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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day One

June 19, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The first blog was written by sophomore defender Brennan Ireland, redshirt-sophomore Noah Pilato and redshirt-junior Sam Bollinger.

Day One - Niagara Falls and Toronto FC/LA Galaxy Match 

Noah Pilato - R-So. - Midfielder
The trip started early in the morning as we arrived at Rec Hall in state college at 7:30 in the morning. After a quick team picture at the lion shrine, we departed for Canada at 8. Our first stop was Niagara Falls, on the United States side. We had the pleasure of partaking in the Maid of Mist tour; a once in a lifetime opportunity. As our team stood on the boat, helpless to the hard mist of the falls, it was a comedic relief to a long day of travel. Through the border and into Toronto was the next step in our journey. As we arrived at BMO field, the home of Toronto FC, we were greeted with open arms, as well as confused stares. We were able to join 20,000 supporters in watching LA Galaxy take on Toronto FC, two powerhouses of the league. The game ended with home side coming out on top, 1-0, and it was a phenomenal experience. Fifteen hours after leaving state college, we arrived at our hotel and day one was in the books.


Brennan Ireland - So. - Defender
Today was the first day of our international trip and it could not have come soon enough. We had a great week of training and everyone was eager to make the journey up to Canada. Our first day was a busy one. Our caravan departed State College early in the morning. Most of the boys hopped into their respective shuttles, determined by class year, and fell back asleep. Myself being in the freshmen van, on the other hand was kept awake because of Travis and Mac's babbling. Fortunately, after awhile their talking tired them out and we got some much needed shut eye.  

I awoke to the news we were at the Niagara Falls and after a quick meal we went to do some sightseeing. I had seen the falls as a kid, but at the time was probably more enamored with the ice cream in my hand then the actual beauty of the plummeting plumes of water that descended both into the United States and Canada. We then went on the Maid of the Mist and the cool air that was given off from the water was a nice break from the heat of the day. The blue poncho's given out to us before we stepped foot on the boat I thought would be a terrible compliment to the scorching temperature, but as we got close to the waterfalls I understood why they are passed out.

Being on the water as the falls crashed on the rocks was an amazing experience that I am fortunate enough to share with my teammates and I can not wait for what else lies ahead for us on the remainder of our trip.

Sam Bollinger - R-Jr. - Midfielder
We arrived in Toronto around 7 and drove straight to BMO Field (Toronto FC's stadium) to watch TFC take on the LA Galaxy.  It was a relief to be able to get out and stretch our legs after a long trip from State College.  We grabbed some food from the concession stand and headed to our seats in the upper left section of the stadium, which is beautifully designed and holds around 20,000 people.  There was also a really cool view of the Toronto skyline from the upper levels of the stadium.    

 The game was exciting and very back and forth, with both teams having good chances right from the start.  The score was 0-0 at halftime.  Toronto fans are very enthusiastic, constantly chanting and waving their scarves and banners.  In the 70th minute Toronto scored a beautiful goal off of a cross that was flicked on and finished with a header at the far post.  The crowd went crazy and began a long chant of "T-F-C! T-F-C!"  The game ended in a 1-0 Toronto victory and we made our way back to the vans to travel to the hotel, which was about 30 minutes away.  Overall the game was a really cool experience and it was great to be able to see teams of such quality compete.

Penn State Athletics THON 2016 Coverage

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IMG_9032.JPGUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Athletics was heavily involved with the 44th IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) held at the Bryce Jordan Center over the weekend.

THON's 708 dancers began standing at 6 p.m. on Friday and did not sit down or sleep until Sunday at 4 p.m. to raise awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

Since 1977, THON has partnered with The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital with one goal in mind: conquering childhood cancer. To date, more than $136 million has been raised by THON. THON revealed a fundraising total of more than $9.7 million for 2016 with 96 percent of THON's all-time funds being donated directly to Four Diamonds. 

Each year, more than 15,000 Penn State student volunteers dedicate their time to THON, making it the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

Members of Penn State's Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) were active participants in THON, and led run several fund-raising activities once again this year including sending solicitation letters to friends and family and a lip sync competition. In addition to generating financial support for THON, SAAB also provides emotional support to its THON children, Isabella Messina and Colton Buckley, and their families throughout the year.

