After leading the Lions to a split of the regular season Big Ten title, the league office announced Thursday night that seven Penn State players were named to All-Conference teams, the most for the team since 2005.
Head coach Bob Warming won Coach of the Year for helping lead the team to their first conference title since 2005. The Lions had a strong turnaround in conference play, going 3-1-2 after after finishing 0-0-6 last year.
Midfielder Jacob Barron and defender John Gallagher were First Team All-Big Ten selections and helped contribute to the Lions' success with their steady play and reliability. Barron started all 16 games while Gallagher started 14 games. The defender helped the team create on offense as he took all set pieces and corners and tallied three assists, second most on the team. Barron used his role as a defensive midfielder to do the dirty work, winning possession in the midfield and helping start counter attacks. The two anchored a strong Lions' defense that finished tied for first in the conference in fewest goals conceded.
Midfielder Julian Cardona, forward Hasani Sinclair, midfielder Owen Griffith, and goalie Andrew Wolverton were named to the Second Team All-Big Ten list. The Lions' four players on the second team led the conference.
Griffith contributed along with Barron in the midfield, starting all 16 games. He was third on the team in minutes played and had a goal and two assists on the year.
Cardona led the Lions with six goals, good for third in the Big Ten. Sinclair stepped up in Big Ten play, scoring the winner against Northwestern and contributing four assists throughout the season. Sinclair's speed and shiftiness often provided the spark off the bench late in games for the Lions.
Wolverton followed up on his record breaking freshman campaign with a solid sophomore season, leading the Big Ten in goals against average (0.49) in nine starts.
Rounding out the Lions' awards were freshman Drew Klingenburg, whose wing play earned him all Freshman Team honors and senior Daniel Burnham, whose contributions all over the field earned him the Sportsmanship Award.
In his first season at Penn State, transfer Mikey Minutillo has faced many obstacles while battling injuries.
After suffering a sprained right MCL in late August against Hartford, the junior was forced to sit out three games and the attacker struggled with his match fitness. Minutillo played 45 minutes in his return against Albany on Sept. 14.
When Minutillo has been on the field, the Lions' offense has thrived as the 6-foot-1 attacker has created opportunities up top with his clever through balls, often playing to forward Julian Cardona.
Minutillo has one goal and an assist in eight games this season.
The attacker continued to struggle with his fitness as he missed games against Michigan and Akron in early October due to the nagging injury.
Minutillo returned against Michigan State and helped the offense up top in his 52 minutes of play. While he did not register a shot, the junior's presence helped open up space for midfielder Daniel Burnham to get in behind defense and score the first goal in the 20th minute.
With a midweek game against Bucknell on Wednesday -- the team's fourth game in 11 days -- coach Bob Warming hopes that Minutillo can build on a positive game against the Spartans.
“I thought Mikey's fitness is not good enough yet but he and Julian, we looked like a different team when those two guys were in,” Warming said. “Julian and Mikey were unbelievable in the first 25 minutes.”
The reoccurring theme of the Penn State men's soccer team's past few games showed up again Saturday night. Despite controlling play for most of the game, the Nittany Lions (6-3-2, 1-1-1 Big Ten) could not take advantage of their chances in a 1-1 draw against Michigan (3-5-1, 1-1-1 Big Ten).
The Lions outshot Michigan 26-10, a season high in shots for Penn State, but it took until the 83rd minute for the Lions to get on the board.
Playing from behind for most of the game after conceding a fourth minute goal to forward T.J Roehn, the Lions were able to equalize on defender Akil Howard's first goal of the season.
Howard took advantage of a loose ball in the box that fell to him and he tucked it home in the right corner from a few yards out.
While the Lions had a chance to win it in OT, the Wolverines cleared a shot from Marvin Ledgister off the line and the teams had to settle for a draw.
Key points from the game:
Hasani Sinclair makes his first start of the season: After impressing against Indiana and having a great week of practice, coach Bob Warming rewarded Sinclair with his first start of the season. The 6-foot-1 forward impressed in his 75 minutes of playing time. Sinclair registered three shots (two on target) and notched his second assist of the season.
