chance to come on for the last five minutes because I haven't been here. I've been in Costa Rica with the [Canadian] national team. The fact that he trusted me enough to put me in is unreal."

 

Penn State's sideline exploded with happiness as they ran onto the pitch to celebrate with the hero of the match. The 6-foot-3-inch forward proceeded to get mobbed by the entire Penn State team.

 

"They all tackled me," said Sigue. "I couldn't even breathe but it was the best feeling in the world. My first goal here at home. It's unbelievable."

 

The Nittany Lions' second victory didn't come easily against a tough Oakland squad. It was a physical match with five cards being handed out throughout the game, four of which were Oakland yellow cards.

 

"We were exhausted, when we got in the locker room, it was about as quiet as I ever seen," said Warming. The guys have put forth a lot of energy."

 

Penn State scored the first goal of the match when Connor Maloney scored his third goal of the season with a free kick just outside the 18-yard box in the 16th-minute of the match. Maloney found the bottom right corner of the net.

 

As the minutes ticked down, Penn State started to show signs of fatigue from a physically and mentally taxing schedule the past couple weeks. Late in the second-half Oakland increased pressure in Penn State's defensive end, but Penn State still held the Golden Grizzlies scoreless until Oakland's Alex Serwatka made a blind pass to the center of the box where Chase Jabbori blasted a goal into the bottom right corner from six yards out of the net to tie the score at 1-1 in the 85th-minute.

 

"First of all, I'm really proud of my guys," said Warming. This team [Oakland] beat Akron in the preseason. They looked pretty good and now I see how technical they are and how they could have beat Akron. I'm really proud of the guys for coming in and having the mentality at home that they're going to win the game in overtime."

 

The Nittany Lions are back in action when they take on neighbors Saint Francis Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. The Penn State men have the night cap as the Penn State women kick off the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. against San Diego State 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. - The old adage goes if you don't succeed the first time, try, try again. Penn State men's soccer senior captain Connor Maloney showed resiliency after one particular shot didn't go his way early in Friday's 1-0 victory against James Madison.

 

After a James Madison handball in the box, Maloney took the penalty kick for the Nittany Lions in the 12th-minute. Instead of striking the ball with force, he opted to chip it. The Dukes' goalie dove to the right side of the net and Maloney chipped the ball off the crossbar on the left side of the net.

 

"Missing a PK is never a good thing," said Maloney. "It definitely hurts your confidence a little bit but the guys kept me up and told me to keep going. They said I would get one and little did they know I got one."

 

Maloney felt like he let his team down, but he continued to show why he is the captain of the squad with pure will to find the back of the net. He led the 17-shot Penn State offense with a game-high seven shots. The Nittany Lions attack constantly pressured the Dukes with quality touches and lead passes from the wings.

 

"I was scrappy; I was fighting for one," said Maloney. "I was hungry. After I missed the PK I felt like a let the team down a little bit, absolutely so I had to come back and get one for us."

 

Maloney finally struck gold when Dayonn Harris found former Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year who snuck a left foot on the ball to find the bottom right corner of the net from six yards out while falling into a diving goalkeeper for the game-winning goal.

 

"It was definitely a relief from the PK," said Maloney. "It was joy, the first goal at home. I had to go celebrate with my teammates because I felt like I let them down the first time."

 

Head coach Bob Warming was proud of his guys after coming off of last week's physically demanding two-game cross-country trip to California. Warming especially applauded Connor Maloney's determination.

 

"His character is just amazing," said Warming. "Connor is that guy who not only leads verbally on the team but leads with that he will never be self-defeated. You're going to have to defeat him. A guy who misses a penalty; sometimes they shrink. He comes back with more fight."

 

Alongside Maloney's strong play, Penn State held the advantage of keeping the ball on James Madison's side for much of the game. The defensive backline of Brennan Ireland, Robby Sagel and Dani Marks held steady in front of freshman goalkeeper Arie Ammann. Ammann made his first collegiate start in place of last week's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Evan Finney who sat out due to injury. A near own goal deflection in the second half was one of Ammann's tough challenges on his way to his first career shutout with five saves.

 

"You always have to be on your toes for that; it was a little deflection that came in off Robby (Sagel)," said Ammann. "It was tough but I got my feet under me and got down and made the save."

 

Ammann, son of former MLS goalkeeper Mike Ammann, commended the defense's superb play.

 

"It was an easy transition coming in," said Ammann. "The backline was unreal, Robby unreal, Dani unreal and Brennan same thing. They gave me confidence coming in and confidence is all a goalkeeper really needs. Eighty percent of the game is confidence. I always say confidence is the key."

 

The deflection was a scary looking play for the Nittany Lions.

 

"The hardest thing is to make a save you're not expecting to make," said Warming. "The ball deflected off of Robby. You're not expecting to make a save there and to get down as fast as he did on this wet surface was unbelievable. It was incredible."

 

With the win, Warming moved his record to 7-0 in home openers since arriving at Penn State in the 2010 season, with his Nittany Lions have outscoring opponents 10-1 on home opening day. The Blue and White have not given up a goal at the home opener since the Warming's inaugural season in 2010 when they defeated Bucknell 2-1.

