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Rules of the Game

Soccer is a game played by two teams of eleven players each, including a goalkeeper.  Each team attempts to move a soccer ball into its opponent’s goal. With the exception of the goalkeepers, no player is permitted to touch the ball in the field of play with his hands.  Typically, players kick the ball to advance it, although they also may use their heads and torsos. 

A soccer game consists of two 45 minute halves.  At the conclusion of the game, the team with the most goals wins.  If the score is tied, two ten-minute overtime periods are played; the first team to score wins the game.  If a conference tournament or national tournament game is tied after the two overtime periods, a “shoot out” is conducted; each team is allowed five attempts to score against the goalkeeper without any other defenders.  If after five attempts the score is still tied, the “shoot-out” continues until one team scores and the other does not.

A soccer field (pitch) is rectangular, and varies in size, the optimum being 120 yards long and 75 yards wide; goals are eight yards wide and eight feet high.  Penn State plays its home games at 5,000 seat capacity Jeffrey Field, across from the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State Men’s Soccer History

Penn State first fielded a men’s soccer team in 1911, going 0-1-2.  The team achieved its first victory the following season, and ended with a 2-1-1 record.  By the 1920’s, under legendary coach Bill Jeffrey (for whom Jeffrey Field is named), the team was a major force in college soccer.  They set a national record with a 65 game unbeaten streak, from 1932-1941 (including five ties), eventually losing to Army 1-0 to end the streak.  The team won the first of its nine Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association national championships in 1926, followed by titles in 1929 and 1933. After winning consecutive national titles in 1938-39-40, Penn State won two more championships in the 40’s (1940 and 1949).  Under coach Ken Hosterman, the 1954 and 1955 teams were undefeated and untied, winning an outright national championship in 1954 and sharing that honor with Brockport (NY) State the following year.

One of Penn State’s most notable coaches was Walter Bahr, who was named National Coach of the Year in 1979, and won 185 games in his fourteen year stint.  Bahr is probably just as famous as the father of two Nittany Lion soccer players who achieved greater fame in another sport. Older son Chris, a soccer All-American from 1972-74, and younger son Matt, both were kickers for Penn State’s football team, and also played in the National Football League.  Chris kicked the three longest field goals in school history (each 55 yards); Matt kicked the winning field goal for the New York Giants in both the 1990 season conference championship game against the San Francisco 49ers and then again two weeks later in the Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills.

Barry Gorman took over the men’s soccer reins in 1988, and has coached championship teams in both the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Big 10.  Penn State has played in four Big 10 Tournament championship games, winning in 1993 and 2002) and losing in 2003 and 2009. The 2005 team was part of Penn State’s unprecedented five regular season Big 10 fall championships.

Gorman resigned after the 2009 season, and was replaced by Bob Warming, 2008 national coach of the year, who turned Creighton University into a national power.  In 2010, Corey Hertzog was named Top Drawer Soccer and Philadelphia Soccer News national player of the year, tying the Penn State record and the Big 10 record for goals in a season (20); Hertzog was chosen by the New York Red Bulls as the 13th selection in the Major League Soccer player draft. 

In 2012, the team won the Big 10 regular season championship (one of 4 PSU fall sports teams to win the Conference championship) with a 4-1-2 record in regular season Conference play, and 9-5-3 overall.  The team lost in the semi-final round of the Big 10 Championships.  Warming was named Big 10 Coach of the Year, one of 5 Penn State fall sports coaches to be so named.  The Nittany Lions were repeat regular season Big 10 champions in 2013, Warming was again named Conference Coach of the Year, and Andrew Wolverton was the Big 10 Goalkeeper of the Year. 

In 2014, the team had a 13-6-1 record (5-3 in the Big 10), and lost to Syracuse 2-1 in a 2nd round matchn in the NCAA Tournament.  Connor Maloney led the Conference in goals (10), was named the Big 10 Forward of the Year, and was a unanimous All-Conference 1st Team selection.  Owen Griffith was a 1st Team All-Midwest selection, and Andrew Wolverton set a Penn state record for career shutouts (32) and goals-against average (0.53).


In 2017,  Coach Bob Warming retired after the season, and was succeeded by Jeff Cook. In 2018, the team went 6-9-2 (3-3-2 in the Big Ten) and lost to Michigan, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the Conference Tournament. 

Stuart Reid (1992-1995) holds the school record for career goals (56), while Jim Stamatis (1976-1979) is the Nittany Lions’ all-time scorer (133 points).

 In 2019, Penn State had a breakout season.  The team finished with a 12-4-3 record and earned the 2nd seed in the Big Ten Tournament, ultimately losing 1-0 to Michigan in the semi-finals.  Aaron Molloy was named the Conference Midfielder of the Year, and he, Liam Butts, and Brandon Hackenberg (Christian Hackenberg’s brother) were 1st Team All-Conference selections.

Team Accomplishments

ISFA National Championships 
1926, 1929, 1933, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1949, 1954, 1955 (co-champions)

Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions 
1987, 1988, 1989

Big 10 Regular Season Champions 
1993, 2002, 2005, 2012

Big 10 Tournament Champions 
1993, 2002

NCAA Tournament appearances 
1970, 1971 (final 8), 1972-78, 1979 (semi-final), 1980-82,
1984-86, 1988-89, 1992-95, 1998-99, 2001, 2002 (final 8), 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015

U.S.collegiate record unbeaten streak – 65 (1932-1941)

Notable Coaches

Bill Jeffrey (1926-1952) 153-24-29

Ken Hosterman (1953-1967) 72-60-5

Herb Schmidt (1968-1973) 38-21-8

Walter Bahr  (1974-1987) 185-66-22

1979 NSCAA National Coach of the Year

Barry Gorman (1988 - 2009) 269-159-42

2001 co-Big 10 Coach of the Year
2003 and 2004 Big 10 Coach of the Year
2002 NSCAA President

Bob Warming  (2010 - 2017) 74-58-2 

      2012,2013 Big 10 Coach of the Year

Jeff Cook- 2018-present (18-13-5)


Player Recognition 

Robert Hermann Trophy (National Player of the Year) – Jim Stamatis (1979)

Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year – Jason Yeisley (2009)

Big 10 Goalkeeper of the year - Andrew Wolverton (2013)

Big 10 Forward of the Year - Connor Maloney (2014)


Big 10 Midfielder of the Year – Aaron Molloy (2019) 

1stTeam All-Americans – 66 selections, including the following 3-time 1st Team All-Americans: J.W. Bielicki (1933-35), Bill McEwan (1934-36), Dean Hartman (1942, 1946-47), Chris Bahr (1972-74)

1st Team All-Big 10 – 53 selections, including the following 3-time 1st team All-Big 10 players: Stuart Reid (1992-94); Sebastien Gouverneur (1994-96); Derek Potteiger (1998, 2000-01)

Olympians – Ron Coder, