Cahill plays both striker and attacking midfielder for the Toffees, similar to the roles Schram played in high school and for her club team. Additionally, both are regarded as small forwards, with Cahill measuring 5-foot-10 and Schram listed at 5-foot-5 on Penn State’s roster.
Granted, there’s a big difference between college soccer and the English Premier League, but there are enough similarities that a comparison isn’t totally outlandish. Both players are very good in the air despite their size, pass well, have deceptivley good speed and have a nose for the goal. It’s also hard for defenders to push either forward off the ball, which gives them a chance against bigger forwards.
Below is a highlight video of Cahill with Everton and the Austrailian national team. While it’s more focused on Cahill’s scoring touch, there’s enough glimpses of his heading ability and scrappy fighter’s mentality in front of net to get the point across.
Former Penn State and current Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher signed a short-term deal with German club Turbine Potsdam on Wednesday.
Naeher was a three-time All-American at Penn State, making the first team in 2007 and 2008 and earned third team distinction in her final season in 2009. The keeper owned a 50-19-5 record at Penn State and finished with a .89 goals allowed average.
After completing her Nittany Lion career, Naeher was taken with the 12th pick in the 2010 WPS Draft by the Boston Breakers. A native of Seymour, Conn., Naeher seized the starting role for the Breakers roughly halfway through her rookie season and has held it ever since, leading the team to the WPS playoffs the last season.
Naeher becomes the second Penn State player currently in the German Frauen Bundesliga, with 2007 graduate Ali Krieger spending the past three seasons with FFC Frankfurt. Potsdam won the league title last year, edging out arch-rival Frankfurt and was the runner up in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Potsdam’s current first-team keeper Anna Felicitas Sarholz is out with an injury, meaning Naeher could see time in one of the world’s top leagues very quickly.
The Penn State women's soccer team picked up its first ranking of the 2011 season, breaking into the SoccerTimes.com poll at No. 22. Additionally, the Nittany Lions received 17 votes in the NSCAA poll, and if they continue their recent hot streak, they could potentially break into that poll with two big wins this weekend.
After scoring three goals in two games this weekend, sophomore forward Maya Hayes was named to Soccer America's Team of the Week and earned SoccerSavings.com/Philly Soccer News Player of the Week honors as well. Hayes picked up the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday.
Junior midfielder Christine Nairn was named as a "Primetime Performer" by collegesoccer360.com after posting two assists this weekend and for her overall contributions to making Penn State's offense hum.
In other news, 2007 graduate and two-time All-American Ali Krieger scored her first goal of the season for her club team FFC Frankfurt in Germany this past weekend. Krieger is the starting right back for the defending Frauen DFB-Pokal Cup champions and the United States women's national team. The Pokal Cup is the German domestic championship, open to any club team in the country, similar to England's FA Cup.
Krieger was also named to the 23-player U.S. roster for two upcoming friendlies against Canada to celebrate this summer's Women's World Cup team.
Is there any better way to start your freshman year at a competitive Big Ten school than to be named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the week?
Jenna Chrismer was lucky enough to receive this great honor today. She was awarded this due to her amazing performances this past weekend in the Penn State field hockey team season opening weekend.
Not only was she able to score a goal in their game against the Old Dominion Monarchs, but she also scored a goal against the Virginia Cavaliers. Even though the Nittany Lions were defeated against Old Dominion, Chrismer once again proved herself as a member of this No. 8 Lion squad. She was able to celebrate her contribution towards a shut out game against Virginia when the Lions got their first win of the season, 3-0.
It does not surprise me at all of the success that she has had so soon into the season. During the Lions exhibition game against national defending champion Maryland, Chrismer scored not only one, but two goals. Towards the end of the game it was tied up at two a piece. But thanks to Chrismer, who scored the game winning goal, it gave the players the confidence they needed to start their season opener.
Penn State field hockey has not had a Big Ten Freshman of the week since Kelsey Amy in October of 2009. Chrismer shares her title with Northwestern’s Maddy Carpenter.
The latest AVCA Coaches poll was released Monday, and 1-1 Penn State slid one spot to No. 2, surpassed by Cal. Penn State still amassed 11 first-place votes and 1388 total points, but 3-0 Cal seized the spot with 31 first-place votes and 1422 total points.
The Nittany Lions should be happy with their new ranking, as an embarassing home loss to previously unranked Oregon (now No. 16) could have done more damage to their ranking, but apparently the coaches felt Penn State did enough in coming back from two sets down to win against then-No. 2 USC (now No. 3). The new ranking may take some of the pressure off of the Lions, who will no longer have to deal with being targeted as the undefeated No. 1 team in the country.
Six Big Ten teams can be found in the rest of the top 25, as the league looks to be competitive throughout this season.
Rankings of note:
No. 1 - Cal: An undefeated record was enough for the previously No. 3-ranked Golden Bears to jump USC and Penn State, with both teams absorbing a loss on the weekend.
