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Oct. 31, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --Ninth-ranked Penn State men's soccer faces Ohio State on Saturday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium as the Lions look for a perfect 6-0-0 Big Ten season. The Nittany Lions have won nine of their past 10 matches.
|#9 PENN STATE (11-3-1, 6-0-0 Big Ten) at OHIO STATE (4-6-5, 0-2-2 Big Ten)|
|Match 16: Nov. 2 7:00 p.m. Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Columbus, Ohio|
|VENUE||Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium (10,000; Grass)|
|STREAMING COVERAGE||OhioStateBuckeyes.com ($) | GameTracker|
|SERIES RECORD vs. OSU||Penn State leads 16-11-3|
|LAST MEETING vs. OSU||Oct. 27, 2012, Tie 4-4 (2OT) at Penn State|
|NEXT MATCH||Nov. 6 at Akron, 7 p.m.|
Nittany Lions travel to Ohio State for final regular-season Big Ten match
Penn State seeks second perfect 6-0-0 Big Ten record (2005)
Lions have won four straight road matches; 4-0-1 in Big Ten road games past 2 years
Penn State has risen to 5th in the NCAA RPI, 9th in the NSCAA poll
Eli Dennis and Shane Campbell scored in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Penn
Connor Maloney and Mason Klerks supplied the helpers in the Penn match
Jordan Tyler is the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week
Penn State has racked up a 10-2-2 record in the past 14 matches vs. Big Ten foes
Ohio State is on a 4-match unbeaten streak (2-0-2) following win over Cleveland State
Buckeyes led defensively by Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Alex Ivonov in net
ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State (4-6-5, 0-2-2 Big Ten) enters Saturday's match on a positive spell, going unbeaten in the past four matches with two wins over Oakland (4-0) and Cleveland State (1-0) last week. Moreover, OSU has tied its past three ranked opponents (No. 17 Louisville, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 16 Northwestern). At home, the Buckeyes are 3-3-3 with the last loss at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium coming on Oct. 6 to Michigan.
Ohio State has struggled to score this season, tallying just more than a goal on two occasions in 15 matches and getting shutout eight times. Conversely, Ohio State's defense has been vital to the team's success, pitching seven shutouts and holding opposing teams to just 14 goals in 15 matches despite allowing 20.3 shots per game. Alex Ivanov has played over 1,300 minutes in net with seven shutouts, 90 saves and an .891 save percentage. Offensively, Ryan Ivancic and Danny Jensen are the only multiple goal scorers on the team, registering three and two, respectively.
SERIES HISTORY vs. OSU
All-Time Series: Penn State leads 16-11-3
PSU Streak: 1 tie
First Meeting: 10/27/1987, PSU 5-0
Last Meeting: 10/27/2012, Tie 4-4 (2OT)
Last PSU Win: 11/9/2011, 2-0
Last OSU Win: 10/23/2011, 1-0
Largest PSU Win: 5-0, 10/27/1987
Largest OSU Win: 3-1, 10/12/2003
LAST THREE MEETINGS vs. OSU
10/27/2012: T (2OT), 4-4 - H
11/9/2011: W, 2-0 - N
10/23/2011: L, 1-0 - A
NOT PENN DEFEATS THE QUAKERS
Penn State's first trip to Rhodes Field in three years was identical to its 2010 visit -- a 2-1 win on Tuesday night (Oct. 29). Eli Dennis tallied a 64th-minute goal to put Penn State ahead before the Quakers got one back in the 73rd minute. Nevertheless, Shane Campbell bagged the game-winner with six minutes remaining as he sent home a Mason Klerks' effort that was initially saved by Penn. Connor Maloney tallied his seventh assist of the year on Dennis' goal, while Andrew Wolverton made five saves as Penn State for the ninth time in 10 matches.
