Men's soccer vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Tournament), Pritchatt (5)

Midfielder Callum Pritchatt (5) tries to gain control of the ball against Wisconsin midfielder Patrick Yim (16) during the men's soccer Big Ten Quarterfinal game against Wisconsin. The No. 2 seed Nittany Lions defeated the No. 7 seed Badgers, 3-0.

In a return to national significance, Penn State made the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2014.

The Nittany Lions also doubled their win total from six in 2018 to a dozen in 2019. This marked improvement coincided with coach Jeff Cook’s first two seasons at University Park, and his success is in no small part due to the team’s midfielders.

Now entering his third year, Cook has nine midfielders on roster to choose from for his starters and key contributors off the bench.

Though the season will not begin until the spring, there are several members of the team who could be standouts.

Callum Pritchatt, a senior from England, appeared in 18 matches last season, including 13 starts and two goals.

Pritchatt also totaled 1,106 minutes from the midfield position last season, down from 2017 when Pritchatt started in every game.

Regardless, his veteran leadership will be an important asset for the Nittany Lions.

Sophomore Andrew Privett is a year removed from a stellar freshman year in which he notched two goals and three assists.

Privett appeared in 19 games with five starts and totaled 808 minutes on the pitch

Now moving into his sophomore year, it’s reasonable to believe Privett should see an increased role from the midfield this spring.

In a significant role from the midfield, former Duke transfer Seth Kuhn played all 19 games and logged 18 starts.

Men's Soccer vs Providence, Kuhn (17) Kicks

Midfielder, Seth Kuhn (17), kicks the ball during the game against Providence at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. Providence defeated Penn State 3-2 during overtime.

He played 1,333 minutes and had the second-most assists on the team with five.

Last season, Kuhn added scoring to his Penn State accolades, with his first career goal in a 1-0 victory over Villanova.

A leader at the midfield position as a sophomore last year, Kuhn will likely continue in this leadership role as a junior and moving forward.

After sitting out the 2017 and 2018 seasons due to injury, Pierre Reedy made a healthy return to the pitch and started in 12 of the team’s 16 games last year.

Reedy served as a team captain alongside midfielder Aaron Molloy, who has since departed Penn State for the professional ranks.

Reedy had four assists and played 947 minutes last year.

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If he can stay healthy, Reedy will likely be another key contributor from the midfield spot.

Like Privett, Kyle May is coming off a freshman campaign where he made significant contributions in his seven starts.

May appeared in 18 games and accrued seven starts, scoring two goals.

One of May’s two goals was a game-tying goal against then-No. 17 Maryland in late October.

In a crowded midfield group, May will continue to vie for playing time in his sophomore campaign.

A relative unknown as an incoming freshman, Peter Mangione’s playing time will be curious to monitor.

If Cook gives the youngster some leash, perhaps he can contribute in the manner of Privett and May last season.

But should Mangione become a role player for much of this season, his importance at the midfield position will more closely resemble that of Daniel Gonzalez, Keegan Ness and Omar Ozbay than the aforementioned key contributors from last season’s midfielder position group.

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