No. 2 - Penn State: Staying above USC but abdicating the top spot means this ranking is about right for the Nittany Lions. Sliding below USC after beating them on Saturday would have been too harsh, but staying No. 1 was out of the question after a loss to Oregon.
No. 3 - USC: The Trojans started slow against Minnesota in Rec Hall on Friday, losing the first two sets, before they exerted the muscle against the Gophers. Minnesota looked good over the weekend, but USC's firepower — led by athletic outside hitter senior Alex Jupiter — was too much for the Big Ten squad. It was also too much for Penn State for two sets, before the Lions' comeback win. Still, losing in five sets to the then-No. 1 team in the country is no shame, and the Trojans will likely remain a major threat for the NCAA title.
No. 5 - Nebraska: One needs to look no further to find the second-highest
ranked Big Ten squad than the fifth spot in the rankings. Nebraska received one first place vote after starting 2-0. It's early, but Nebraska are looking like the biggest threat to Penn State's run at a ninth consecutive Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions' home match with the Cornhuskers October 29 should be interesting if both teams can stay highly ranked.
No. 7 - Illinois: The Illini started undefeated as well, with a 3-0 record. The Illini look strong as well, and may also be a contender for the Big Ten title if they can follow up on last season's success against Penn State when they took one of two matches from the Lions. The two teams meet October 8 in Happy Valley and again November 11 in Champaign, Ill.
No. 11 - Minnesota: Minnesota came out of the AVCA Showcase in State College at .500, with a dramatic fifth set loss to then-No. 2 USC and an equally dramatic fifth set win against Oregon. Minnesota, led by powerful middle hitter freshman Tori Dixon, the ever-present freshman threat Ashley Wittman and defensive star and libero juniorJessica Granquist, have the potential to be a major player on the Big Ten scene. Be sure to watch the Lions take on the Gophers October 1 in State College and November 1 in Minneapolis, Minn.
No. 13 - Purdue: Purdue have started 3-0 in a homestand, sweeping every set. The Boilermakers will need to prove they can get big wins against better opposition and away from home before they can be counted as a bona fide threat in the stacked Big Ten.
No. 22 - Ohio State: The Buckeyes are 4-0, sweeping every set in four matches at the West Virginia Mountaineer Invitational. It's a similar story to Purdue though, as Ohio State have yet to prove themselves against top opponents.
No. 24 - Michigan: The Wolverines are 3-0, having dropped one set in two
matches against Morehead State. See Purdue and Ohio State.
The rest of the top 25 can be found here:
Sophomore forward Maya Hayes became the first Nittany Lion to pick up a Big Ten award in 2011, earning the conference's Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three goals in two games this weekend. Like the rest of Penn State's offense, Hayes is on a roll right now, with a goal in three straight matches.
The sophomore ran wild against West Virginia, taking a team-high five shots, and putting four on net, finishing two for scores. The only attempt not on net was almost a goal, as the forward tried a wide-angle shot to the far post that was just off-target. On Sunday, Hayes got headbutted by a defender then had a shot saved and the ball smacked her in the face, leaving her off-balance and disoriented. She sat out the final 33 minutes of the first half, but came back fine in the second and finished a neat header pass from Taylor Schram to cap her weekend.
Last year, Hayes had her chances, but showed freshman nervousness putting most of her shots on net right into the keeper's hands, but these year, she's added a ton of tricks to her arsenal and is playing with a lot of confidence.
Women's soccer senior Jess Rosenbluth's big weekend apparently caught a few people's eyes outside of State College.
The winger was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com's Women's College Team of the Week after scoring two goals and racking up two assists in the Nittany Lions two wins this weekend. Rosenbluth has been on fire over the past three games, with two assists in last Sunday's 4-0 rout of Nevada, already tying her career-high for assists in a season.
On Sunday, the senior scored a crazy goal when her cross from 25 yards out on the left side caught the strong winds blowing across Jeffrey Field and sailed into the net, prompting her to stare in disbelief then take a bow as her teammates mobbed her in celebration.
Friday night, she got the team going early against rival West Virginia, putting in a cross that junior Maddy Evans finished, then doubled the lead when she scored from four yards out off a cross from Evans. The squad was looking to its wingers, and Rosenbluth felt that only helped elevate her play this weekend.
"The amount of focus we’re putting on the attack, we didn’t take our foot off the gas and that gave me a lot of energy going into the flanks," Rosenbluth said Sunday. "That was our main focus to get the ball wide so knowing that pressure was on me to actually create and be dangerous helped me a lot."
Additionally, the Lions sit at No. 27 on TopDrawerSoccer's tournament 64, the website's attempt to project the NCAA tournament field. The Lions jumped up one spot from last week and are the second highest Big Ten team, trailing Ohio State, which sits fifth.