Goalie rotation continues: Warming continued his rotation of the goalie's playing time as Andrew Wolverton got the start in place of Emmanuel Martin. Wolverton had very little to do throughout the night, saving one shot as Michigan registered just three shots on target.
Penn State Man of the Match: Midfielder Marvin Ledgister was a nuisance to the Wolverines defense all night. The senior registered five shots, all on target, and forced Michigan goalie Adam Grinwis to come up with a couple outstretched saves in overtime to keep the game tied.
Penn State men’s soccer midfielder and captain John Gallagher is suspended for Saturday’s date in Ann Arbor against Michigan.
Gallagher, who also missed the Nittany Lions' 1-0 defeat to No. 11-ranked Indiana this past weekend, was given a red card in the final minute of Penn State’s (6-3-1) contest against Lehigh on Sept. 25.
After a scuffle in the 89th minute, Gallagher and Lehigh’s Brian Suchoski were sent off the pitch.
Per NCAA rule 12.12.1, any player or coach ejected from a game cannot participate in the next regularly scheduled game, including the postseason.
Because Gallagher received a red card and subsequent ejection at Lehigh, he was fully expected to serve his suspension against Indiana.
However, the fact that he’s must sit out a second consecutive game could mean that the Big Ten or NCAA has looked further into the matter and deemed it worthy of an extended suspension.
The senior has been a key cog in Lions' midfield in 2012 and takes most of the team's free kicks and corners.
Gallagher has yet to score a goal this year, but has two assists to his name.
Heartbreak just loves to haunt the Penn State men's soccer team.
After losing to a previously winless Lehigh on Tuesday in the 89th minute, the Nittany Lions (6-3-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten) were hoping to rebound at home against No. 11 Indiana - and it looked like they would pull it out.
However, the Lions fell in double overtime 1-0 on Saturday after out-shooting and outplaying the Hoosiers (7-2-1, 2-0-0 Big Ten) for most of the contest.
With more than 3,000 fans in attendance, the 105-minute clash was an emotional one to say the least for the Lions and their supporters.
With that being said, let's take a look at some key points and numbers throughout the game.
Unsung Hero: Hasani Sinclair
While the stat line says his only contribution was two shots, Sinclair was the catalyst toward the end of regulation that had the Lions on the brink of victory. The senior, who has started in all but one game last season, came back on as a substitute in the 84th minute and used a combination of swiftness and footwork to muddle Indiana defenders. In the last five minutes, he drew multiple fouls including two yellow cards. These fouls set up dangerous free kicks for the Lions but they were unable to capitalize.
Biggest Surprise: Lack of production from Julian Cardona
While Sinclair was playing extremely well, it was shocking to not see Cardona on the pitch at all in overtime. Out of 105 minutes, Cardona only saw 54 minutes of playing time - something that would have been crazy early in the season. The senior forward is the Lions’ leading scorer on the season (five goals), but has been held scoreless now in the past four games. Despite his hot start to the season, Cardona has cooled off a bit and the Lions would benefit if he got back to his scoring ways.
Stat of the Night: 10
That’s the absurd number of offsides penalties that plagued the Hoosiers. It seemed like every time Indiana would have a 2-on-1 opportunity or even a 2-on-0, the side judge threw his flag up. While a few calls were questionable, most were obvious and it slowly became the theme of the night for Indiana.
Best Thing for the Lions: Defense proved it's one of the nation's best
I say that because it virtually shut down one of the nation's best offense in Indiana. Throughout a 105-minute game, Penn State’s back line led by Brian Forgue held the No. 11 team in the country to seven shots. That’s phenomenal. Also, the center backs locked in on Indiana’s Eriq Zavaleta and made his impact almost null and void. Zavaleta, who has seven goals on the season, was minimized to four shots and one on goal. Credit should also be given to the defense for drawing Indiana offsides on a consistent basis. Even though they lost, Saturday's defensive performance is something positive for the Lions to take away after a stinging defeat.