Four Penn State student-athletes are represented SAAB as dancers in THON 2016: Liisi Vink-Lainas (Wynantskill, N.Y.) and Angela Widlacki (Naperville, Ill.) of women's soccer, Emily Rivers (Washington, D.C.) from women's tennis and Matt Zanellato (Burke, Va.) from football.

"This means the world to us. As athletes you are given a platform that a normal student might not have," said Zanellato. "It's one of those things that when you come in as a freshman, you know that you will have that platform for a few years. I wanted to make the most of it. I realized that THON was something special to me when I came to Penn State. I wanted to use my platform as best I could."

Additionally, Angela Connors and Jessica Spellman from the Lionettes squad and from Penn State cheerleading Kenny Fuhrman, Paige Gentry, Jordan Hinkle, Kylie Tobasco and Mike White danced in THON.

Within Penn State Athletics, strategic communications student assistants Emily Hesidence and Kate Brandell were also among the dancers at THON, as well.

Check out the extensive coverage from THON 2016 weekend.

Friday - 6 p.m. - THON 2016 Begins
The 46-hour dance marathon kicked off at 6 p.m. on Friday evening when the 708 dancers stood. They will remain on their feet until Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.


Saturday - 9:30 a.m. - Student-Athlete Interviews
With Bryce Jordan Center buzzing with energy during the 16th hour of THON 2016, spent some time with student-athletes and THON dancers Liisi Vink-Lainas  and Angela Widlacki of women's soccer, Emily Rivers, from women's tennis and Matt Zanellato from football. Representing Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB), the group is thrilled to carry the Penn State Athletics banner as dancers in the 2016 THON. Take a look at some of their remarks from the floor at the BJC.

THON 2016_Blog 2.jpg
Saturday - 2 p.m. - Football Hosts THON Explorers Event
Approximately 40 members of the Nittany Lion football team welcomed approximately 30 THON Four Diamonds children and their families to a special event inside the Lasch Football Building on Saturday afternoon as part of the THON Explorers program.

The THON event in Lasch is circled on the calendar for the Nittany Lions every year. The THON families gathered inside the home of Penn State football to take photos, get autographs, participate in athletic stations, tour the facility with the Nittany Lions, eat ice cream from the Penn State Creamery and take a group photo.

The Nittany Lions formed a high-five tunnel for the families upon entry into the building before the student-athletes took the families around the football facility. Take a look at the THON Explorers event at the Lasch Football Complex on Saturday.

Football THON Explorers Event

Saturday - 6 p.m. - Student-Athletes Participate in Athlete Hour
Athletes from several teams on campus spent times with the THON Four Diamonds children inside the IM during athlete hour on Saturday.  Here are a few snapshots and video highlights from the event.

Athlete Hour Photo Gallery

Saturday - 11 p.m. - Football Wins Pep Rally Dance Competition
One of the THON highlights every year comes on Saturday night when the teams of Penn State Athletics hop on stage and compete in a dancing competition during the annual pep rally. In all, 12 different teams competed in the 2016 version of the dance-off.

The pep rally included a speech from former Nittany Lion football great Devon Still and his daughter Leah.

As for the dance competition, the football team claimed top honors in the men's side of the action, while the reigning national champion women's soccer team took top honors on the women's side. The two teams then battled in a dance off, with the football team earning the bragging rights as the 2016 THON Pep Rally dancing champion.

We have highlights of every team dancing on Saturday night at THON. 

THON 2016 Pep Rally Photo Gallery

9185732.jpegTHON 2016 Pep Rally Full Dances
Football (Men's & Overall Champion) 
Women's Soccer (Women's Champion)
Men's Fencing
Men's Golf
Men's Gymnastics
Men's Hockey
Men's Rugby
Men's Soccer
Men's Tennis
Men's Volleyball
Field Hockey
Women's Golf
Women's Gymnastics
Women's Hockey
Women's Rugby
Women's Volleyball

Sunday - 11:30 a.m. - VIDEO: Coach Franklin Addresses THON 2016
Head coach James Franklin took the stage of THON 2016 on Sunday morning to urge the dancers on in the final hours of the 46-hour dance marathon.  Franklin's message epitomized what THON's mission has been since it started in 1977.

"This is special. What you guys do is what Penn State is ultimately all about," said Coach Franklin.

Take a look at his full remarks.