The victory over Penn was Penn State's fourth in a row on the road as the Lions are 4-2-0 this season away from Happy Valley. This week at Ohio State, Penn State will try to extend its five-match unbeaten streak in Big Ten true road contests. The Nittany Lions went 2-0-1 last season, while Penn State is 2-0-0 this year. A win or a tie against Ohio State would cement an away streak that saw Penn State defeat or tie each Big Ten team over the past two seasons.
QUEST FOR PERFECTION
Penn State won its fifth Big Ten title and third regular-season crown with a win over Northwestern last week. By winning, Penn State can match the 2005 squad's perfect 6-0-0 record, the last team in the Big Ten to have an unbeaten and untied campaign. In 2005, Penn State completed the perfect run through Big Tens with two wins in the tournament for an unblemished 8-0-0 mark that season.
The Nittany Lions have already clinched a No. 1 seed and the bye that goes with it for the Big Ten Tournament at Ohio State Nov. 13-17. Penn State will open its tournament run on Friday, Nov. 15 at Noon on Big Ten Network against the advancing team from the fourth- and fifth-seeded game. Indiana's 2002 team was the last non-PSU squad to achieve the perfect feat.
CLIMBING THE RANKINGS
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, Penn State received its first national ranking from the NSCAA, checking at No. 17, which was the first NSCAA ranking since Sept. 25, 2012. This week, Penn State vaulted up to 9th, while in the NCAA RPI released Monday, Oct. 28, Penn State moved up to No. 5. Three other teams in the Big Ten, which were all defeated by Penn State, are ranked this week: No. 22 Michigan State, No. 23 Wisconsin, No. 25 Northwestern.
DEFYING THE ODDS
Penn State was picked fifth in the preseason Big Ten coaches' poll and went unranked and unvoted in the NSCAA preseason poll. The young Nittany Lions have exceeded all expectations to win their second straight Big Ten title and earn a top 10 national ranking.
TYLER'S HEROICS CLINCH BIG TEN TITLE
No. 13 Penn State defeated No. 19 Northwestern, 2-1, Sunday afternoon in dramatic fashion to earn the program's fifth Big Ten championship. Jordan Tyler scored the game-tying and game-winning goal in overtime for the Nittany Lions.
The match seemed destined for a 1-1 draw until the 109th minute when NU's Connor Holloway's pass at midfield was intercepted by Connor Maloney, who took the ball and rushed down field. Maloney drew a Wildcat defender at the top of the penalty area and passed a perfectly placed ball to Tyler who sent it into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the year and fourth game-winner.
The goal set off a wild celebration as Penn State celebrated its second straight Big Ten title and fifth overall. The victory clinched the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the second straight season as well as the Lions look to complete the perfect Big Ten season with a win next week at Ohio State, a feat only accomplished by once before in Penn State men's soccer history (2005).
In a nip-and-tuck game, the Northwestern struck first in the 60th minute on a goal from super striker Joey Calistri. Cole Missimo went streaking down the left flank toward the end line and touched a ground pass to Calistri on the near post. The crafty sophomore and the Big Ten's leading scorer back heeled a clever shot into the far right side of the goal for the lead.
Penn State went into desperation mode and pressed numbers forward. It took to the eighth shot of the half to capitalize in the waning minutes as Drew Klingenberg, last week's Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, beat his defender on the left wing. He chipped a cross to Tyler whose initial header looked to be going wide but struck the thight of a Northwestern defender and went into the goal with 1:47 remaining in the second half.
TYLER EARNS BIG TEN OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Redshirt-junior forward Jordan Tyler was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday (Oct. 28) following his two-goal, conference clinching game over Northwestern.
Tyler has five goals for the season with four of them coming in game-winning fashion. The redshirt-junior leads the Big Ten during conference play in goals (4), points (8) and game-winning goals (3). Tyler has won the past two games for Penn State in double-overtime following his dramatic winner at Michigan State on Oct. 20 prior to his excellent showing against Northwestern. The honor for Tyler is his first Big Ten accolade of any kind, while Penn State has hauled in six Big Ten weekly honors.