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Jan. 20, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer head coach Bob Warming has announced the addition of four players to the Nittany Lion roster. Freshman midfielder Christian Kaschak (York, Pa.), junior defenders Eli Dennis (Easton, Md.) and Akil Howard (Queens, N.Y.), and senior goalkeeper Emmanuel Martin (Cormontreuil, France) have begun training with the squad for the spring season and in preparation for the 2012 campaign.
Kaschak graduated from high school in December in order to enroll at Penn State at the beginning of the spring semester while Dennis, Howard, and Martin have been on campus since the fall but were athletically ineligible to play in 2011.
Christian Kaschak, a York, Pa. native, has the distinction of serving as the inaugural recipient of the Cost Family Endowed Men's Soccer Scholarship. A three-year starting forward at Dallastown Area H.S., the three-time First Team All-York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) selection finished his career with 73 goals and 39 assists despite missing his senior year with a broken foot. In 2010, Kaschak led the Wildcats to a 24-2 record and YAIAA and District 3 titles. For his standout season, he earned YAIAA Player of the Year, All-US East Region, and Pennsylvania All-State honors.
A member of the same club team that produced former two-time All-Big Ten Nittany Lion midfielder Drew Cost, PA Classics, Kaschak helped the squad to a 17-7-2 mark in 2011 and to the academy finals, placing second in a national tournament of 64 teams. The three-time team captain was named to the ESPN Rise Starting 11 for Pennsylvania in 2011. Kaschak also represented the Philadelphia Union U-18 Academy team versus the Everton U-18s last July and then later co-captained the Philadelphia Union team at the MLS Generation Adidas (U-17) Cup, as it went undefeated in regulation, falling only on in PKs in two games.
Eli Dennis is a Nittany Lion legacy, as both his Dad, Greg (1979-83), and Mom, Laurie (1980-84), played soccer at Penn State. Dennis spent his freshman season at American University, where he totaled five points (1 goal, 3 assists) and helped the Eagles to the Patriot League finals. He was named a team captain as a sophomore before deciding to transfer to Penn State.
Dennis starred at Easton (Md.) High School, where he was a four-year starter at center midfield and was a three-time First Team All-Bayside Conference and two-time Maryland All-State selection. He played club soccer with the Casa Mia Bays, leading the team to a fifth place finish at the 2010 national finals.
Akil Howard comes to Happy Valley after spending the last year enrolled at Richmond, the American International University in London in a program that combines study in the field of international business and sports with a chance for athletes to compete against premier talent. Prior to that, Howard was at the University at Buffalo, where he was honored as defensive newcomer of the year as a freshman. Howard's international soccer resume includes stints with the St. Vincent & the Grenadines National Team at the U-20 level in 2008 and 2010 and a current involvement with the U-23 program. A native of Queens, N.Y., Howard was a four-year starter at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., the same high school that current Nittany Lion midfielder Julian Cardona (Lincoln, Neb.) attended.
Emmanuel Martin is a product of Stade de Reims, one of the most successful clubs in French football history. Martin was active with Reims at the U-16 and U-18 levels and played in 60 CFA2 games.
Warming, who attained his milestone 400th career win in 2011, returns 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last season's team that advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title game for the third consecutive year, broke the Penn State record for shutouts in a season, and led the conference in goals allowed and goals against average. Among the returnees are the team's top three scorers in Minh Vu (Tucson, Ariz.), Julian Cardona, and Hasani Sinclair (Coral Gables, Fla.) and the anchor of the PSU defense, goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton (Snellville, Ga.).