Three More Wildcat Teams Seek Championships
The final three Penn State University Athletic Conference fall sports championships are on tap this weekend and Pennsylvania College of Technology has teams vying for each one.
Men's Soccer At 4 p.m. Thursday, the men's soccer team puts its 10-4 record on the line at Penn State Harrisburg. The winner advances to Saturday's 7 p.m. championship at University Park against the winner of a semifinal between Penn State Abington and Penn State Hazleton.
"We played Harrisburg early in the season and lost (3-2), but the team has progressed quite a bit since we played them and I think we're in a position going into this game to be successful," said Jeff Finn, who is in his first year as coach of the Wildcats.
"We're still progressing as a team as far as getting better. The senior players on the team are excited and ready to step up,"he continued.
Starting for Penn College will be Tristan Wertman (Warrior Run) in goal, Alex Johnson (New Oxford) at sweeper, Lathan Gross (Northeastern) at stopper, Wes Miller (Wilson) and Travis Russ (Pleasant Valley) at defensive back spots, Jochen Stein (Hamburg, Germany) at center-midfielder after missing the last month, Shane Fuller (Northeastern), Abdullah Al-Bahrani (Saudi Arabia) and Brendan Kemmerer (Faith Christian Academy) up front with Brian Sell (Emmaus), Steve Lis (West Perry) or John Swope (East Pennsboro) in the outside midfield spots.
In their last three matches, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 22-1, with Fuller and Al-Bahrani leading the way.
"We've been finishing the ball (on offense), and those back four (Johnson, Gross, Miller and Russ) are really the core of the team. We had some trouble getting started in some of these games and they've kept us in them long enough until we got our act together," Finn said.
"I do want to say that the players have shown a tremendous amount of character in bouncing back from a one-and-four start to make the playoffs," the coach added. "They've really been working hard in practice and are playing well as a team. They deserve to be where they are. We just need to take care of business and we'll be all right."
Volleyball The Lady Wildcats take a 7-8 overall and 7-4 PSUAC record into the weekend tournament, including a second-place finish in last weekend's West Division playoffs.
Action among 11 teams in the double-elimination qualifying portion of the tourney will begin Saturday at noon in the intramural building at the Penn State main campus. The top four finishers from there will advance to a single-elimination playoff Sunday starting at 11 a.m. at Penn State's Rec Hall.
"As the second seed for the West Division going into the tournament, I am anticipating that our ladies will be one of the final four to play on Sunday," said coach Bambi Hawkins.
"It's nice to have a week of practice before the finals since our loss to (Penn State) Fayette (in the West finale) indicates there are still areas for improvement," Hawkins continued. "The competition is going to be enjoyable."
Coed Tennis The Penn College tennis team, in its first season under coach Davis Santucci, takes a 3-5 record into the end-of-the-season tournament at University Park.