Men's soccer 2013 schedule features 10 home contests

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State men's soccer took the first steps toward defending its 2012 Big Ten regular-season championship Tuesday (May 21) afternoon, announcing the squad's 2013 schedule. The Nittany Lions' 20-game slate features seven NCAA tournament qualifiers from 2012 and 10 matches on home turf at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State owns winning records against 13 of its 2013 opponents as it faces California, Central Connecticut State and Nebraska Omaha for the first time on the pitch. The schedule also features competition against both future Big Ten opponents, Maryland and Rutgers, along with teams from 10 conferences, led by two Big East squads (Rutgers, St. John's) and a pair of NEC programs (Central Connecticut State, Robert Morris).

The Blue and White gear up for the regular season with a trio of preseason contests, starting with a trip to face Nebraska-Omaha in the debut of UNO's football-turned-soccer facility, Caniglia Field, Aug. 17 before opening the year at Jeffrey Field Aug. 20 against Maryland. Last season, Penn State battled to a tie with the Terrapins, who finished the season ranked third in the nation, after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in College Park, Md. Penn State wraps up the exhibition schedule Aug. 24 against Navy in Annapolis, Md.

The regular season kicks off with a pair of home matches, first against Radford Aug. 30 and then versus Central Connecticut State Sept. 2. After a two-match stint on the road against Rutgers and St. John's, Sept. 6 and 8, respectively, Penn State enjoys its longest homestand of the season. Pac-12 opponent California treks across the country for a Sept. 13 matchup before the Nittany Lions host in-state squads Robert Morris Sept. 17 and Duquesne Sept. 22. The Lions drew a season-high 4,292 fans at its 1-0 victory over the Dukes last autumn at Jeffrey Field.

Following a Sept. 25 visit to Morgantown, W. Va., to take on West Virginia, Penn State opens Big Ten season with a Sept. 28 clash at home against Wisconsin before welcoming non-conference opponent Saint Francis (Pa.) to Jeffrey Field Oct. 2.

The Lions continue conference action with an Oct. 6 tilt against reigning national champion Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., before matchups against Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern Oct. 11, 20 and 26, respectively. A final in-state game against Penn in Philadelphia, a makeup from a rained out 2012 date, marks Penn State's final regular-season contest in Pennsylvania as the team plays its final two matches in Ohio against Ohio State Nov. 2 and Akron Nov. 6.

The 2013 Big Ten Tournament will be held Nov. 13-17, hosted by the Buckeyes at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The NCAA tournament starts Nov. 21 with the first three rounds taking place on campus sites before the final four teams make their way to PPL Park, home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, for the College Cup.

Penn State, under the direction of head coach Bob Warming, looks to defend its 2012 Big Ten regular-season title after an undefeated spring exhibition season. The Nittany Lions finished 6-0-1 with wins over Wright State, Saint Francis, Rutgers, Cleveland State, Navy and Winstars Soccer Academy by a combined 18-4 goal differential while tying Syracuse, 1-1. Rising senior forward Mikey Minutillo (San Jose, Calif.) sparked the torrential scoring with a team-best six goals, including a four-goal effort against Winstars. Third-year midfielder Kyle MacDonald (Yardley, Pa.) followed with a trio of goals and assists while 2012 second-team All-Big Ten midfielder Owen Griffith (Lewisburg, Pa.) added a goal and three assists.

The team also returns rising junior goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton (Snellville, Ga.), who led the Big Ten with an .833 save percentage and 0.49 goals-against-average in conference games last year on the way to second-team All-Big Ten honors. Drew Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.), named to the conference's All-Freshman list last season, aims to contribute significantly in his second campaign.

A year ago, Penn State finished 3-1-2 in Big Ten play with wins over Wisconsin, Michigan State and Northwestern while producing draws against Michigan and Ohio State. The team's lone conference loss came at the hands of eventual national champion Indiana, 1-0, in double overtime.

Warming welcomes 10 new additions to the squad, including nine recruits and one transfer, to help the squad fill a void on the roster left by a 10-man senior class from a year ago. Read more about the 2013 additions here.

2013 PENN STATE HOME SCHEDULE

Aug. 20 vs. Maryland (Exhibition), 7 p.m.
Aug. 30 vs. Radford, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 vs. Central Connecticut State, 1 p.m.
Sept. 13 vs. California, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. Robert Morris, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Duquesne, 1 p.m.
Sept. 28 vs. Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 2 vs. Saint Francis, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 vs. Michigan, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 vs. Northwestern, 7 p.m.

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Last Updated May 23, 2013