Men's Soccer to Visit Ohio State for Pivotal Big Ten Contest
Oct. 5, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team (4-4-1, 1-0-1) will look to extend its two-game winning streak and remain undefeated in Big Ten play when it visits Columbus, Ohio to take on Ohio State (6-3-2, 0-1-0) on Sat., Oct. 6 in a contest scheduled for 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Head coach Barry Gorman will be seeking his 50th career Big Ten victory when his team clashes with the Buckeyes. In his 20th year in Happy Valley, he has compiled a 49-33-7 record since Penn State joined the conference in 1991. Over that span, he has led the Nittany Lions to three Big Ten Championships and coached 40 First Team All-Big Ten selections, four Big Ten Players of the Year, and four Big Ten Freshmen of the Year.
Penn State will enter Saturday's game with momentum gained from last weekend's 2-1 upset victory over No. 3 Northwestern at Jeffrey Field that was aired live on the Big Ten Network. The win marked the third consecutive year that the Lions have knocked off a highly ranked opponent in a nationally televised game.
Senior defender Grady Renfrow (Washington, D.C.) scored his first career goal to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 first half lead and sophomore midfielder Vincent Salvatico (Chester Springs, Pa.) scored the game winner in the game's 66th minute. Senior goalkeeper Conrad Taylor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was brilliant in goal for Penn State, recording seven saves. Back liners Andy Machi (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) and Andres Casais (Caracas, Venezuela) contributed standout performances.
Over the season's first nine games, junior forward Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) has emerged as a dominant offensive force for Penn State. He leads the team in goals (6), points (15), shots (28), and shots on goal (13). Yeisley also tops the Big Ten in many major offensive statistical categories, including points (15), goals (tie with 6), and points per game (1.67). On defense, Conrad Taylor continues to serve as Penn State's iron man in goal. A starter of 73 consecutive games, Taylor has logged every available minute of playing time over that span, amounting to over 6,993 minutes.
After a red hot 5-1-1 start to the 2007 season, which saw Ohio State outscore its opponents 17-6, the Buckeyes have cooled off a bit of late, scoring just two goals in the last four games while posting a 1-2-1 record. The hallmark of the OSU attack through the first half of the year has been balance, as 12 different players have accounted for its 19 total goals. All-Big Ten forward Xavier Balc tops the team in assists with seven and in points with 11. Herrmann Award candidate senior Eric Brunner headlines the Buckeye defense. Senior goalkeeper Casey Latchem has started all 11 games, amassing a 1.07 goals against average.
The annual Penn State-Ohio State clash has built into one of the Big Ten's most storied and heated rivalries. The Nittany Lions own a 13-7-2 record in the all-time series but will aim to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Buckeyes suffered last year at Jeffrey Field. Even though this weekend's game will be the first time Penn State and Ohio State meet on the pitch in 2007, there are perhaps no two teams in the nation more familiar with one another, as they played in the same three tournaments to start the season.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Ohio State game on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates. Click on the gametrack PSU link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com, to access all of the live scoring features.
Next week, the Nittany Lions have two games versus non-conference opponents on the schedule. On Wed., Oct. 10, Penn State will host Lafayette (6-1-2) of the Patriot League at Jeffrey Field in a 7 p.m. contest. The Lions will then venture north to Boston, Mass. where they will face America East member Boston University (5-4-0) in a match-up scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 13.