Bob Warming era begins with men's soccer exhibition vs. Hartwick

University Park, Pa. — First-year Penn State head coach Bob Warming and the 2010 edition of the Nittany Lions will make their much-anticipated debut on Saturday evening when they host Hartwick at Jeffrey Field. The match, which is the first Penn State home athletic event of the fall season, is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission, as it will be for all regular season home Penn State men's soccer games, is free.

A 33-year head coaching veteran, Warming, who is ranked sixth in career wins among all active NCAA coaches, guides 16 letterwinners and nine starters that return from a 2009 squad that won 12 games, advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title game, and earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Championship. Included in that group of returnees are four 2009 All-Big Ten performers and the team leaders in goals and assists.

Junior Corey Hertzog (Reading, Pa.), a legitimate Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year candidate, will headline the Penn State offense. The 2009 Big Ten Tournament Offensive MVP topped the Lions and tied for the conference lead in points with 28 (11g, 6a) a year ago. Seniors Matheus Braga (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (7g, 7a) and Drew Cost (West Chester, Pa.) (3g, 2a) will be counted on to contribute points from their midfield positions.

The Penn State defense is anchored by First Team All-Big Ten selection Andres Casais (Caracas, Venezuela) and juniors Mark Fetrow (West Chester, Pa.) and Justin Lee (Derwood, Md.). The trio combined for 62 starts in 2009. Another talented threesome, senior Andy Parr (Hummelstown, Pa.), junior Patrick Krispin (The Woodlands, Texas), and sophomore Brian Forgue (Glenmoore, Pa.) will battle for starting spots and playing time on the back line. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Warren Gross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), a 22-game starter in 2009, tied for the Big Ten lead in shutouts with nine and recorded a 0.83 goals against average.

Hartwick is coming off a 2009 season that saw the Hawks post a 10-4-4 record and place second in the competitive Mid-American Conference, behind only national championship runner-up Akron. However, Hartwick returns just eight letterwinners and five starters from that team and is led by a new head coach, John Scott. A former assistant at Binghamton, Scott should be somewhat familiar with the Penn State squad, as the Bearcats were in Happy Valley a year ago for an exhibition game with the Nittany Lions. Junior forward Dan Summers, the Hawks' leading scorer a year ago (6g, 3a), is back to spearhead the offense but only one 18-game starter returns from the 2009 team, senior defender Owen Botting.

Fans can follow all of the action of the Penn State-Hartwick match-up on the Internet with live stats and instant scoring updates from GameTracker. Find a link on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics,

A reminder to fans that on Sun., Aug. 22, the men's team, in conjunction with the PSU women's squad, will co-host a free youth clinic and autograph session at 2:30 p.m. on Little Jeffrey Field, allowing fans and youths of all ages to meet the team and learn instruction from two of the foremost coaches in college soccer.

The Nittany Lions will conclude their preseason schedule on Sat., Aug. 28 when they face No. 20 Louisville at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind. in a 6 p.m. contest. Penn State will begin regular season play the following week on Fri., Sept. 3 (5 p.m.) when it meets Buffalo at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus as part of host Ohio State's Wolstein Classic. The Lions will conclude participation in the Buckeyes' annual tournament on Sun., Sept. 5 when they battle the College of Charleston at 12 p.m. for the first time in program history.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010