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Men’s Soccer Wins THON 2022 Pep Rally With Showstopping Performance

The THON 2022 Pep Rally brought electrifying energy to the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday night. In a change of pace, Penn State men’s soccer took home this year’s title following a handful of performances from Nittany Lions teams.

Before the party really got started Saturday, thousands packed inside the BJC painted the arena white with t-shirts from the Penn State Alumni Association.

Others received yellow shirts to spell out a “50” to commemorate THON’s 50th anniversary.

Penn State cheerleaders, along with the Nittany Lion, got the evening started with a performance that made us feel like we were right back in Beaver Stadium again. The squad cheered along to some beloved Blue Band classics, like ‘Let’s Go State’ and ‘Roar Lions Roar’.

Host of the evening, content specialist, and on-air personality for Penn State Athletics Mitch Gerber, introduced director of athletics Sandy Barbour and head football coach James Franklin up on the stage to share a few words.

“I appreciate you making me feel at home with the White Out we’ve got going on,” Franklin said. “It’s so great to be back in person for the most important event that we have every single year, which is THON, For The Kids.”

Franklin then introduced surprise guest and Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl champion Nick Scott to the stage.

“My wife and I both danced in THON, and through all the White Outs, through all the touchdowns and everything like that, this event is by far our favorite experience to share together. So, thank you guys so much for keeping this tradition alive,” Scott said.

Pat Friermuth then took the stage to surprise a few lucky guests, siblings Levi and Christian Krodel, who performed earlier in the THON Kids & Teens Talent Show. Although the duo claims their favorite team is the 49ers, apparently backstage they were talking about having a Pat Friermuth signed trading card. The former Penn State tight end surprised them with a signed football before the acts officially got started for the evening.

Men’s golf was the first official act up to the stage. The team kicked off the night with a high-energy performance to a mashup of songs, including “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, “Timber” by Kesha, and “Firework” by Katy Perry. Next up, a killer performance by the women’s lacrosse team to “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull rocked the BJC. Mr. 305 must’ve been in the building for that one to shake up as much energy as it did.

Continuing on with the Pitbull theme, next to the stage were Big Ten Champions and your beloved Penn State men’s soccer team. The team’s routine was full of insane dance moves and acrobatics.

Penn State women’s volleyball took the stage decked out in some sweet neon shorts, to an action-packed routine to the Harlem Shake and “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco.

Carolyn Kieger, Penn State’s women’s basketball’s coach, took the stage to offer all dancers and volunteers some words of encouragement. Kieger mentioned that this was her first THON and she was amazed at the atmosphere and energy inside the BJC.

Perhaps the award for best dressed this evening goes to men’s fencing, which performed an EDM dance routine while decked out in blazers and sunglasses.

Nothing says “THON Weekend” like an awesome High School Musical mashup, and women’s golf did not disappoint. Troy and Gabriella, we see you.

Women’s soccer got the energy absolutely bumping inside the BJC with a groovy performance to “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida. The team quickly transitioned into a high-energy performance to Levitating by Dua Lipa to close out their routine.

Former Penn State quarterback Trace McSorely surprised those watching with a virtual message, wishing all volunteers the best of luck as they continue on throughout the weekend. McSorely said THON stole his heart during his time at Penn State. Unfortunately, the crowd only heard him. The video didn’t play.

To continue on with the apparent theme of Pitbull-themed performances this evening, women’s fencing took to the stage next as they started out their performance with Hotel Room. Pitbull, is that you?

Women’s tennis gave a little nod to Kanye West during its performance and busted some moves to West’s “Power”.

Also making his first appearance at THON this weekend, men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry took to the stage to share some words of inspiration to the crowd, and of course, bust a few moves, as one does.

“When they told me about THON when I got here, they said, ‘This place is special,'” Shrewsberry said. “But until I walked in and I saw everybody in here, that’s when I really thought this place is special. I want to give a shoutout to these wonderful families and kids out here — you guys are awesome. Listen, there are going to be great days, and there’s going to be bad days. When you have a bad day, think about all these people right here and think about everybody watching online and know that we all love you. We’re all fighting with you, and we’re all there for you.”

Women’s field hockey had a solid performance and even showed off its impressive gymnastic skills with an array of partner flips and backflips.

One of the most highly anticipated routines of the night took the stage next. However, not before the Nittany Lion took the stage to show off some extremely impressive one-handed push-ups. Forty-six, to be exact.

Penn State football continued on the tradition next of an all-freshman stacked routine. If you’ve ever had any doubts about the football squad’s athletic abilities, say no more after this performance.

Women’s ice hockey and the Lionettes were the final two acts of the evening. As expected, they showcased nothing less than their stellar dancing abilities.

Notably missing from the evening was the men’s gymnastics team. The squad has remained the defending champions of the THON Pep Rally for years but did not make an appearance at this year’s pep rally.

The two finalists, women’s and men’s soccer, took to the stage one more time to give it all they had before the judges officially deliberated. The judges’ panel comprised THON 2022 Executive Director Kate Colgan, siblings Levi and Christian Krodel, and Penn State Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford. Nick Scott once again joined the stage as an honorary judge.

Levi and Christian made the exciting announcement and crowned men’s soccer as the THON 2022 Pep Rally champion. Congratulations, fellas!

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a senior early childhood education major from "right outside of Philly" - or in exact words, from 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and has been a huge Penn State gal since before she could walk. Send her pictures of puppies, or hate mail at [email protected]

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