Another regular season is about to be in the books for Penn State as it plays its final game at home Sunday against Rutgers.
The Nittany Lions lost 3-2 in double overtime against Big Ten foe Maryland on Tuesday, and currently hold an overall season record of 5-8-2.
Rutgers, however, is 4-11-1 and also looking to end its season on a good note as the Scarlet Knights come to State College.
With Sunday being senior day for the men’s team, first-year coach Jeff Cook took the time to show his appreciation for his players during Wednesday’s media session and how hard they have worked all season long.
He also expressed his gratitude for his senior players as they prepare to play their last regular-season game at Jeffrey Field.
“I’m really grateful for the contributions of the seniors. They’ve been really excellent about embracing a new coaching staff, being open to new ideas and have been excellent leaders throughout our season,” Cook said.
“I feel a little bit funny talking about them now because we hope that our season still has several weeks to run, but of course we recognize that the last regular season home game is a special occasion,” Cook added. “We want to mark that in the right way.”
Some of the younger players on the team even showed appreciation for the seniors, including junior midfielder Aaron Molloy.
“There are so many great memories,” Molloy said. “I think there’s like eight or 10 of them. They’re all great mentors and they have left the program in a better way than when they first came in. The game on Sunday will be all toward the respect to them.”
Midfielder Noah Pilato, who is a senior, also discussed some of his favorite memories with the senior class.
“Dating back to freshman year being a redshirt and just training and going through all of those moments together,” Pilato said. “Coming up through the ranks and being there with guys who have consistently started like Dani Marks. It has been great working with those guys to become the players that they are today.”
The Nittany Lions will face a Rutgers team that’s also had an up-and-down regular season and is trying to make a run in the Big Ten Tournament.
Although they have lost their last two games, the Scarlet Knights are 3-5 when on the road and have been able to hang tough with some highly ranked teams, including the No. 2 ranked Indiana Hoosiers where they only lost 1-0.
Both teams utilize their defense very well, which could be a major factor in the outcome of Sunday’s game. The game is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at Jeffrey Field.
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