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Oct. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's soccer welcomes Bucknell for a midweek matchup Wednesday at Jeffrey Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions enter the match at 7-4-2 (2-1-1 B1G), while the Bison own a 5-5-4 (1-1-2 Patriot) record.
ON THE HORIZON
Following the tilt with Bucknell, Penn State travels to Evanston, Ill., for an afternoon match with Northwestern Sunday, followed by the team's home finale against Ohio State Oct. 28. The Nittany Lions will celebrate Senior Day against the Buckeyes.
A LOOK AT THE BISON
Bucknell enters the contest having tied two of its last three contests, both 1-1 scores against Navy and Holy Cross. The Bison have reached overtime in five of their 13 games, with four ties and a loss. The squad has outscored opponents, 15-1, in wins this season, helped by big scoring totals against Adelphi (7-0) and Albany (4-0) in September.
Senior forward Brendan Burgdorf leads the Bison in scoring this autumn, accumulating nine points on three goals and three assists. Five other players have scored two goals for Bucknell. Rookie midfielder Chris Thorsheim paces the squad in assists (4). First-year goalkeeper Mike Lansing has recorded 1130 minutes between the pipes, recording 63 saves on the way to a 0.80 GAA in 12 starts. Brendan Nash leads the Bison program in his 14th year as head coach.
A HISTORY OF THE SERIES
The Nittany Lions have accumulated a 58-8-4 ledger against Bucknell. The team's most-played contest, the 70-game series against the Bison began in 1965. The Blue and White won that contest, 3-1, and the squads squared off every year from 1965-1998, excluding 1981. Penn State and Bucknell have met on the pitch six times in the past decade, with the Nittany Lions edging out a 3-2-1 advantage.
Last season, the teams met in Lewisburg, Pa., where they completed 110 minutes of scoreless play.
Penn State has allowed just 10 goals this season and trails only Indiana (8) in that category. The Nittany Lions are also second behind the Hoosiers with six shutouts. The Lions have posted strong offensive numbers as well, landing in second in assists per game (1.31) and fourth in points per game (3.77). The team leads the conference with 15.23 shots per game.
Senior Julian Cardona (Lincoln, Neb.) has been a force on the attack this season, tallying 12 points on five goals and two assists. Those numbers have the Nebraska native sitting in second in points and goals in the Big Ten. Classmate Minh Vu (Tuscon, Ariz.) leads the team and is tied for seventh in the Big Ten in assists (3), while John Gallagher (Pine Bush, N.Y.), Hasani Sinclair (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Daniel Burnham (Boise, Idaho) have added a pair of helpers. Burnham's trio of goals this season has him tied for ninth in the conference. Multiple Nittany Lions have contributed to the offensive success as 14 players have recorded a point, including eight with goals.
Defensively, the Nittany Lions have allowed just 35 shots on goal, fewest in the Big Ten. Senior Emmanuel Martin (Cormontreuil, France) has taken the bulk of the minutes in goal and carries a 0.90 GAA through eight starts. Sophomore Andrew Wolverton (Snellville, Ga.) has allowed just three goals in more than 500 minutes of play (0.52 GAA), recording 10 saves in four starts. Wolverton ranks second in the Big Ten in save percentage (.786).
THE RISE OF AN ARMY
Penn State ranks second in the Big Ten in attendance this season, averaging over 1,600 fans per game at Jeffrey Field. The support has helped the Nittany Lions achieve a 6-2-1 record at home.
The seven Big Ten teams have combined for over 50,000 fans at 49 home games this season.
Penn State has enjoyed consistency on its back line this autumn, as seniors Brian Forgue (Glenmoore, Pa.) and John Gallagher, junior Martin Seiler (Stuttgart, Germany) and freshman Shane Campbell (York, Pa.) have played a total of 4,006 of a possible 4,900 minutes. Forgue leads the way after directing the defense for 1,162 minutes from the center back position, while Seiler has logged 1,051 minutes alongside Forgue in the middle of the formation.
ODDS AND ENDS
The Lions are:
6-2-1 at Jeffrey Field
3-0 when the team posts 20 or more shots
6-2-1 when allowing 10 or fewer shots
4-0 when scoring multiple goals
6-1-1 when scoring one goal
4-1 when attendance numbers top 1,000
0-1-2 when the game reaches overtime
3-0 this season when Julian Cardona finds the back of the net and 4-1 when he registers two or more shots
6-1-1 when Daniel Burnham records two or more shots
The phenomenal scoreless streak by the Penn State defense came to an end in the final minute of the contest against Lehigh Sept. 25 after climbing to 505:56 minutes of on-field time, the longest streak of such in the Big Ten this season. Starting with a goal in the 54th minute of the contest against Georgetown Sept. 2, the Nittany Lions allowed just 12 shots on goal while pitching shutouts in four-consecutive matches, including a 110-minute marathon against West Virginia Sept. 6. The team finished 3-0-1 in that span, outscoring opponents, 5-0, before facing the Mountain Hawks.
Senior Brian Forgue anchored the defense every minute of the run, while classmate John Gallagher was off the field just over a minute. Freshman Shane Campbell and junior Martin Seiler helped suffocate opponents' attacks the majority of the duration on the back line alongside Forgue and Gallagher. Three keepers, Emmanuel Martin, Andrew Wolverton and Danny Sheerin, spent time in goal for Penn State, combining to stop the 12 shots.
Head coach Bob Warming has not hesitated to infuse his team with youth this season as seven freshmen have logged minutes on the field. Rookie Shane Campbell has started nine games on the back line this season, while classmates Drew Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.) and Kelton Cheney (State College, Pa.) received their first starts against Adelphi Sept. 16 and Lehigh Sept. 25, respectively.
Cheney and redshirt-freshman Kyle MacDonald (Yardley, Pa.) recorded their first collegiate points on the same play in the 3-0 win over Adelphi. MacDonald notched an assist on Cheney's scoring strike in the second half. First-year goalkeeper Danny Sheerin (College Park, Md.) made his first appearance against the Panthers, guarding the net for the final nine minutes of the shutout. Klingenberg opened his collegiate account with an assist on Cheney's gamewinner against Wisconsin Sept. 21.
ALL YOU NEED IS ONE
Three of the Nittany Lions' seven victories have come in 1-0 fashion this season, including the team's victory against Wisconsin Sept. 21. Penn State also knocked off Albany and Duquesne by a 1-0 margin.
Penn State players have collected multiple individual accolades this season, including a pair of Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards.
Owen Griffith, a sophomore defender, was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 10 after helping the Nittany Lions shut out West Virginia in a scoreless draw Sept. 6. Senior defender Brian Forgue picked up the first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors of the season Aug. 27 following a 3-0 victory over Stetson in the campaign-opener. Classmate Julian Cardona garnered a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week the same day after his two-goal performance against the Hatters.
Numerous players have also landed on all-tournament teams after the WVU Nike Classic, co-hosted by West Virginia and Penn State, and the Class of `98 Invitational, co-hosted with Bucknell, in which the Nittany Lions finished a combined 4-0-0.
The men's soccer program has its own Twitter account for the first season this year! Be sure to follow @PennStateMSOC, along with all of the Penn State athletics accounts, to get the most up-to-date and behind the scenes information. Join the Nittany Lions fans on Facebook as well, at Facebook.com/PennStateMensSoccer.