Men's Soccer Welcomes No. 17 Ohio State to Jeffrey Field for Big Ten Match-up
Oct. 10, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team (2-7-2, 0-2-0) will plays its third consecutive Big Ten opponent on Sat., Oct. 11 when it hosts No. 17 Ohio State (7-2-2, 1-1-0) in a 7 p.m. game at Jeffrey Field.
In addition to the match-up on the field between the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes, the evening will be highlighted by several promotions and events. Saturday night's contest has been designated a CODE BLUE game, meaning that the first 250 Penn State students through the Jeffrey Field gates will receive t-shirts. Also, Penn State soccer alums have been specially invited to the game and those in attendance will be recognized for their contributions to the program at halftime. In addition, SAAB members will be in attendance canning to raise money for THON.
Last weekend in Evanston, Ill., Penn State became the first opposing team to score a goal against No. 3 Northwestern this season but the Nittany Lions' upset bid fell short by a 2-1 margin. The loss was just Penn State's second versus Northwestern in 24 all-time meetings and its first in regular season action. Sophomore forward Treavor Gelsinger (Shady Grove, Pa.) netted Penn State's goal in the 48th minute, his third in the last two games. He currently leads the Lions in goals (3) and points (6). In his ninth start of the season, goalkeeper Liam Fitzwater (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.) registered five saves.
Penn State's season-long aggressive approach on offense has elevated it to the Big Ten leader in shots per game (18.0) and corner kicks (69). The Nittany Lions have outshot their opponents 198-105, including a 110-50 advantage in the second half. Their 69 corner kicks through 11 games is six more than they took the entire 2007 season. But not only is Penn State earning corner kicks, they are preventing them, as opponents have totaled just 27.
Ohio State, the 2007 national championship runner-up, has picked up where it left off last season in 2008 despite key personnel losses. In their last outing, a road game against No. 7 Illinois-Chicago, the Buckeyes battled the Flames to a 0-0 draw. The Ohio State attack is balanced, featuring five players with two or goals, led by senior midfielder Danny Irizarry's four. Junior forward Andrew Magill tops the team in assists with four and ranks second to Irizarry in points with eight. Anchoring the defense, in his first year as a starter is goalkeeper Drew Czekanski. The junior is second in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.63) and has been a part of five shutouts this season. Seniors Tim Gabel and Patrick Roan are also key figures on the Buckeye back line.
In a series that dates to 1987, Penn State holds a 13-8-2 all-time record versus Ohio State, including a 5-3-1 mark at Jeffrey Field. In 2007, the Nittany Lions fell to the Buckeyes, 1-0, in Columbus.
Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Ohio State match-up on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates from Gametracker or with a live audio and video webcast. Find a link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
The Nittany Lions kick off a three-game road swing next week when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on Cornell (1-7-0, 0-1-0 Ivy League) on Wed., Oct. 15 in a 7 p.m. contest at Charles F. Berman Field. Penn State owns a 9-2-3 all-time record in games versus Cornell, including last season's 2-1 win at Jeffrey Field. The Lions' road stretch then continues with games at Lehigh (Oct. 21, 7 p.m.) and Wisconsin (Oct. 26, 1:30 p.m.).