BLOG: Nittany Lions Ready for Indiana
Oct. 4, 2013
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
It may seem that a double overtime loss that ended in the fashion that it did couldn't come at a worse time for the Nittany Lions as they face the defending national champions, but that isn't necessarily the case. Penn State will look at Saint Francis, make the necessary adjustments and wipe the slate clean.
"Some of our possessions and ball rotations and stuff into the box was awesome, the loss can't be positive but you can show them some of the clips and what went well," said Warming.
Redshirt senior defender Akil Howard feels the same way as his head coach. The loss Wednesday didn't present many positives, but there's no time to dwell on miscues especially as the grueling schedule of the Big Ten continues.
"We just have to focus on what's in front of us," said Howard. "We can't change anything, what happened already happened. Moving forward we have to get the guys focused on Big Ten because that's the conference we are in and Indiana is a really good team."
The Hoosiers have had some growing pains early after their main goal-scorer from 2012 Eriq Zavaleta graduated and is now in the MLS. Similar to Penn State, Indiana has had to find young goal-scorers to lead them in non-conference play in 2013.
Howard said he knows that despite Indiana's record, this is still the defending national champions and they will still be a tough team to defeat, especially on their home pitch.
"We have played a lot of them and a lot of them are returning guys and they were a good team last year and bring back a lot of strong talented guys," said Howard. "The guys know we have a battle ahead of us and we're just focused on getting prepared as best as we can so we can get another Big Ten title."
A win against Indiana, a team that Penn State is 11-29-3 all-time against the Hoosiers and 2-4 in their last six meetings, would be a major confidence builder, to say the least. The Nittany Lions haven't beaten Indiana in a regular season match since 2008.
Thus, Howard and the Nittany Lions will use that prior history as motivation to get their focus back on getting wins in conference.
"We have to be really pumped for this game because we didn't get the win last year, so going into their place we have to get a good result on the road which is always tough," Howard said. "The guys are pumped and ready to go because Big Ten is what's important for us."
Howard added that a win against Indiana will erase the memory of the double overtime decision to Saint Francis and put the team back in the driver's seat of the 2013 season.
Penn State and Indiana square off Sunday at 1 p.m. The match will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.