GK Erin McNulty- McNulty didn’t have a tough day in net, as Richmond managed just three total shots. However despite the lack of action, the fifth-year senior was key to keeping the back line in check, especially with Kori Chapic and Bri Hovington more involved in the attack. When she was called upon, McNulty was ready, making two saves and her punts were again quality, getting the ball well out of harm’s way
GK Krissy Tribbett - She made her second appearance of the weekend in relief, but did not face a shot. The defense played it back to her a few times and she handled the ball well. Not too much to say, as she wasn’t called upon to make a stop.
D Kori Chapic - The freshman continues to impress. Her speed allows her to go up and down the touchline at will and she filled in well at forward after Maya Hayes had to leave in the 12th minute. She had a few looks at headers, but her two shots were wide. Defensively, she made her stops, and her footwork let her keep the ball and get around pressure instead of making a pass, leading to better transition.
D Emma Thomson - Thomson provided a physical presence in the middle of the defense, especially on a day when fouls were as plentiful as Penn State shot attempts. The senior was steady, played the ball well out of the back and won a fair amount of air balls. Her leg is quite good too, as she played in several nice balls off long free kicks and had a crack at net after a long rebound, but it sailed high.
D Carly Niness - Niness was great in the air on both ends, getting a decent look off a corner kick that went wide, and knocking down Richmond’s aerial service. The senior played 59 minutes, all 45 of the first half and was much more disciplined in her tackles. She did show a little hesitation in the second half with the ball and lots of space to work with, but it didn’t have any negative effects on the game overall.
D Bri Hovington - Hovington played the entire 90 minutes, and along with Thomson, was the only player to go whistle-to-whistle. The sophomore was involved in the attack, especially with Maddy Evans cutting inside more often than on Friday. She had one or two misplayed passes, but so does every player and she had a very nice cross from outside the box late in the second half to Maya Hayes that was headed over the bar
D Whitney Church - Church gave the team a very solid 66 minutes, coming in after Hayes stepped off in the first half. The freshman doesn’t play like a newcomer, and has a maturity and calmness on the ball and in her defense. Church didn’t get as involved in the attack as the other outside backs, but she also played on the same side as Jess Rosenbluth, who was having another great game.
D Lexi Marton - Marton only went 36 minutes, but she is coming back from a bout of food poisoning and a banged up shin received in Friday’s game. When she was in, the junior co-captain was composed, and in the first half, her substitution allowed Thomson to slide up to defensive mid to close out the first half.
M Bri Garcia - Another good game from the redshirt junior and she picked up an assist on Jess Rosenbluth’s cross-turned-goal in the second half. She’s taken well to the defensive midfield role, but also gets involved on offense, taking two shots on Sunday though neither was on target. Garcia covers her ground well and is a good link between the back and the front six.
M Christine Nairn - Nairn was held without a point again, but she was also man-marked by Richmond’s Becca Wann for the entire game. While that pressure and Richmond’s doubling in the midfield choked the central midfield, Nairn still found space to get off a team-high seven shots, including a few dangerous attempts from distance. She should have had an assist to Taylor Schram, but their nice combo was called back on an offsides.
M Maddy Evans - Evans had a tough day, not in terms of production, but in the fact she was knocked down quite a bit by Richmond’s defenders. Not that it mattered. The junior was a thorn along the right wing all afternoon, firing four shots and forcing two saves from keeper Melissa Pacheco and also playing in some good crosses as usual. She just needs to take her time on her shooting as her other attempts, one of which was wide open, were high.
M Jess Rosenbluth - Gets our nod for player of the match, as she was constantly in or around the Richmond box and played their line perfectly. Her goal in the 54th minute was a bit lucky, but still impressive, and had it not caught that wind, it would have given Schram a nice chance on frame. Her corner kicks were on point and she crossed in the ball that Jackie Molinda finished to cap the scoring and seal up the game in the 70th minute. A nice weekend for the senior.
M Jackie Molinda - It looks like she’s staying at outside mid, but may have to contend with Emily Hurd for minutes once Hurd is back from a concussion. Her performance Sunday should help, as she seemed more comfortable on the field, putting both of her shots on goal, and finishing one, a nice shot to the far post that hit the woodwork and glanced in. Her time as a left back looked to pay off, as she was involved both ways, tracking back well on defense.
M Ali Schaefer - Schaefer spelled Garcia again and is firmly trenched as the first center mid off the bench, the same role she filled at this time last year. The senior saw 42 minutes, and got to play a little attacking mid at the end of the first half when Thomson slid up to defensive mid. Schaefer was good in distribution, but waited just a little too long on one play, but recovered well and kept the possession.
M Kindrah Kohne, Meghan Gill - Came on as late subs once the game was decided. Gill had a crack, but her attempt was wide. You have to appreciate the fifth-year senior’s determination and work rate, but two ACL injuries have robbed her speed, but she does provide heart off the bench. Kohne showed some spark in her time this weekend, and the time will be good experience as she grows this season.
