Aug. 27, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 15th-ranked Nittany Lion men's soccer team will open its 2014 campaign on Friday night as its hosts Oakland at Jeffrey Field for an 8 p.m. tilt.
The two-game weekend concludes with St. John's visiting Happy Valley for a Sunday night battle. All regular-season games at Jeffrey Field are free to attend and parking is complimentary as well.
Both games this week will be carried via live stream for fans to watch if they can't make it to Jeffrey Field. Friday's game will be hosted by GoPSUsports.com All-Access, while Sunday's game will be on BTN Plus through BTN2Go. Each requires a different subscription (GoPSUsports.com All-Access | BTN2Go Sign Up). PSU will have two home games streamed through All-Access, while eight home contests will be on BTN Plus with the possibility of away matches being added to the service.
ADMISSION & LIMITED BAG POLICY
Fans attending Penn State soccer matches at Jeffrey Field will have to comply with Penn State's Limited Bag Policy. Fans are advised that no bags larger than backpacks may be brought into the stadium grounds. This includes duffle bags and purses larger than 8.5" x 11" x 6" and all bags will be searched. For more information visit the Safety Policy SY44 Page.
Nittany Lions open 2014 against Oakland, St. John's at Jeffrey Field
Penn State and OU have never met in men's soccer; PSU meets STJ for 7th time
PSU is 4-0-0 during the Bob Warming era on opening day, 5-0-0 in Aug. under Warming
PSU has posted 15-3-3 record at Jeffrey Field the past two seasons
Bob Warming ranks 3rd in wins by active Division I head coaches, 9th all-time
Standout goalie Andrew Wolverton is 6 shutouts away from the Penn State record
Nittany Lions picked 4th by Big Ten coaches in preseason poll, 15th in national poll
PENN STATE FUTBOL RETURNS
Penn State opens its campaign with three straight home games for the second time in three years. During the Bob Warming era, the Nittany Lions are 4-0-0 on opening day, defeating its opponents by a combined score of 10-0. Last season, opening weekend featured a pair of 1-0 wins over Radford and Central Connecticut with PSU holding an edge in shots, 29-13, combined. In season openers overall, PSU has won its past six in a row following a five-year winless stretch in openers.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN GRIZZLIES
Oakland enters its 16th season of Division I soccer by returning seven starters and 15 letterwinners from 2013's 7-7-5 team. The Grizzlies went 4-2-1 in Horizon League play, good for third, ultimately falling in the tournament semifinals. Last year's leading scorer, Joey Tinnion, returns for his senior season following a seven-goal, four-assist season. Tinnion scored 33 percent of the Grizzlies' goals last year. Helping Tinnion's cause will be Matt Dudley and Matt Rickard, each of whom tallied two goals in 2013.
OU is without its starting goalkeeper from last season and will have a new face between the pipes with Englishman Eliott Tarney, a junior, and freshmen Zach Walker and West Mink vying for minutes.
SERIES HISTORY vs. OAK
All-Time Series: 0-0-0
PSU Streak: n/a
First Meeting: Aug. 29, 2014 at PSU
ABOUT THE RED STORM
St. John's is coming off its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past six seasons as STJ is one of the best teams in the Big East Conference. The Red Storm were picked fourth in the preseason poll as senior defender Tim Parker garnered attention on the preseason All-Big East squad. Parker is on the Hermann Trophy Watch List for a second consecutive season, following two straight NSCAA All-Region honors.
St. John's will look to replace its top two scorers from last year, who accounted for 10 of the team's 25 goals in 2013. Daniel Herrera is the leading returning scorer with three last year, while former Red Storm midfielder Brandon Savino is on the Nittany Lions in 2014. The only other multi-goal scorer is defender Jordan Rouse with his pair last fall. St. John's will also look for a new goalkeeper following the graduation of Rafael Diaz, who played every minute the past two years.
SERIES HISTORY vs. STJ
All-Time Series: St. John's leads 3-2-1
PSU Streak: 1 loss; 3 winless
First Meeting: 9/23/2000, PSU 2-1 (OT)
Last Meeting: 10/6/2012, T 1-1 (2OT)
Last PSU Win: 11/12/2009, 1-0 (OT)
Last STJ Win: 10/1/2011, 2-1
Largest PSU Win: 4-0, 9/9/2001
Largest STJ Win: 4-1, 11/14/2010
NITTANY LIONS IN AUGUST
Penn State will start its season in August for the 11th time in 18 years with PSU holding a 9-6-0 record in the month all-time. The last Lions loss in August was prior to head coach Bob Warming's arrival in 2008 against Florida Gulf Coast in a game played at Ohio State. PSU is 5-0-0 in the month of August under Warming.
WOLVIE WATCH 2014
The Nittany Lions feature one of the top goalkeepers in the nation with senior Andrew Wolverton patrolling the goal area. The 2013 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year and NSCAA All-Great Lakes First Team honoree returns with a pair of career Penn State records in his sights.