 

Penn State is back in action Monday night as they play host to Oakland.

 

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. - After last week's West Coast swing, the Penn State men's soccer team takes to the Jeffrey Field pitch for the first time this season 7:00 p.m. Friday night against James Madison.

 

The Nittany Lion contingent looks to bounce back from a physically taxing cross-country trip and pair of games in California.  The trip saw Penn State record an impressive draw in double overtime with Stanford, the defending 2015 NCAA champions, before losing 2-1 in a tough battle with UC Berkeley.

 

Home opening games are a unique aspect in sports. They hold sentimental value for some players as they play their last one, while for others it will be the first time they get to play in front of their home crowd as first-year players. Either way, the team gets the opportunity to compete in an environment that they are familiar with. With an electric home atmosphere like the one at "The Jeff", it's hard to not get excited for the home debut of the team.

 

Head coach Bob Warming takes great pride in the privilege of coaching the team on such a special field. When asked about the significance of Jeffrey Field, the seventh-year Penn State coach had endless amounts of positive rave reviews. "Everything, it's the history," said Warming. "It's named after arguably the greatest coach of soccer in American history, Bill Jeffrey, who upset England in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil."

 

"It's a tradition of all of the great players who've played on the field before. We've had soccer for 106 seasons, said Warming. "There are a lot of people who came before us and we owe it to them, our current players, students and fans to give it our best effort. That's what makes it special."

 

Warming sure knows how to get his teams to perform in home debuts. He owns an undefeated 6-0 record in home openers, and his Nittany Lions have outscored opponents 9-1 in the last six years in their first home game of the season. The Nittany Lions have not given up a goal in a home opener since Warming's inaugural season in 2010, when they beat Bucknell 2-1.

 

Not only is the "general" of the team pumped, senior Mason Klerks and true freshman Pierre Reedy are excited for the opportunity to get the 11-game home slate underway. Klerks, a California native, will get to play technically another "home opener" after the team's trip to his home state for the opening two games of the 2016 season. In California, the three-year starter and the squad received an abundance of support from Klerks' family.

 

"It felt like it was a home game for me and our team," said Klerks.

 

When asked about beginning his final campaign at "The Jeff" and his overall outlook on the team, the veteran said, "One last time, it's awesome. I can't wait to play there again I'm making every moment count and I'm just enjoying my last year. I feel like we can be great this year."

 

On the complete opposite side of the experience spectrum of Klerks is Reedy. He'll be making his first home appearance garnering the blue and white in front of the Penn State faithful. He's been waiting for that moment since his recruitment out of Kutztown, Pa. He joked about the small population of his rural hometown and the handful of people at his games in high school were parents of the players.

 

"I never played in front of a big crowd in high school like how the crowd will be Friday night because soccer wasn't a main attraction in my town," said Reedy. I've been to a couple games last fall and seeing the atmosphere and the fans...I'm really just excited to start playing at home."

 

Friday's game against James Madison starts a four-game home stretch for the Nittany Lions at Jeffrey Field. The following game is Monday, Sept. 5 when the Nittany Lions take on Oakland.

 

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: Arielle Sarget, GoPSUsports.com
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Another season of Penn State men's soccer has nearly arrived and the focus for the Nittany Lions this year is all about embracing a challenge. With the focus firmly on the future, seventh-year head coach Bob Warming is prepared to open the 2016 campaign on the West Coast this year. 

Penn State's stacked schedule features eight teams from the 2015 NCAA Tournament field and six teams that have combined for a total of 16 NCAA national championships. First on the list, Penn State travels to No. 1 Stanford to take on the defending NCAA national champions in the season opener Friday, Aug. 26.

The Nittany Lions will also meet UC Berkley in California, wrapping up the week one road trip Sunday, Aug. 28 with a 6 p.m. matchup. 

With a squad featuring six returning starters and 11 newcomers, the Nittany Lion staff also looks a little different this year. Warming promoted sixth-year assistant coach Chad Duernberger to associate head coach and welcomed former volunteer assistant Own Griffith as the team's newest assistant coach. 

We caught up with Warming as well as senior Connor Maloney and senior Evan Finney to talk, 2016, the big opener and even a little bit about Jeffrey Field.

In the meantime, here's five things you need to know before Friday's kickoff.

1. Fitness is key.

Warming praised his team for returning to campus ready to get to work in preseason, arriving in solid physical condition. "We had guys break fitness records this year and a lot of guys had personal best marks," said Warming.

2.  The Big Opener

Not only is top-ranked Stanford the returning national champion, but the Cardinal also enters the season at 19-1-5 at home in the last three years. Stanford did not surrender a single goal during the College Cup, defeating Clemson 4-0 in the title match to claim the championship crown.

 3. Canada Eh?

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

4. Transfers

Penn State picked up three transfers this off season, including Tulsa transfer Aymar Sigue. An Alberta, Canada native, Sigue spent time playing on the Canadian National Team on four separate occasions (U15, U16, U18, U20).

5. All In.

Warming notes that this year's team motto is "all in," and had each member of the team write a statement about what it means to them to be all in. Placing the statements next to each player's picture on a giant poster, Warming says it's a daily reminder that we are not satisfied.

@GOPSUSPORTS

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