F Maya Hayes - Had a scary moment in the 12th minute after taking a knock to the head, she had a shot saved and rebound right off her face, which left her woozy and off balance. The training staff and coaches wisely sat her the rest of the half, but the sophomore shook it off and was back out for the second half. She got Penn State on the board, connecting again with Taylor Schram on chipped header and finishing a break for her fourth goal of the year.
F Taylor Schram - She just seems like a natural at forward, and her instant chemistry with Hayes only helps. She was robbed of a nice goal by an offsides flag, after taking a ball from Nairn and chipping Pacheco to seemingly give Penn State a lead. She did pick up her fourth assist of the weekend on Hayes’ goal and put two of her four shots on net and got to a fair share of headers.
F Amanda Dotten Ellen Arnaud - Dotten got her first playing time of the year and for Penn State after coming over as a transfer from NJIT. She only played seven minutes and was the last player to sub in, but it was nice to see her get time in front of the home fans. Arnaud should have scored on her only shot, but she didn’t get enough on the shot and it was gobbled up by Pacheco late in the game. She brings good energy, but Schram and Hayes seem to have the forward spot on lock, and Chapic is more than capable of sliding up top if the need arises.
Down two sets against No. 2 USC on Saturday after an embarrassing and
unexpected defeat against Oregon the night before, it would have been easy for
Penn State to fold and drop the third set. But in a performance reminiscent of
the team's three straight sets after going down two sets to win the NCAA
national title against Texas two seasons ago, they fought back and actually won
the match. It was one of the most dramatic comebacks possible, and the crowd rushed the court after the win. Three sets earlier, just about everyone had discounted the Lions except themselves, and that fighting spirit bodes very well for a relatively young and inexperienced team still trying to find their identity.
Slay displayed the talent that she hinted at last season. The sophomore’s
play was one of the only bright spots against Oregon on Friday. She wasn't
perfect on the weekend, and she tended to disappear for stretches. Still, if she
can build some more consistency, Slay appears to have what it takes to be a
top-class performer for Penn State. Her ability to control the space over the
net makes her an asset to the squad and she was one of the best blockers and
killers over the weekend.
The freshman played limited minutes in the loss to Oregon on Friday as a
setter, replacing Carpenter. Rose apparently saw enough to play her at setter
for the entire match against No. 2 USC on Saturday and Hancock rewarded that
confidence. The freshman was one of the biggest reasons why Penn State was able
to fight back against USC, holding serve for what seemed like ages and scoring
seven kills on eight attacks with no hitting errors as well. Hancock's serve is
fast, powerful and a huge boost to the team, scoring aces (six against USC),
forcing free balls, and generally making life difficult for the other team. She
also brings another dimension to the setter position; Hancock can spike for
unexpected kills and even is a decent blocker, considering her 5'11" frame. Her
setting was a little sloppy at times over the weekend, but that may be
something she can work to improve. The Nittany Lions are likely going to need
production from freshmen if they hope to have success, and Hancock is a likely
candidate. After her performance on Saturday, Hancock looks to be the answer
Grant didn't play on Friday, but started on Saturday and put up a dominant stat
line against USC. Grant hit 11 kills in 17 attacks with no errors, good for an
impressive .647 hitting percentage. She also got up for two solo blocks and
eight block assists, playing a key role in stifling USC’s offense during the
comeback. Grant appears to be a powerful force at the net when given the chance
and seems to bring the kind of high-caliber talent Penn State needs. It will be
interesting to see if she can continue her good play if she's given more
The back row played poorly on Friday, and while the row saw better play on
Saturday, this team still needs a defensive specialist to step up and play
consistently well. The Nittany Lions lost a lot of points over the weekend
because they didn’t have the enough players flying around in the back,
scraping balls off the floor. This team needs to find defensive specialists to
consistently dig out the difficult spikes, and turn kills against into a
continuation of the rally. It was somewhat of a rotating door at libero during
the two matches, with three different players (freshman Dominique Gonzalez and
sophomore Ali Longo splitting time on Friday and junior Kristin Carpenter
wearing the dark blue jersey all match against USC) playing the position, but
the days of not having a clear starter there may already be over. Rose's
decision to play Carpenter at the free-substituting spot worked very well on
Saturday, as Carpenter improved her defensive presence significantly, but that
solution is dependent on Hancock holding down the fort at setter.
Losing to Oregon 3-1 and snapping the 94-match home winning streak was about as
low as the Lions could get. Slay was just about the only Lion who improved her
stock in that performance, and the match did little to settle any position
battles or lineup choices. The screams of the Oregon players as they headed to
the locker room in Rec Hall while the Lions walked away with their heads down
told the whole story. Luckily for the Lions, they were able to rebound against
USC and display enough positives to (almost) erase the memory of this loss.
Where is Darcy Dorton?
