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Gill: Preparing for the Big Ten Season

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1418902.jpegMeghan Gill, Redshirt Senior Midfielder

Hello Women's Soccer Fans! It's Meghan Gill here, back again this year to blog for our team as we begin competition in the Big Ten. Just to recap you on the season so far, we are 7-3-0 after a tough non-conference season, which included some great wins (Nevada, WVU, Richmond, NC State, Pitt, UVA, Bucknell) and a few tough losses (Stanford, UCF, Wisconsin). The best part of having such a tough non-conference season is that is has prepared us for the challenges we face in our Big Ten matches.

Our Big Ten season officially started this past Saturday with an away trip to Wisconsin. Wisconsin is known to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten, and one of the more physical. As the score line shows, it was a tough battle all game with the final score being a 1-0 loss for us. Although it wasn't quite how we wanted to start out our Big Ten games we learned a lot about our team and the mentality and physical presence we are going to have to bring to every game from here on out. It is a long season, and with 10 more Big Ten games left we are focused and ready to go.

However, before our first home Big Ten weekend against Northwestern and Illinois, we had a quick turnaround from Saturday with a game against Bucknell last night. This was a good game for us as we were able to almost instantly put into action those lessons we learned and not have to wait a whole week to compete and try to get back to our winning ways. It was a perfect Fall night to play soccer and a great game for the whole team as there were a few players who got their first start or made their debut for the Blue and White! The game ended in a 4-0 win for us with four different goal scorers, which goes to show our versatility that we hope to continue on in Big Ten Season.

Next up is Northwestern on Friday and Illinois on Sunday, which we hope to use to get us back on track in the Big Ten race. Northwestern played newcomer Nebraska in their Big Ten opener to a 3-1 loss, while 22nd ranked Illinois rallied from two goals down to tie Iowa 2-2 for their opener. So, as you can see the Big Ten conference is getting tougher every year, but we are as focused as ever to turn this around and keep the Penn State Tradition alive! To help us in our journey, come out to Jeffery Field on Friday at 7 p.m. as we take on Northwestern and Sunday at 1 p.m. as we take on Illinois! Hope to see you there!

WE ARE...

Meet the Lions 2011 -- Mandy Metzger

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Meet the Lions 2011 -- Whitney Church

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Meet the Lions -- Amanda Dotten

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Meet the Lions 2011 -- Erin McNulty

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Meet the Lions 2011 -- Lola Buonomo

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Meet the Lions 2011 -- Kindrah Kohne

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Meet the Lions 2011 -- Britt Eckerstrom

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The 2011 season is here and it's time to meet the newest Nittany Lions for the upcoming women's soccer season. Yesterday we interviewed Kori Chapic from Novelty, Ohio. Today, we show Britt Eckerstrom of Germantown, Md.


Meet the Lions 2011 -- Kori Chapic

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The 2011 season is here and it's time to meet the newest Nittany Lions for the upcoming women's soccer season. First up is Kori Chapic from Novelty, Ohio.

Evans: Final Entry From Granada

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For over a week, rising seniors Jess Rosenbluth (Gladwyne, Pa.) and Ali Schaefer (Las Vegas, Nev.) along with rising junior Maddy Evans (Glenside, Pa.) gave step-by-step accounts of their time in Granada, Nicaragua. The trio worked with Soccer Without Borders as volunteers of the Spring Infusion camp, which helps provide soccer equipment and instruction to youngsters in Granada. SWB's mission is applied all over the world and Penn State women's soccer has been a great supporter of SWB's commitment to bringing soccer to all young girls in impoverished areas.

Photo Gallery | Full release can be found on GoPSUsports.com.

Written by Maddy Evans, Sunday, May 22

Hello again!

What an amazing week! As I sit on the plane waiting to take off out of Managua, I cannot believe this week, which I so highly anticipated, is already coming to a close. Reflecting on this trip, with the desire to tell EVERYONE about it, I'm realizing more and more that much of this experience simply defies description. What I am able to relay in a blog barely scratches the surface of not only the many feelings involved but also the innumerable valuable lessons I have learned. After spending nine days in Nicaragua (the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere, behind Haiti), I was given the opportunity to reevaluate my needs versus my wants and truly appreciate the little things. I quickly realized just how lucky I am. Soccer alone has provided me with unbelievable opportunities and this trip has enabled me to view many things that go along with being a Penn State women's soccer player with a whole new appreciation. From a supportive system, gear and facilities, to cold cups of water at practice - we are so unbelievably lucky.

With Granada possessing a few very touristy, Americanized areas, it was possible to endure this week very comfortably. At the very beginning of the week, however, the staff of Futbol Sin Fronteras challenged us to "live locally." Our administrator Mary explained how she knows that when she gets back to the states, one of the first things she'll do is spend $4.00 on a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte. For many people in Granada, this amount of money could be more than an entire weeks worth of work. She is well aware of the fact that she doesn't need this, but while in Granada she misses this most. We were asked to consider the things that we are able to possibly give up. What's your Chai?

Yet another thing that is so evident to me after this trip, is how much the beautiful Nicaraguan culture allowed Ali, Jess, and I to simply enjoy each others company. On the way to the airport this morning we were noting how we feel like we have learned more about each other in these past ten days than we have in our past couple years together. Instead of, for instance, going out to eat and texting half the time, or being distracted by smart phone games, videos, iPods, etc., we were able to completely focus our energies and attention on the people surrounding us.

Throughout this trip, it was difficult for me to grasp the idea that this lifestyle (which we, in the scheme of things, only got a very small taste of) is another's day-to-day reality. Comparing two very different cultures (American and Nicaraguan) there are obviously parts that make each very special. Despite high poverty levels in Granada, very few people seemed miserable - As Vegas realized this, she noted something that seems to ring very true in Granada - happiness is a choice that we are able to make, minute by minute. The attitude in which we choose to approach our given circumstances can make a word of difference. Throughout this trip we were fortunate to meet many people who simply enjoy life for what it is and for that we are thankful.

Furthermore, we have come to realize that a language barrier and astoundingly different backgrounds are but small factors when it comes to building strong relationships and leaving everlasting impressions. I look forward to further reflecting on this unique experience and continuing to grow from it. As I return home to the states and venture forward with school, soccer, and whatever life throws at me, I know that I will forever hold this trip with me.

On behalf of Ali, Jess, and myself, we are so very thankful for this ultimately life-changing experience. Adios!

--NITTANY LIONS--

@GOPSUSPORTS

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