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Honorary team captains Julian and Nicole Strunk
Sept. 28, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team (3-4-1, 0-0-1) will conclude a two-game home stand on Sat., Sept. 29 when it meets No. 3 Northwestern (7-0-1, 1-0-0) at 7 p.m. in a crucial Big Ten match-up at Jeffrey Field. The game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on the Big Ten Network with Dean Linke providing play-by-play coverage and Richard Broad supplying color analysis.
Fans attending the Penn State-Northwestern contest are encouraged to sit in the east bleachers of Jeffrey Field (the side opposite of the team benches and nearest to Beaver Stadium) to help provide television with ideal background shots.
The evening will not only be highlighted by the television broadcast and exciting Penn State soccer action but also by two very special youngsters who will be in attendance. The Penn State men's soccer program is pleased to host Julian and Nicole Strunk as honorary team captains for the game. Julian is a third grader at General Wayne Elementary School in Malvern, Pa. and is fighting a courageous battle against cancer. He and his sister will be introduced with the team during starting line-ups and receive special gifts from the team.
The Nittany Lions enter Saturday's game with confidence gained from a thrilling, 3-2 double overtime victory over Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening at Jeffrey Field. Junior forward Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) headed in the game winner with just 37 seconds remaining in the second overtime period to lift Penn State past the Quakers. Sophomore midfielder Frank Costigliola (Dix Hills, N.Y.) set Yeisley up with a perfectly placed entry pass to earn his second assist of the season. The goal was Yeisley's second of the game and capped off a brilliant five-point performance. Freshman forward Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.) netted his first collegiate goal and Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.) tallied two assists to gain his first points as a Nittany Lion in the win.
Over the first eight games of Penn State's 2007 season, Jason Yeisley has emerged as dominant offensive force and a legitimate All-America candidate. He leads the team with six goals and three assists and is ranked first in nearly every major offensive statistical category in the Big Ten, including points (15), goals (6), points per game (1.88), and goals per game (0.75). Yeisley has been on torrid scoring pace of late, totaling nine points in Penn State's last two games.
For the second consecutive conference game, Penn State will face a team in the midst of one its best starts in program history. Northwestern has won seven of its first eight games, rising rapidly to the No. 3 position in the NSCAA/adidas poll. The Wildcats defense, led by sophomore goalkeeper Misha Rosenthal, is stout, allowing just two goals and recording five straight shutouts. Freshman midfielder Piero Bellizzi, who tops the team with 11 points, headlines a potent NU attack. Freshman forward Matt Eliason and sophomore midfielder Carl Pett lead the Wildcats with four goals. Senior midfielder David Roth, a Herrmann Award candidate, has registered five assists.
Penn State has dominated the all-time series with Northwestern, compiling a 20-1-1 overall record. Since their first meeting in 1991, PSU has outscored Northwestern, 54-15, while recording 10 shutouts. In 2006, the Nittany Lions claimed a pair of 2-1 victories over the Wildcats, including a 2-1 double overtime win in the opening round of the Big Ten Championship.
In addition to the charged soccer play on the field, the evening will feature numerous promotional activities. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to pick up an official 2007 Penn State men's soccer schedule poster. Saturday night's match-up has also been declared a CODE BLUE game; as a result, the first 200 Penn State students through the gates will receive a free, specially designed CODE BLUE t-shirt and have a chance to claim a share of a 30-pizza giveaway.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Northwestern game on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates from Gametracker. Click on the gametrack PSU link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com, to access all of the Gametracker features.
The Nittany Lions will return to the road next weekend, traveling to Columbus, Ohio for a key Big Ten clash with Ohio State (5-2-2) on Sat., Oct. 6. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at the home of the Buckeyes, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Penn State is 13-7-2 all-time versus Ohio State and will be looking to avenge a 2006 2-1 loss at Jeffrey Field.
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