By most accounts, Darcy Dorton was ready to play after 20 months out with a
torn ACL. But over the weekend, the sophomore got only a few minutes against
Oregon and didn't see the court against USC. Fans of this team in years past
will surely remember the fire Dorton showed against Texas in the NCAA national
championship two seasons ago. This team could use that brand of leadership, not
to mention her on-court production. It's unclear if Dorton is fully recovered
or not, and her status will surely be something to watch in the coming weeks.
The men's soccer team opened the season with a 1-0 victory against Sienna. Check out how each player fared in the team's opener.
GK Andrew Wolverton - The freshman, making his second start, first regular season, was a commanding presence between the woodwork, rising up to snare seemingly every ball that came into the six-yard box. Wolverton was a little overaggressive, trying to parry away anything near his net, leading to a few needless corners, but Warming praised his ambitious approach to snare the final ball played by Siena
D Justin Lee - Penn State’s back line made sure it wasn’t going to be get beat over the top, but it may have played too conservative, staying back deep. Lee was his usual fiery self, sticking his marks and chirping at the ref but he also covered lots of ground when the outside backs did press up. The squad got a shutout, so they’ll take that any night.
D Mark Fetrow - Fetrow was a big force in the air, and literally bled for his team. The senior picked up a cut on his head after he collided with the Siena keeper on a corner kick and had to be subbed out twice for blood, changing jerseys in the second half. Defensively, he was steady, making some key slide tackles, not the easiest thing for a 6-foot-5 guy to do.
D Owen Griffith - Came in when Fetrow went down and held his own. The freshman didn’t try to do too much and made his passes connect. Not too much to say because he wasn’t on the field long, but that’s not a bad thing, meaning he didn’t make any mistakes.
D Brian Forgue - Penn State played through the left back a lot early on and Forgue played it confidently, mixing short and long passes to generate a few buildups. Forgue tracked back well, especially considering Siena stacked a lot of speed on its right flank. Of the defenders, Forgue was the most involved on offense, which should say how deep the line was playing.
D Matt Smallwood - The captain wasn’t as involved as much as he usually is in the attack, but his crosses were a little off as well. Throughout the match, he kept yelling to his teammates, either giving them encouragement or making changes when passes weren’t finding their marks.
M Jacob Barron - Barron’s role is to facilitate the ball from the midfield and he filled that role well, stepping up well in his tackles and connecting with the players ahead of him. The junior also had a nice cross late in the first half to Cardona that led to a shot just wide.
M Mackenzie Arment - Arment had a quiet game by his standards, finishing with three shots, but putting none on frame. Maybe it was the gap between the midfield and defense, but he didn’t seem to be up the field as much as he normally is. Despite that, Arment had some good individual plays and got by his defenders when he needed to.
M Minh Vu - Gets a lot of props for his class finish off a Jordan Tyler rebound. Vu hustled all night and it paid off when he caught up to that ball and one-timed it into net from outside the box. His speed is an asset, as he created a lot of pressure on defense and actually won the ball that led up to the goal. Had a few instances where he looked a little unsure on the ball, but the offense wasn’t clicking fully, so that should change with time.
M Hasani Sinclair - Sinclair ran hard all night and was Penn State’s most dangerous player in the attack playing on the right wing. He switched with Cardona if the situation presented itself, and Sinclair played the ball well to the center midfielders before putting himself in position to be dangerous.
F Julian Cardona - Cardona was very active up top, and had a really nice run with about 17 minutes left in the first half that led to a dangerous cross from Arment. The junior also made several long runs up the field, leaving a few defenders stumbling around with spin moves. Cardona’s energy has been very impressive through the three matches (two exhibitions) the squad has played so far.
F Jordan Tyler - Despite starting at forward, Tyler spent plenty of time in the midfield, constantly dropping back to receive a pass or help out on defense. That’s a big mark of his improvement as last year the forward wouldn’t have the stamina to cover that much ground . Tyler also set up the lone goal with a hard sprint out of the midfield to make Siena keeper Binks come off his line, then drove the ball that rebounded out to Vu
M Dan Parr - Parr played just 20 minutes, spelling the central midfield, but was effective. He didn’t really get time to make an impact play, but didn’t go out and turn it over with every touch. It’s early in the season, so it’s likely the team is still trying to figure out what roles each player is going to take on.
M Grant Warming- Warming got tangled up with a Siena player and rolled his ankle, which put a damper on his night. Otherwise he was solid giving Barron a spell in his limited time.
F Dan Burnham - Burnham didn’t get a ton of playing time, but did what he always does, run nonstop and made the defense work. It seems like he could get lost in the rotation up top, but his work ethic and energy are always a valuable piece, especially off the bench late in a game.
M Marvin Ledgister - He’s only been back for about a week, but Ledgister is making an impact for this team. He’s got good speed for his size and he works both ways on the field. As he gets into shape and builds chemistry with his teammates, he could have a bigger role going forward.