James Franklin at THON 2016 Photo Gallery

4:14 p.m. - THON 2016 Raises $9.7 Million
For the second-straight year, THON's fundraising efforts raised more than $9.7 million. The grand total for THON in 2016 was  $9,770,332.32 for fight against pediatric cancer.  Congratulations to everyone involved in THON 2016.  Here is a look at the reveal from Rec Hall prior to Penn State wrestling's bout against Oklahoma State. The Nittany Lion faithful in Rec Hall let out a big cheer as the total was unveiled.


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VIDEO: THON 2016 Pep Rally - Men's Soccer

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By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Every successful sports program needs a great coach to lead the way; for Penn State men's soccer that leader is Bob Warming.

In just six seasons with the Nittany Lions, Warming has already made an impact. Named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013, he was able to lead the Lions to back-to-back Big Ten titles. However, that's just a small glimpse of his impressive resume.

Warming, whose distinguished career spans 35 years, came to Happy Valley from Creighton University, where he took over a previously dormant program and developed it into a conference and regional power as well as a national title contender.

With a coaching record of 448-222-78, he's also led the Blue and White to three-straight NCAA postseason appearances.

Penn State already has a nationally known soccer program, paired with Warming's impressive reputation it's easy to figure out why players from all over want to play at Jeffrey Field. However, beside talented players; what separates Warming from the rest is he's also interested in his player's character.

"I think the coolest thing about Bob is he tries to recruit good kids, not only good soccer players but he makes it a goal to get guys who are generally good people," stated veteran player Danny Sheerin. "On recruiting visits he's constantly looking for players who are talented but also have strong positive character to them and you see that among the players he recruits."

Penn State takes pride in all the athletics succeeding with honor, and Warming is a shining example of how to lead a sports team with that motto.

Warming wants his players to achieve greatness on and off the field; he encourages them and believes that they can conquer whatever challenges may come their way.

"One thing he really emphasizes is toughness. He knows that's a huge part of the game and is always driving that home to us and it really helps us both on and off the field," stated Sheerin.

Besides toughness and character, Warming is also known for putting in the work to achieve success. He not only expects his players to work hard, but he also puts in the hours himself outside of practice.

"On the soccer field I don't think anyone else puts in more time than he does. Every time I see him other than practice he's in the locker room watching footage trying to come up with new tactics to beat the other teams or looking at what we can do as a program to improve," said Sheerin.

"He really pays attention to the small details and little things to make sure we as a team have those things perfected by game day. He wants to make us each the best soccer players we can be," Sheerin continued.

The men's soccer team sees one another as a family, and that includes Warming and all of the coaching staff. Just like family, Warming knows when his men need some guidance but also knows how to encourage them.

"He's been a great coach to play for, not only for his knowledge of the sport but for the energy he brings," said Sheerin. "Sometimes he can get intense when he needs to be but even his nickname is Smiling Bob Warming, he's always in a good mood and is a great guy to be around."

In addition to Warming, Chad Duernberger and Michael Behonick are assistant coaches that help lead the Blue and White.

"All the coaches are great they really care about the players and can teach everyone a lot about the game and about life outside of Jeffrey Field," said Sheerin. "The coaching staff is a huge help in all aspects, each of them are really helpful in making us better players but also make it fun to be at practice which is really awesome to have as a player."


By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2015 season was full of ups and downs for Penn State men's soccer team. Despite the dedication and handwork from all,the team fell in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals


However, this season was much more than a Cinderella story ended early. The men who created the 2015 Nittany Lions were family both on and off the field and played as such. Ending with an overall record of 7-8-2, the Blue and White have no regrets about how the team played this season.


"Despite any downs we had this season the team always kept our heads high," said veteran player Connor Maloney.


The Lions started the season strong and continued to battle throughout. They started the season with hosting opening weekend and clinching a win against San Francisco and tying with Navy. Throughout the season the team faced many tough components but always battled.


"Although the season didn't end the way we wanted it to I'm still extremely proud of the guys and we're going to miss a lot of the seniors next year," stated Maloney.


For the 2015 season, the team was led by nine seniors who will all greatly be missed next season. One thing that goes beyond the statistics is how close the members of this season's team were to one another.


"Both on and off the field these guys are some of my best friends-they're my family," said Maloney. "Being as close of a team we were, it makes everything easier. We get through the tough times together but on the same note we celebrate the big wins together as one family."


