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Alex Stevenson Proving To Be Penn State Men’s Soccer’s ‘Unsung Hero’

Penn State men’s soccer had a rocky non-conference slate, but the team is currently rolling with a 3-0 record. Following a 2-0 victory against No. 22 Rutgers on Tuesday, the Nittany Lions vaulted themselves to the top of the Big Ten standings.

Danny Bloyou and Pierre Reedy scored the goals to seal the win in Piscataway for Penn State, but it is becoming clearer that the Nittany Lions have weapons on both side of the ball.

Jeff Cook’s formation works the same as many modern-day coaches. He allows creative fluidity in the offense, sturdy central defenders, and wing backs that get high and wide, providing another dynamic in the attack.

Each of Penn State’s wing-backs have been immense during the conference slate, and junior Alex Stevenson has been the unsung hero of the season thus far.

“Two shutouts on the road in the Big Ten is impressive, and I think [Stevenson] has been a big part of that,” head coach Jeff Cook said. “First and foremost, his defensive work, his competitiveness, and some of his recovery runs is outstanding.”

Stevenson is showing the makings of a proper wing-back during his third year in State College. Now fully converted from a more attacking position, he has used his experience as a forward by getting into dangerous areas and causing problems for the defense.

On Tuesday, it was Stevenson’s run into the box that led to the penalty that Reedy tucked away.

“One of the things we try to do is try to get in the other team’s penalty box. On that occasion, he got in and got fouled, and earned us an important penalty kick,” Cook said. “He’s been getting into good positions going the other way on the attack, and I thought he was really positive running with the ball.”

Now more than halfway through the campaign, the lineup is beginning to gel. Stevenson has been touted by Cook as a classic utility player, but his spot out wide in defense seems solidified now. His partnership with winger Andrew Privett is only going to improve as well.

Penn State gets until Sunday before hosting a strong Michigan side, where the undefeated conference campaign will be tested once more. Cook is happy with Stevenson and the rest of the team so far but knows what’s ahead given the depth of the Big Ten.

He also knows that Penn State hasn’t proven anything yet.

“You can’t ask for more than maximum points through three games,” Cook said. “I feel like it takes five to six games for the league table to have validity, in terms of what might happen down the stretch. If you look at the relative RPI’s, it’s a very strong conference top to bottom.”

“When the whistle blows Sunday against Michigan, we don’t start with a one-goal lead.”

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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