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May 27, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer program has announced its 2010 fall schedule, revealing a line up that features nine home games and match-ups with six teams that qualified for the NCAA Championship in 2009. The schedule also includes five non-conference contests versus teams from Pennsylvania, road trips to five different states, and four opponents never faced before in program history.
Penn State will play two exhibition matches in preparation for the regular season, beginning on Sat., Aug. 21 (3 p.m.) when it hosts Hartwick at Jeffrey Field. One week later, the Nittany Lions will travel to Fort Wayne, Ind. to take on BIG EAST opponent Louisville on Sat., Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. as part of the annual National Soccer Festival.
The 2010 regular season kicks off on Fri., Sept. 3 when Penn State clashes with Buffalo at 5 p.m. in an opening day match-up at host Ohio State's Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio. The Lions are 2-0 all-time versus the Bulls. Penn State will finish out tournament play on Sun., Sept. 5 (5 p.m.) with its first ever game with the College of Charleston. The Cougars are led by veteran head coach Ralphy Lundy, who's 395 careers wins ranks him fourth among active Division I head coaches, just 12 wins ahead of PSU's Bob Warming.
The Nittany Lions will open their 2010 home schedule when they host the annual Penn State Classic. On Fri., Sept. 10 (7:30 p.m.), Penn State will open play versus regional rival Bucknell and then wrap-up tournament action on Sun., Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. when it takes on Binghamton of the America East Conference. The Lions have more wins versus Bucknell, 58, than any other opponent in program history, including last season's 2-1 victory in Lewisburg.
The following weekend, Penn State will make its longest road trip of the season, visiting the state of Colorado for a pair of contests. On Fri., Sept. 17 (9 p.m. ET), the Nittany Lions will clash with Air Force in Colorado Springs. After just one day's rest, PSU will travel 70 miles north for a Mile High City meeting with Denver on Fri., Sept. 24 (3 p.m. ET).
Bob Warming will experience his Big Ten baptism of fire on Fri., Sept. 24 when fellow first-year head coach Todd Yeagley brings his Indiana squad to University Park for a 7:30 p.m. match at Jeffrey Field. The rivalry between the Nittany Lions and the Hoosiers has developed into one of the Big Ten's best and most heated, as their last 12 match-ups have all been decided by one goal or by penalty kicks. Penn State has won four of the last seven meetings, but fell to IU, 1-0, in Bloomington in 2009.
Penn State's first Big Ten road game of 2010 kicks off the second month of the season, as it heads to Ann Arbor for a 1 p.m. contest with Michigan on Sun., Oct. 3. The Nittany Lions own a 9-3-1 record in their all-time series with the Wolverines, including 2009's 3-0 regular season victory in Happy Valley and a thrilling 1-0 double overtime Big Ten Tournament win.
Consecutive home games against Villanova (Wed., Oct. 6, 7 p.m.), Michigan State (Sun., Oct. 10, 3 p.m.), and Akron (Wed., Oct. 13, 7 p.m.) over the span of a week dominate early October. Penn State owns a 7-1-1 all-time record versus Villanova and defeated the Wildcats, 3-0, in a spring season match-up. A pivotal Big Ten showdown with the Spartans, which the Nittany Lions won 1-0 in East Lansing a year ago, is sandwiched between the two non-conference contests. Penn State will be facing 2009 national championship runner-up Akron for the fifth straight year but for the just the second time in University Park during that stretch.
A road trip to Evanston, Ill. and a 2 p.m. ET clash with Northwestern follows on Sun., Oct. 16. The annual match-up between Penn State and Northwestern has emerged as one of the league's most intense rivalries in recent years, though the Lions have dominated the all-time series, winning 21 of 26 meetings. A successful penalty kick by Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.) in the final minute of regulation salvaged a 1-1 tie for Penn State in 2009.
After facing UMBC for the first time in program history at home on Wed., Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., Penn State will host rival Ohio State (Sat., Oct. 23, 3 p.m.) as part of what promises to be the most anticipated and exciting weekends of the 2010 season. In addition to the Nittany Lions looking to avenge their heartbreaking Big Ten Tournament championship loss to the Buckeyes of a year ago, the program will welcome back alumni to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Penn State soccer. The day will also be highlighted by Senior Day festivities, as five Nittany Lions, Matheus Braga, Andres Casais (Caracas, Venezuela), Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.), Andy Parr (Hummelstown, Pa.), and Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.), will play their final game at Jeffrey Field.
Penn State will finish out the 2010 regular season with a three-game road swing, starting on Wed., Oct. 27 when it heads to Philadelphia for a 7 p.m. contest with Penn. Another trip to eastern Pennsylvania is in store for the following week, as the Nittany Lions meet Lafayette in Easton on Tues., Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Last season, PSU dominated match-ups with Penn and Lafayette, gaining 5-0 and 2-0 wins, respectively. Penn State will conclude the year in Madison, Wis. when they take on Wisconsin in what could prove to be a critical game in terms of the race for a conference title and seeding for the Big Ten Tournament. The Lions and the Badgers will do battle on Sat., Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. ET.
Penn State will seek its fourth conference title when it hosts the 2010 Big Ten Tournament from Nov. 11-14 at Jeffrey Field. The Nittany Lions will welcome the conference field to Happy Valley for the third overall time since joining the Big Ten in 1991 and for the first time since 2002. Overall, Penn State owns a Big Ten Tournament mark of 24-13-4; one of just two league teams to own a winning record in the postseason event.
The 2010 NCAA Championship is scheduled to begin on Fri., Nov. 19 with first round action and will culminate at the College Cup, scheduled for Dec. 10-12 at host UCSB's Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Penn State returns 17 letterwinners and nine starters, including four All-Big Ten performers and 2009 team leaders in goals and assists, from a squad that won 12 games, advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title game, and earned a berth in the NCAA Championship last season.