Throughout the season the Lions had their share of tough loses and ties, however they never lost hope. The team  was the definition of what it means to play as a family and they represented that throughout every match.


Moving on from the season, the Lions are taking what they learned from this year to grow.


"I think the guys now know what we're working with coming into the next year. We have the ability and the chemistry so I think we have potential to grow from this past season," stated Maloney.


Although the season didn't end exactly how the Nittany Lions wanted, this team will be remembered for never giving up and fighting together as one team.

By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Although every player on the Penn State men's soccer team stand out, three men stands out specifically: Brain James, Connor Maloney, and Dani Marks. These players all show leadership through both their actions, their words-and the armband.


Ranging from a graduating senior, a junior, and a redshirt-freshman all three were named captains for the Nittany Lions in the 2015 season.


All three vary in skills and leadership style; however each plays a crucial part in leading the team.


"Each one of them is very different as individuals, but each carries their own strengths in leading," said Head Coach Bob Warming. "Connor is the super fired up guy full of energy he can always boost the team spirit and then Brian is the quieter type of thinker, he's a little more selective of what he says. Dani is more of a boss guy in the background but although they're all different, they all work great together."


"All three of those guys play at different lines, you have Connor in the front, Brian as midfield, and Dani who oversees everything at defense. Each one of them not only has different positions but they have different personalities and can speak as leaders to different players on the team," stated Coach Warming.


Although this is his first season on the field, redshirt-freshman Dani Marks is already proving himself as a leader on the defensive line.


Before coming to Penn State he served in the Israel military than after he enrolled in the university to pursue his passion for soccer and education.


More of an observant leader, Marks prides himself on always listening to what others have to say and understanding the best way so he is able to communicate with the wide range of personalities on the team.


"Although I always try and do the right thing, if I do mess up I'm a little harder on myself since I am a captain and want to lead by example. I hold myself accountable being a captain," stated Marks.

"I want to make sure I'm helping my team on and off the field in any way I can."


Jumping from the defensive line to midfield, we have senior Brian James. The Florida native spent his first two years of college at Virginia and then moved to Happy Valley for his junior and senior seasons.


Since transferring, James has been an impact player for the Blue and White. In his first season on the team, he had seven assists and one goal, which led the Big Ten Conference. This season, he has three assist and two goals. Being one-of-three players to start all 16 matches, James has racked up 1249 minutes of play in 2015.


"It's a great group of guys and everybody brings some leadership to the team, I personally try to lead by example and always try to rally the team up whenever we're down," stated James. "It puts more pressure on me as a captain but it at the same time motivates me every day to be better for the greater good of the team."


Finally, the third of the captains is junior Connor Maloney. A highly decorated and respected player, Maloney has been a force to be recognized since leading the Big Ten in assists his freshman year than leading it in goals in his sophomore campaign.


In addition to leading by example, Maloney admits he's more of a vocal leader when it comes to his captain position.


"I would say I'm a vocal leader, I like to lead by example but at the same time I'm always there to rally the guys when they need it most, "stated Maloney. "I'm always trying to constantly work hard and improve for my team whether I'm a captain or not, the only thing that changed is I have a little more responsibility to the team with being a captain."


Although there's a clear difference in each of these players leadership style, all work together to lead the Nittany Lions to victory.


The team will be on the road this weekend to face Michigan State on Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Ohio State. 

By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - There's all types of leaders in this world, although some aren't as vocally loud as others they can just be as influential with their actions.


Juniors Riley Grant and Mason Klerks might be two of the quietest guys on the Penn State men's soccer team, but they speak with their individual skills during the matches.


Both Grant and Klerks have played and started in 16 matches so far this season. They're two of just three players to start all 16 matches. Both men play vital rules for the Nittany Lions' lineup.


"Although Riley and Mason are both different style of players, but both are very quiet individuals," stated head coach Bob Warming. "Mason is a destroyer on the field; he gets a joy from taking the ball away from people and tackling them, while Riley is a creator, he sets the ball up so perfectly and loves creating plays for his team."


Currently, Grant has racked up 1,143 minutes this season compared to last season's 382. Additionally he has taken 14 shots, and added three assist while netting one goal for the Blue and White in the 2015 campaign.