Friday night, the Penn State women's soccer team opened its home season in style, dominating No. 17 West Virginia a 5-0 victory. Here's a look at how the Nittany Lions did on the field.
GK Erin McNulty- The fifth-year senior had a strong game in net, making four saves and keeping a clean sheet in 74:09 of playing time. McNulty's biggest moment of the game came in the 12th minute when she tipped a shot from West Virginia's Blake Miller from the close right wing over the bar, keeping the Mountaineers from stealing momentum back early. The keeper even managed to get in on the scoring, playing a long punt that Taylor Schram redirected for Maya Hayes' first goal, picking up an assist.
GK Krissy Tribbett - Tribbett played the last 15:51, facing mainly backups, but she did her job preserving the shutout and making two saves. With McNulty in the fold, Tribbett has returned to backup status, but she gives Penn State a second keeper with starting experience.
D Bri Hovington - The sophomore played 50 minutes, being subbed out in each half, but Penn State led big early. Hovington was involved in the attack early, matching well with Maddy Evans.
D Emma Thomson - The senior co-captain stepped up big time, playing 80 minutes, mostly in a centre back role. Thomson came up with several big tackles that thwarted West Virginia buildups and she played a long free kick to Taylor Schram for a header that forced a great save by Mountaineers keeper Sara Keane,
D Carly Niness - Niness started next to Thomson and was steady overall, though she did make a few risky tackles. The Lions defense was stellar all night on set pieces and Niness played a big role with her athletic ability helping win headers.
D Kori Chapic - Chapic is a machine. The freshman played 83 minutes at left back and made countless runs up and down the field without seeming to get tired. In the second half, Chapic was essentially a third winger, playing two quality crosses that led to scoring opportunities. She also had a play in the second half where she missed a tackle at about the halfway line, turned around and chased down the attacker and made the stop inside the box.
D Whitney Church - Church is Penn State's first defender off the bench and despite being a freshman, plays with a lot of poise. Church made a few solid tackles, stayed composed and like the rest of the outside defenders, made an imprint on the attack
D Lexi Marton - The co-captain came off the bench for the third game in a row and like the rest of the Lions defense, helped post a clean bill. Marton had a scary moment in the final minutes of the game, taking a hard tackle and going down on the field. However, the junior quickly hopped up and walked it off, even joking with teammates about it as she was subbed off.
M Bri Garcia - Garcia was strong in the middle of the field. With Christine Nairn heavily involved in the attack, Garcia took up the defensive role, helping keep the back line organized and distributing the ball up the field. Garcia played 57 minutes, and tallied an assist on Penn State's final goal, playing a ball to Schram that the sophomore backheel passed to Hayes.
M Christine Nairn - Nairn tallied her first points of the season, picking up two assists Friday night. The junior showed why she was an All-American last year, one play schooling two defenders with her dribble before playing the ball off to the wing. Nairn's through balls were on point all night, springing Schram three times for breakaways and playing the ball to Rosenbluth that led to the opening goal.
M Maddy Evans - Evans didn't waste her big chance, making a hard run into the box on Rosenbluth's second minute cross, and connecting with the ball when Hayes couldn't quite get to it. The junior then repaid Rosenbluth a few minutes later after hustling to get to a ball on the endline and driving it back across the box for Rosenbluth to finish.
M Jess Rosenbluth - The senior played 69 minutes, but made the most of them, constantly positioning herself to make a good run. Sitting right on West Virginia's back line, Rosenbluth was able to get behind the defense several times, serving the cross for the opening goal and being in the right place to finish Evans' volley.
M Jackie Molinda - Molinda came on as a substitute outside midfielder, after playing defense the first two games. The junior didn't have a huge impact, making a few plays and connecting passes, but didn't have that "big" cross or feed that led to a goal. It didn't help that the starting four midfielders all had assists, which probably overshadowed an otherwise effective game.
M Ali Schaefer - Schaefer played just 33 minutes, spelling Garcia, but when she was on, the senior did what she always does. Playing the holding role, Schaefer kept it simple, playing short passes and using her voice as a weapon, keeping the team organized around her.
F Taylor Schram - Schram had a few moments she'll want back, but overall, the sophomore had a huge game, tallying three assists and a goal. While she isn't the biggest player on the field, Schram scrapped and battled in front of the net and used her quick first step to catch up to through balls from Nairn. It's early, but the Schram-Hayes pair has plenty of potential
F Maya Hayes - The forward meshed well with Schram from the get-go and their combination on the backheel flick was a piece of art. Hayes' speed was too much for West Virginia, and the forward was constantly getting behind the back line to put pressure on the Mountaineers. Hayes had a golden chance after she drew Keane off her line, but pushed the ball wide of the far post. While she'd likely want another crack at that, Hayes did put away two goals with plenty of confidence.
