A few posts ago I had an anonymous commenter ask me if I intend to cover Penn State Nittany Lion basketball when the season rolls around. The answer is an emphatic YES. I know I cover mostly football here, but let's face it, Penn State is a football school first. Football brings home the bacon and football is in season right now. But I do want to cover other sports as well.
Penn State has a bunch of great teams that do not get a lot of exposure. Last year, Penn State won an unprecedented five Big Ten titles in the fall sports. In addition to the football team, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball all brought home Big Ten Championships in 2005. Dominance like that deserves to be noted, so I'm going to make an attempt to do that going forward. Here is a review of what's going on in some of the other Penn State sports this fall.
The field hockey team started off shakey this year but is starting to get things rolling. The defending Big Ten Champs started out the season ranked #7, but lost two heart breakers to #4 Old Dominion and Ohio. But since then the Nittany Lions have rolled off three straight wins including a 5-1 route over #13 Northwestern and a 1-0 nailbiter over #9 UConn. Junior defensive back Mallory Weisen was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week this week for her two key goals against the Wildcats and Huskies.
The mens soccer team returns to defend their Big Ten title from a year ago and were ranked #13 in the preseason poll. Unfortunately the team is off to a disappointing 1-3 start, but two of the losses have come against ranked opponents. The Lions will open their home schedule this weekend against Ohio State, San Francisco, and Boston University in the annual Penn State Nike Classic.
The womens soccer team entered the season with some high expectations. That's what happens when you win your conference eight times in a row which the Lions have done. The Lions are off to a 1-1-2 start, but they have played some tough competition to date. They are ranked #3 in the nation and all indications are they will have another successful season.
The womens volleyball team is off to a smoking start. The Lady Lions started the season ranked #2 and are the favorites to repeat as Big Ten champs and possibly compete for a national title. They have shut out five of their first six opponents in route to a 6-0 start. The team features sophomore outside hitter Nicole Fawcett who was just named Big Ten Women's Volleyball Player of the Week.
That's just a taste of what is going on in other sports at Penn State. I don't think I'll have time to cover all the sports in detail, but when big matches come up I'll try to at least mention the score for you. I'll also try to alert you to big matches coming up on campus so any students reading this blog can go support the team. I must admit I'm a bit removed from the campus living here in Philly. I can't offer you much more than whatever I can find on the GoPSU website. But I can offer interaction with other fans as only blogs can. So if there are any readers out there that follow these teams closely, I would invite you to feel free to cover your teams in the diary section. Maybe we can get a local beat reporter to cover some of these smaller sports for us.