"Riley is a great asset to this team and the way he can create plays is an incredible gift as a player," said Coach Warming.


Although Grant is a junior he has only been a Nittany Lion for two seasons due to playing his freshman year at University of Akron University and transferring to Penn State after.


"It's awesome being here at Penn State, the first year was sort of a learning curve but now that I'm fully used to everything it feels like home here," stated Grant. "I've grown so close with these other guys we're truly a family, whenever I'm in the game I'm constantly trying to help my team as much as I can so we can get the win."


While Grant is known for creating plays and assisting shots, Klerks is more about taking poison away from the other team.


"Klerks has such a high pain tolerance simply because he's so use to crashing into players to take away the ball in any means he can," said Coach Warming.


Originally from Corona, Calif., Klerks moved to State College to pursue soccer and his education at Penn State. Ever since his freshman year he has been a regular starter for the team, starting in 52 of his 56 games played throughout his career for the Blue and White.


"Ever since Mason got to this school he's been a consistent starter. He's the kind of guy we need on the team to show the other team they'll have to really fight to keep the ball away from us," said Coach Warming.


For the 2015 season, Klerks has racked up 1301 minutes with eight shots. Klerks is more of a defensive player and is known for always fighting for the ball.


"I think I play with a lot of heart and I try to showcase that whenever I'm playing," said Klerks.


Klerks credits his close bonds with his teammates as the drive that's always pushing him to improve.


"It's awesome being part of this team, these guys are my brothers and as a family I'm going to do whatever I can during the matches to help the team out," stated Klerks.


Although you might not always vocally hear Riley Grant or Mason Klerks, it's impossible to ignore both of these players incredible talent and passion for the sport.

By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Every class leaves their mark on a program, something unique and something memorable about that particular group that no amount of years can erase. For the Penn State men's soccer team, there's no exception.


Four years together, through ups and downs, these nine seniors are about to graduate and all they've accomplished won't be forgotten at Jeffrey Field anytime soon.


"Every single guy in this group has had their own unique journey through Penn State and in this program, some of them have play a lot of minutes and some have played very few. However, they have all been so tight and such a good family who support each other in so many ways. Those are the members that they'll remember and each will be remembered for what he brought to the program," stated Head Coach Bob Warming.


Matt Bersano


From Tempe, Ariz., Matt Bersano completed his undergrad at Oregon State University then transferred to Penn State this August to start graduate school and pursue soccer.


Although he's only been with the team for one season, he felt right at home in Happy Valley with his fellow seniors.


"These guys were all very welcoming and very comforting. I got two weeks before preseason to

After Penn State Bersano has a dream of continuing soccer at the next level," stated Bersano.


Michael Gonzalez


After Gonzalez transferred to Penn State his sophomore year, he's never looked back on his decision.


"I love Penn State, it was probably one of the best decisions of my life transferring and I've gotten so close with these guys the past few years," stated Gonzalez.


After the season ends Gonzalez plans to enjoy the rest of his senior year and continue looking for a job after graduation.


Brian James


As one of the three captains on the team, James has been a huge influence on the men's soccer team the past two years after he transferred from Virginia.


"These guys are like my brothers, I can always turn to them or ask them for help when I need anything. It's been great being able to be a part of this team and playing for Penn State," said James.


Currently a Communication Arts & Sciences major, James wants to continue playing soccer after graduation.


Christian Kaschak


After battling a series of injuries throughout his soccer career, Kaschak still remains a vital part of the team on the field and often noted for his dedication to soccer and his academics.


"It's been an unbelievable experience being on this team. Playing Division I soccer really has shaped me into the person I am today and greatly influenced my time at this university," stated Kaschak. "I've had some of my toughest moments through soccer but always coming back from it and having the team behind me really taught me things beyond the field.


Aiming to take the MCAT in June, Kaschak wants to continue his education at medical school to pursue a career in medicine.


Drew Klingenberg


Originally from Gibsonia, Pa. Klingenberg comes from a soccer family. His older sister is on the Women's National Team, who won the World Cup last summer. Although his sister is clearly talented, Drew was able to make his own legacy here at Penn State soccer.


"My four years here and on the team have been unbelievable. I'm at one of the best universities in the country playing with some of my best friends so it's nothing short of an unbelievable experience," stated Klingenberg.


Currently a marketing major, after the season ends Klingenberg is going to enjoy the rest of his senior year.