F/M Kindrah Kohne, Ellen Arnaud, Meghan Gill - All three came on as coach Erica Walsh emptied her bench late in the second half, picking up 13 minutes of playing time. With the game well decided, Penn State was just looking to run out clock and there wasn't a huge emphasis on pushing up for a goal, but it was nice to see the reserves get some time
The Penn State men’s soccer team is ready to kick off its 2011 campaign versus Sienna
at 7 tomorrow evening at Jeffrey Field. The Lions are coming into this year with a less-
experienced team than last year, but they still have high hopes of making a deep run into the
NCAA tournament. They lost 11 letter winners and six starters from the 2010 team,
but they have 12 newcomers, including five transfers that have joined the squad for the 2011
season. Also the team has welcomed Bo Oshoniyi and Chad Duernberger to the coaching
Bo Oshoniyi comes to Penn State from Wake Forest. He has won a collegiate and
MLS championship during his 12 years in Major Leauge
Chad Duemberger is a former NSCAA Div. II Coach of the Year at the University
Head Coach Bob Warming is coming into the season three wins shy of 400 for his
career. Only 30 coaches have reached that milestone in their career.
The Lions are looking to cut down on the 30 goals they allowed one year ago,
despite the young talent that they will have in the box.
Senior defender Matt Smallwood has earned the captain’s armband to start the
The squad faces a tough schedule this season, playing 10 opponents that went
to the NCAA tournament last season. This includes traveling to the defending
national champion Akron Zips.
Penn State hosts the Penn State Classic this weekend and will wrap it up by
playing American at 7 Monday evening at Jeffrey Field.
They team will then head to the Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio to play
Stetson on Sept. 9 and Florida International Sept. 14. During this classic is when
Coach Warming may get his 400th victory.
It was a battle to the very last set, but No. 2 USC's resilience got the best of No. 12 Minnesota tonight.
The Trojans beat the Golden Gophers, 3-2 (23-25, 24-26, 25-13, 25-21, 15-7) in a drawn out match at Rec Hall. USC dropped the first two sets, and it looked like Minnesota had an upset in the books. But the Trojans surged the final three sets, taking advantage of 12 service errors and 21 hitting errors through the first four sets by the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota was sloppy in the final set, and looked to have run out of gas on the court. Redshirt senior outside hitter Hailey Cowles had .000 hitting percentage after the fourth set with only six kills and as many errors in 30 attempts.
For USC, senior outside hitter Alex Jupiter had .349 hitting percentage with 20 kills through four sets.
The match wrapped up at around 8:30 p.m., with the Penn State/Oregon match set to begin at 8 p.m. The fans in Rec Hall were feeling some angst toward the end of with USC vs. Minnesota, and proceeded to let out a huge cheer when things wrapped up.
Penn State will play Oregon in about 15 minutes, so stay with us for live coverage.
The Nittany Lions looked strong in practice Thursday as they showcased their skills to the media. About 45 minutes in, coach Russ Rose seemed pleased, saying it was their third good practice in a row. The team worked well together through various drills and exercises.
Senior defensive specialist Megan Shiftlett was working hard with Rose and several other players on her digs. On one such dig, Rose accidentally spiked the ball directly into her face. There was no harm done.
On that note, it's worth mentioning that Rose, 57, has a pretty impressive spike.
Outside hitter Darcy Dorton practiced for the first time in front of the media Thursday. The redshirt sophomore didn't play last season after tearing her left anterior crucial ligament (ACL). She looked completely recovered in practice, and ready in the Lions' opener Friday against Oregon.
Every time a Lion serves a ball into the net during practice, they have to do a backwards somersault.
Freshman setter Micha Hancock definitely has one of the best serves on the team.
Former Lion Alyssa D'Errico visited practice Thursday to surprise her teammates from 2010. She recently signed a professional contract with Feel Volley Alcobendas, a team from Spain, and she is scheduled to leave Sept. 1.
Chris Cerutti met with trainers Wednesday afternoon, and Icers coach Guy Gadowsky confirmed the senior forward sustained a Grade II medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain.
Cerutti injured his left knee during the first fall practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Ice Pavilion.
“I think he’s gonna be out a little longer than expected,” Gadowsky said.
The Icers begin walk-on tryouts Aug. 30, and continue with team tryouts Aug. 31-Sept. 2. However, Cerutti said he will most likely be off the ice for about a week and a half.
“What (the trainer) recommended for now is going in to him two times a day for some mobilization exercises and some icing and stimulation,” Cerutti said. “Then during practice times, getting on the bike to try and keep my endurance up to stay in shape while I’m not skating.”
Gadowsky said the Icers won’t have any idea on how long Cerutti will be out until further evaluation.
Cerutti, who has no previous knee injuries, said the trainers don’t want him participating in contact for a couple weeks after he returns to play.
“But hopefully I can get back out there and get on the ice and do some drills to get my feet back under me,” Cerutti said.
