No. 19 Men's Soccer to Battle Michigan in Big Ten Home Opener
Sept. 30, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 19 Penn State men's soccer team will open its Big Ten home schedule on Saturday evening when the Nittany Lions host Michigan (2-7-1, 0-1-0) in a pivotal early conference season contest at Jeffrey Field. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The first 250 people through the gates will receive a Penn State men's soccer white t-shirt. All fans in attendance are encouraged to wear white in support of the Nittany Lions. Fans should also be aware that they will not be allowed to park in the grass lots adjacent to Jeffrey Field and are instead instructed to park in the paved Beaver Stadium lot.
Penn State (5-2-2, 0-1-0 Big Ten) enters this weekend's conference showdown with the Wolverines in the midst of a three-game winless stretch (0-1-2). The Nittany Lions settled for their second 0-0 tie in the last three matches on Tuesday night, drawing with No. 17 Georgetown in Happy Valley. Freshman goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton (Snellville, Ga.) lowered his goals against average to a Big Ten-leading 0.42 while earning his seventh shutout of the season.
Defense has been the driving force behind Penn State's success this season. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in shutouts and goals against average and are tied with Indiana for fewest goals allowed (4).
Defending Big Ten Tournament champion Michigan comes into Saturday's match mired in a three-game losing streak, falling consecutively to Notre Dame, Marquette, and Ohio State, all in overtime. After a slow start to the season offensively, the Wolverines have scored at least one goal in six straight games. Michigan tops the Big Ten in shots, averaging 16.7 per game, led by sophomore midfielder Fabio Pereira who has attempted a conference-high 44. Pereira is also UM's top weapon on the attack, tallying a team-best four goals and 10 points. Etienne Lussiez (3 goals, 1 assist), Ezekiel Harris (2 goals), and Latif Alashe (1 goal, 2 assists) have also been productive.
Defensively, the Wolverines have allowed 17 goals in 2011, the most in the Big Ten. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Adam Grinwis possesses a 1.64 goals against average.
Penn State owns a 9-5-1 series record versus Michigan, including a 4-2-0 mark in University Park. A year ago, the Nittany Lions dropped two games to the Wolverines, falling 2-1 in Ann Arbor during the regular season and 4-1 in Happy Valley in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Michigan match on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates from GameTracker or with a live video webcast on Penn State All-Access. Find links on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
Penn State will finish out a three-game home stand on Tuesday, Oct. 4 when it takes on in-state foe Penn (5-2-1) in a 7 p.m. contest at Jeffrey Field. In 2010, the Nittany Lions upped their all-time record versus the Quakers to 21-6-3 with a 2-1 win in Philadelphia.
NOTES: With at least 11 games remaining in the season, Andrew Wolverton is just three shutouts shy of tying the Penn State single season record (10)...Five different Nittany Lions - Hasani Sinclair, Minh Vu, Mackenzie Arment, Julian Cardona, and Brian Forgue - have scored the team's five game winning goals...Four Nittany Lions - Jordan Tyler, Minh Vu, Julian Cardona, and Hasani Sinclair - share the team lead in goals with two...Through nine games, Penn State has yet to allow a first half goal...In 850 minutes of total play this season, Penn State has trailed for just 21:02...All five of Penn State's wins this year have been shutouts...Penn State has yet to allow a goal at Jeffrey Field in 2011, outscoring its opponents, 7-0...Penn State has a 32-11 advantage in points this season...The Nittany Lions have tallied 10 goals and 12 assists while opponents have totaled just four goals and three assists...10 Nittany Lions have at least one point this season...Penn State has a +20 advantage in corner kicks (61-41)...Penn State ranks first in the Big Ten in corner kicks, averaging 6.78 per game despite earning a season-low one versus Georgetown.