The Penn State men's soccer team (6-1-1, 1-0-0 Big Ten) opened up Big Ten play Friday night with a hard fought 1-0 win against Wisconsin (2-3-3, 0-1-0 Big Ten).
The Lions dominated for large portions of the game, out-shooting the Badgers 23-9 and 14-3 in the second half. Despite this, it took until the final 10 minutes for the Lions to net the winning goal.
The subs for the Lions continued to take advantage of their extra playing time as three subs combined for the winning goal and Penn State had 16 players see playing time.
In the 81st minute, Hasani Sinclair and Drew Klingenberg picked up their first assists of the season as the Badgers turned the ball over toward the end line. The ball was crossed to Kelton Cheney at the back post, who scored in his second consecutive game.
The Badgers threatened to equalize off an 88th minute corner but sent the header wide to seal the Penn State win.
A first half goal was all the Penn State (4-1-1) men's soccer team needed to defeat Albany (2-4-0, 1-0) Friday night at Jeffrey Field.
The Nittany Lions started out strong creating chances during a first half in which they kept possession in the Albany half of the field for the majority, slowing picking apart the Great Dane defense.
Coach Bob Warming said the first half was the best that the team has looked all season.
The breakthrough came in the 24th minute when a ball bouncing around the box fell to Julian Cardona, who spun around and fired it into the top right corner from 20 yards out. It was his fifth goal of the season, setting a new career high after he scored four goals last season.
Cardona credits the success this season on his chemistry with forward Mikey Minutillo, who returned from injury after a three-game absence. All five of Cardona's goals have came with Minitullo on the field.
Albany had a chance to send it to overtime with four minutes left but hit the crossbar. From there, the Lions took the ball to the corner flag to run out the clock and get the win.
The Lions are back in action Sunday afternoon as they take on Adelphi following the conclusion of the women's soccer game.
Men's soccer defender Owen Griffith has been named Big Ten Defensive Player Of The Week, according to the league office. It is the first time of his career that he has grabbed the accolade, as he helped guide the Lions' defense to a 0-0 tie against West Virginia on Thursday night.
The sophomore played all 110 minutes as the defense limited the Mountaineers to just four shots on goal and 13 overall shots.
He was also a factor on the offensive side of things, as he registered three shots.
Griffith has started all five games so far this season for a Nittany Lions team that has recorded shutouts in three of their five games. The team has allowed four goals for a 0.80 goals against average, good for second best in the conference behind Indiana.
He is the second Lions' defender to the win the award this season, as Brian Forgue won the honor on August 27 for his performance in a shut out against Stetson.
With just one day of rest between games, the Penn State men's soccer team (3-1-0) lost to No. 21 Georgetown (4-0-0), 2-1, in the first road game of the season on Sunday.
The short layoff appeared to affect the Lions as the team got off to a sluggish start. It was all Hoyas early on as they dominated for the entire first half, out-shooting the Lions 14-0.
The Lions scored an own goal in the 24th minute to make it 1-0 after a Hoyas' shot hit the post 10 seconds earlier.
The team ended up making adjustments in the second half and started getting shots away. Penn State scored to make it 1-1 on its first shot of the game. In the 53rd minute, junior defender Akil Howard sent in a cross to the center of the box that was scored by midfielder Marvin Ledgister -- his first goal of the season.
The tie game didn't last long because after the kick off, Georgetown took the ball up-field and forward Brandon Allen shot a ball in off the right post for his third goal of the season. The goal came just 52 seconds after the Lions' scored.
After the goal, the Lions' goal scoring chances were limited. In total, they had eight shots during the game with just four on target. The Hoyas' ended up out shooting them 20-8 while having an 8-3 advantage on corners.
In the 87th minute, Lions' midfielder Julian Cardona took a shot but it was saved by Georgetown goalie Tomas Gomez. The Hoyas' finished the game by keeping possession to wind down the clock and secure the 2-1 win.