Fresh off of graduating from Georgetown earlier this year, former lacrosse player David Shriver has joined the coaching ranks. Shriver will be a volunteer assistant coach for the Nittany Lions and Jeff Tambroni, who is entering his second season as head coach.
Hailing from Timonium, Md., Shriver tallied seven career goals while playing attacker for the Hoyas — including one against the Lions in 2009. He scored four of those goals last season, in his senior year on a Georgetown team that went 7-7.
In what will obviously be Shriver's first collegiate coaching stint, he will be on a staff with Tambroni, Peter Toner and Chris Doctor. And he will become a part of a Penn State team that finished 8-6 and returns five of its six top scorers from a season ago.
"We're thrilled that David has decided to join our staff," said Tambroni in a press release. "He is a first-class young man with a tremendous passion for the sport of lacrosse."
Lady Lion junior point guard Alex Bentley has been named to the Wade Trophy Watch List.
The Wade Trophy is considered the Heisman of women's basketball, and the winner will be announced during this season's NCAA Women's Final Four in Denver.
The award is presented by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports -- established to promote equality for women in sports, and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association -- formed to create an identity for women's basketball.
Bentley earned All-Big Ten first team honors last year for her performance on the court. She placed top 15 in the Big Ten in scoring, assists, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio.
She set a Lady Lion single season record last season with 174 assists.
A committee determined the list based on the players' stats, leadership, character and overall influence on the team.
Also on the list from the Big Ten is Iowa's Jamie Printy.
After four years in Happy Valley, former Nittany Lion libero Alyssa D'Errico is going to Alcobendas, Spain after signing a one-year contract to play for the Spanish second-division Superliga 2 club Feel Volley Alcobendas running from August 31 to early March.
Playing professionally will be a new challenge for D'Errico after she led Penn State to four consecutive national volleyball championships.
D'Errico originally signed a contract to play in France, but the team that signed the former Lion almost immediately released her, citing a rule limiting the number of foreigners on the team.
Penn State coach Russ Rose wrote a letter to the owner of Feel Volley Alcobendas highlighting some of D'Errico's best attributes.
"I said [in the letter] what it is that she did really well," Rose said. "She's a great teammate, she's plays the game hard, and she's low maintenance."
When Feel Volly Alcobendas offered her a contract, she jumped at the opportunity.
“I was reaching and hoping, but not having a ton of belief that that was actually going to happen," D'Errico told The Daily News in Batvia, NY. "And now that it has, it’s just like (I’m) ecstatic."
D'Errico played libero in college, but in Spain she will be more of a "passer/hitter," Rose said.
But her former coach is confident that she will be able to adapt to the new role, and that she will be a valuable asset Feel Volley Alcobendas.
"One of the most important things in sports is the ability to make other people better," Rose said. "I think that's one of the things Alyssa is very in tune to."
Though Penn State ran away with the NCAA wrestling title last season, coach Cael Sanderson and co. may never have reached their goal without the help of Andrew Long.
Long has left the team after receiving attempted rape, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault charges from a a sexual assault incident that occurred on Aug. 12.
After joining the Nittany Lions on Dec. 27 last year, the former national runner-up at Iowa State cruised to a 20-2 record with Penn State, taking third in the country at 133 pounds.
Now, as they look to repeat in 2011, the Lions will need to find someone to fill Long's shoes.
Let's take a look at a few of the top candidates:
- Frank Martellotti - Martellotti burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2010, finishing 18-3 wrestling at both 125- and 133-pounds. With two-time national qualifier Brad Pataky nursing a knee injury for much of the season, Martellotti gave the Lions a much needed boost, going 7-0 in dual matches. Academic issues kept him out of competition for much of the second half of the season. But if Martellotti keeps everything in order, he could be a major factor in 2011.
- Sam Sherlock - After redshirting in 2010, the former PIAA 125-pound state champion should be ready to take the mat in the blue and white singlet. Sherlock wrestled to an 18-5 record last season, wrestling unattached at 133 pounds. He had six majors, two technical falls and three pins in 2010, and was the No. 2 ranked 130-pounder in the country as a high school senior.
- Michael Waters - In a 2011 recruiting class highlighted by top-notch recruits, Waters has more wins than anyone else in the class. He finished his career at Davie in North Carolina with a 203-21 record.
D.J. Newbill has recently decided to transfer to Penn State from Southern Mississippi. A 6-foot-4 guard and Philadelphia native, he becomes the second player the new men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers has landed since taking over the program in June. Newbill started every game and played an average of 30 minutes a contest last year in his freshman season at Southern Miss on a team that won over 20 games. He was also named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and averaged 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds a game.
Joining Newbill will be is Akosa Maduegbunam, a 6-foot-3 guard from Charelstown, MA. Maduegbunam originally received an offer from Chambers' old school, Boston. Both players will start playing for the Nittany Lions in the 2012-13 season.
Above is a video of Newbill dunking in a game at Southern Miss last season.