Wolverton currently sits first in PSU records in goals-against average (0.72), while he's fourth in shutouts (23). Already the single-season record holder in shutouts, Wolverton can eclipse the career record with six shutouts in 2014. As for GAA, Wolverton looks to break Whit Gibson's mark of 0.78 set during his two seasons in Happy Valley (1998-99).
SEARCH FOR A B1G THREE-PEAT
Penn State won back-to-back Big Ten titles for the first time in program history with its dominating run through league play in 2013, backing up a 2012 title, which was shared with Northwestern. PSU is looking to join Indiana as the only team to ever win three straight titles as the Hoosiers from 1994 to 1999 won six championships with the 1995 title shared with Wisconsin.
B1G COACHES TAB PENN STATE FOURTH
For a third straight season, the Nittany Lions will look to overcome their preseason pick by the league's coaches en route to a third consecutive conference crown. In both 2012 and 2013, Penn State was the preseason No. 5 team in the conference before earning those titles, while this year PSU is fourth. Behind the Lions are Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Rutgers and Ohio State rounding out the nine-team conference.
FOUR NITTANY LIONS LAND ON PRESEASON LISTS
Owen Griffith, Connor Maloney, Mikey Minutillo and Andrew Wolverton each received preseason acclaim on various watch and preseason awards lists. Griffith, Minutillo and Wolverton were each on the Big Ten Preseason Player to Watch List, while Maloney was tabbed on the College Sports Madness Preseason All-Big Ten First Team. Joining Maloney on that particular list was Wolverton, who also garnered College Soccer News Preseason All-America First Team honors.
Among the elite coaches in the sport for the last three decades, head coach Bob Warming is back for his fifth season at Penn State. Warming has an incredible coaching pedigree, including 428 career Division I victories -- third all-time among active DI coaches and ninth all-time at D-I. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013 after leading PSU to a pair of league titles.
STARTING CORE RETURNS
Penn State has 10 players on the 2014 squad that started in at least six matches in 2013. In net, Andrew Wolverton is set for his senior year following a 21-game season in 2013, while defenders Mike Robinson (21 starts) and Randy Falk (16 starts, 20 games played) help anchor the line. The likes of Connor Maloney (21 starts), Owen Griffith (19), Mason Klerks (16) and Drew Klingenberg (13) teamed up for 26 points. Eli Dennis (6) and Mark Wadid (6) each contributed to the offense with 10 and 6 points apiece while playing in every game.
JEFFREY FIELD DOMINANCE
Penn State has enjoyed a success at Jeffrey Field with over 300 victories at the famed field. Impressively, the Nittany Lions have never posted a losing season at Jeffrey Field in 42 years, going 306-77-34 all-time for a winning percentage of .775. Last season, PSU went 8-1-1 and over the past two seasons the Nittany Lions are 15-3-3 (.786) en route to a pair of Big Ten titles. In the 42-year history of the stadium, Jeffrey Field has welcomed over 510,883 fans through its gates.
STINGY HOME DEFENSE
At Jeffrey Field, the Nittany Lions are known to keep a tight lid on their own net. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton allowed just 6 goals in 1,051 minutes of action in 2013 (0.51 GAA), collecting 29 saves through 10 home games (8-1-1).
IN THE RANKINGS
For the first time since 2011, the Nittany Lions received a preseason ranking in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. Penn State checks in at No. 15, a rank that was matched by Soccer America in its recent poll. Last season, Penn State entered the NSCAA rankings on Oct. 16 at No. 17 and climbed all the way to No. 9.
BIG TEN NETWORK SCHEDULE
Penn State is scheduled to be featured on the Big Ten Network at least three times this season. PSU's first nationally-televised game is Sept. 28 at Michigan before traveling to preseason Big Ten top-pick Maryland on Oct. 12 for another BTN telecast. On Oct. 26, Penn State will play Wisconsin on Big Ten Network at Jeffrey Field for Senior Day. Should PSU advance in the Big Ten Tournament, the Lions will appear on BTN for the semifinals and final. Last season, PSU was on the network three times.
MACK BRADY MEMORIAL GAME ON SEPT. 21
host its second Mack Brady Memorial Game when Ohio State visits Jeffrey Field. Brady passed away on Dec. 31, 2012 due to an unexpected blood infection at the age of eight. To honor his life and love for soccer (specifically goalkeeping), Mack's parents, Christian and Elizabeth Brady, created the "Mack Brady Memorial Soccer Fund." The fund is an endowment for Penn State goalkeepers to help in recruiting, equipment, scholarships and other needs. Last season, PSU played then-No. 5 Cal to a 1-1 draw in front of over 3,000 fans.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Nittany Lions host former Atlantic 10 rival Temple under Jeffrey Field's Friday night lights Sept. 5. Penn State will host a 60th anniversary celebration of the 1954 and 1955 national champion teams for Alumni Weekend.