Nate Lee


With his hometown being Derwood, Md., Lee transferred to Penn State after his freshman year at High Point University. After transferring, he quickly became a leader on the team and a vital part of Penn State's defense.


"It's been an amazing experience on the team. I transferred to Penn State and the guys welcomed me in open arms and I've become so close with everyone on the team," stated Lee.


After Penn State, Lee plans to go back to school or go play soccer in Asia.


Kyle MacDonald


Originally from Yardley, Pa., MacDonald has been a standout player for both his soccer skills and dedication to his academics.


"Coming to Penn State and begin a student-athlete here has been a dream of mine since I was growing up," stated MacDonald. "I've learned a lot both on the field and in the classroom so although it's bittersweet to see it come to an end I'm excited for the future and feel well prepared due to my time here."


After graduation, MacDonald wants to pursue a career in architectural engineering and possibly designing arenas one day. He will also graduate from the honors college of Penn State.


Matt Mayewski


Being from Belle Mead, New Jersey, Mayewski grew up a Penn State fan and even had an uncle who was also a student-athlete for the university.  Mayewski has been a part of the team all four years as a defensive player.


"Being on the team was really cool. One of the best things for me is the lessons I learned from soccer. I'll take them with me beyond graduation. I'll miss this program but I'm happy with the impact we were able to leave behind," stated Mayewski.


Mayewski will be graduating with a degree in Recreation Park Tourism Management (RPTM) and will be enjoying the rest of his time in Happy Valley as a senior after the season.


Danny Sheerin


One of the four goalkeepers for the Nittany Lions, Sheerin has been a part of the team since his freshman year in 2011. Originally from College Park, Md., Sheerin was raised in a true Penn State family.


"Being on the team was a great experience and helped make my Penn State experience unforgettable. Playing soccer with these guys is always something I could look forward to every day and even after graduation I want to come back and visit everyone," stated Sheerin.


After the season, Sheerin will enjoy the rest of his time at Penn State and graduate in December with a degree in supply chain management.


All nine seniors will be honored at the annual Senior Day match on Sunday, Nov.1 at Jeffrey Field. The Nittany Lions will kick off against Northwestern at 12:00 p.m.

By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Adjusting to the first year of college can be hectic for anyone, however student-athletes take on even more by adding the demands of playing a Division I sport.


Every season the Penn State men's soccer team welcomes new members to its family, this season the Nittany Lions added seven newcomers to the team.


"I'm extremely proud of this class, I wish everyone was healthy but everyone is adjusting great to the program and showing huge potential for the future," stated Head Coach Bob Warming.


Wes Bergevin


One of the four goalkeepers for the Blue and White, Wes Bergevin made the jump from Hinsdale, Ill. to State College to pursue a soccer career.


"I chose Penn State because I like the location of the school and combined with great academics and athletics. It's the total package," stated Bergevin.


Although Bergevin grew up moving around the country due to his father's NHL career, he credits his teammates for making Penn State feel like home for his first year at the university.


"It's a lot of fun being on the team, the older guys really help with the whole high school to college transition and they're always willing to give any of us tips about soccer or anything really," stated Bergevin.


Mac Curran


Originally from York, Pa., Mac Curran adjusted from playing strictly club soccer to Division I here at Penn State.


"Being on the team is great, it made the transition into college a lot easier knowing you're going into it with a bunch of guys who care about you," stated Curran.


Making his presence known on the field, Curran has played 14 games and started in 11. Playing a total of 732 minutes, he has taken 16 shots and notched two goals.

After college Curran plans on joining the Navy.


Dayonn Harris


From Ontario, Canada, Dayonn Harris moved to State College to play soccer. Currently Harris plans to major in kinesiology or sports management.


Harris credits his team for making his adjustment to moving away from Canada and moving to his first year of college much easier.


"It's amazing being on the team. It's a great experience and the older guys are always there to help with my transition," stated Harris. "Being on the soccer team is by far my favorite part of college so far."


So far, Harris has appeared in four games, starting two for the Blue and White. With 142 minutes of playing time, he has booted five shots.


Brennan Ireland


Although he's originally from Pittsburgh, Pa, Ireland moved to Washington D.C. during high school to play for the D.C. United Youth Academy in which he contributed to an 18-6-4 overall record.


