Column: Penn State Men’s Soccer has Potential to Strike
Soccer is one of the least talked about sports in the United States. It is the most global sport but just does not seem to incite the broad enthusiasm in America, in comparison to Europe and South America. In the United States football, basketball, baseball and even hockey all come before soccer. However, the talent level for soccer players in the U.S. is steadily rising on almost every level. The United States has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, and they currently have the most points in their region.
The talent pool has been extremely apparent and relevant in college soccer. Parity exists at every level and every single game is competitive and enjoyable watch. College soccer is fun to watch because of the differing styles of every team; some like to push the pace and force the issue, while others prefer to play slower and hold onto the ball looking for the best shot. Most teams can adapt to every single type of style, making every game different.
Two weeks ago Penn State played Duquesne at home. The Nittany Lions usually like to play a slower tempo game, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike, but against the Dukes, this was not the case. Penn State came out of the gates extremely aggressive and pushed the pace early and often. Once freshman Mark Wadid punched in a goal, Penn State went back to their possession game and shut down the Duquesne offense with some great goalkeeping from Andrew Wolverton. It was a great game and an example of how Big Ten teams can adapt to any style they want.
The Big Ten is one of the deepest, if not the deepest, conference in college soccer. The conference only has one team in the top 25, Northwestern at number five, but both Penn State and Michigan State received votes last week. With those three teams leading the way, in addition to the solid Indiana and Wisconsin. Penn State head coach Bob Warming knows his team has the toughest part of their schedule coming up with conference play.
The Nittany Lions have potential, but must impress in conference play to reach their goals.
Tim Alvarez is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.