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.