Ireland is proving to still be an influential player at the collegiate level. So far, he has played in 14 matches and has started one. He's recorded two shots on goal and racked in 630 minutes of play for the season so far.


"Although it's a faster pace and you're playing with bigger boys, playing in college is great," said Ireland.


Planning on majoring in business, Ireland was attracted to Penn State for the academics and athletics the university offers.


"I was attracted to Penn State not only for the athletics but for the business program as well," stated Ireland.


Travis Keil


From Bear Creek, Pa. Keil came to Happy Valley for the combination of athletics, academics and location as well.


Keil recently decided to pursue economics as a major and is thankful for his teammates always willing to help with school and soccer as he adjusts to the first year in college.


"It's an amazing experience playing for this team. These are some of the best players and they're always willing to help me improve and so is the coaching staff. Everyone in this program just wants to help one another and that's really great as a new player on the team," stated Keil.


Ibrahima "Abe" Kouyate


Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa. Abe Kouyate graduated from the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies. He was named Pennsylvania State Player of the Year in his senior year at high school.


After playing six games and starting one, Kouyate had to sit out for the season due to an injury after racking in 169 minutes of play.


Coming from a soccer family, Kouyate's older brother Djeil played soccer for a semi professional France League.


Kouyate plans to conquer his injury and continue his soccer career at Penn State while potentially majoring in sports management.


Austin Maloney


Following his older brother Connor's path, Austin Maloney is making a name for himself at Penn State.


Playing and starting in 12 matches so far, Maloney has racked up 924 minutes playing with four shots on goal and two assists.


"As a freshman on the team I was pretty familiar with the school through my brother but all the guys were so welcoming on the team," said Maloney. "Being on a sports team in college helps the transition into college since you go into it with instant friends and teammates that are willing to help out in any way they can," he continued.


Maloney is undecided with his major of study but is exploring the idea of majoring in business.

So far, this freshman class has proven its' talent. At least one freshman has appeared in every match for the Nittany Lions and combines for 2,588 minutes of playing time, providing high expectations on where this class will take the team in the future.

By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --- For some, it's easy to remember the first time they were at Penn State. For Penn State men's soccer player Noah Pilato, he's been coming to campus before he can even remember.


From northern Virginia, Pilato was born and raised a Nittany Lion. Although he's only been a student here for two years, the Pilato family has had connections to State College for generations.


"We're definitely a Penn State family. Both my parents grew up around State College so we've always been huge Nittany Lion fans. I've been coming to campus since I was a little kid," stated Noah Pilato.


Pilato has grandparents that live close to campus and also has an older brother that graduated from Penn State back in 2014.


"There are pictures of me before I was able to walk in Beaver Stadium with my dad. It's funny how long I've been coming to sporting events for Penn State," said Pilato. "It's crazy because I've been around Penn State and have gone to the university's soccer camps for as long as I can remember so being on the team and being a student here is an amazing feeling."


Not only is Pilato's family a fan of Penn State, his family name is well known around State College. Noah is the nephew of the Penn State famous mural painter Michael Pilato.


Most famous for his "Inspiration" mural downtown on Heister Street, Michael Pilato has been decorating downtown since 2000.


"It's really cool when people see my last name they always ask me about my uncle and how he's doing," said Pilato.


The mural incorporates many notable and inspiring people from State College and Penn State and he is consistently adding too it to keep honoring those featured and inspiring all that see it.


Michael Pilato also has several other murals spread throughout including once a year he paints for 48 hours straight to honor those affected by 9/11.


Although they share the same name, Noah explains how didn't get the artistic ability that his uncle has.


"I'd say I'm probably the least artistic in the family," Pilato jokingly said. "I'm proud of the work my uncle does and it's great being able to see his work downtown."


With family members living in State College there is always someone in the stands cheering on Noah during matches at Jeffrey Field.


"Having a big family that lives so close is awesome. They always make sure to come to every match they can and are constantly supporting me," stated Pilato. "There was a group of them during the Loyola Maryland match and with that being my first starting matching it was great knowing they were there."


As a redshirt-freshman, Pilato has played in six matches and started in one, racking up 243 minutes of play so far this season.


"I've been playing soccer since I was a little kid so being able to play at a college level is a dream come true for me, especially being able to play here at Penn State since I was always a big fan of the school," stated Pilato.