Football Isn’t The Only Exciting Fall Sport
Penn State is a school obviously known for its football program, and not without reason. The program is renowned nationwide and one of the best of all time. However, football only makes up a portion of the athletic excitement in the fall for the Nittany Lions. With a variety of fall sports providing great successes in their respective programs and enthusiastic student sections cheering them on every game, fall has a lot more to offer than just Saturdays in Beaver Stadium.
It’s fitting to start off the list of some of Penn State’s most exciting fall sports with the 2015 national champions. A 1-0 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in December gave Head Coach Erica Walsh and the Nittany Lions’ women’s soccer team its first National Championship last season, and it’s headed into one of the most anticipated seasons yet.
Jeffrey Field, home of the men’s and women’s soccer teams, is a beautiful stadium on campus. Its atmosphere is almost always electric on a game day. Taking in the sights and sounds of Jeffrey Field and the Nittany Lions’ women’s soccer team is a must for any fan of the sport, especially with the privilege of cheering them on for a hopeful second National Championship. The team opened its season already, but you can catch it at Jeffrey Field again on Friday against BYU.
As for the rest of the regular season, the Nittany Lions won’t open Big Ten play until September 16 against Minnesota, but the non-conference action should be a competitive start for the team. With squads such as UCLA and San Diego State on the schedule, the road to conference play won’t be a walk in the park for Erica Dambach’s team. Some of the most intense and exciting games of the season will come when Penn State takes on Rutgers in a rematch of the national semifinals on October 13 and Ohio State in the regular season finale on October 26. Both will be heated contests and fun to watch inside Jeffrey Field.
Men’s Soccer and the Sons of Jeffrey
Building off of the greatness that is the women’s soccer team, the men’s soccer team also features talented soccer and a great Jeffrey Field atmosphere. The Sons of Jeffrey, the student-section supporters of the men’s soccer team, provide a great part of the energy inside Jeffrey Field on game days. Although the men’s soccer team hasn’t boasted quite as much success as the women’s team in recent years, it hasn’t been bad by any means. Both teams pull high attendance numbers for collegiate soccer standards, and it’s always enjoyable to be in the middle of the fun during a Big Ten match against a highly ranked team such as Ohio State or Michigan. The Nittany Lions open their season on Friday at Stanford, but you can come watch them at Jeffrey Field starting September 2 against James Madison.
Big Ten play kicks off for the men’s squad in an early hyped matchup with Ohio State on September 13. The Nittany Lions will then face rivals from both sides of the state after that as they take on Temple on September 27 and Pitt on October 11. With two of the last four home games featuring Rutgers and Michigan State, the men’s team boasts a pretty competitive schedule at home this year.
Women’s Volleyball and the wRECking Crew
Students and fans almost always pack Rec Hall whenever Penn State women’s volleyball takes the court. As the team continues to enjoy success under Head Coach Russ Rose, its fans continue to show ample support. The wRECking Crew is the student section for the women’s volleyball team, and they provide an atmosphere similar to the one created by the Roar Zone at Pegula. You can be sure the Nittany Lions will be on the hunt for another National Championship this year, so it should be another fun season inside Rec Hall. The team opens its season on Friday against West Virginia in the Penn State Classic.
The Nittany Lions play Rutgers on September 21 to open Big Ten matches. Before that, however, they will have a tough schedule with big names such as Stanford and Syracuse lined up. The wRECking Crew will be pumped up on October 1 as Michigan comes to town. In two other must see matches, Minnesota will take the Rec Hall court on October 5, and Ohio State will take on the Nittany Lions on October 19. Both will be fun matches to watch and be a part of in the Rec Hall crowd.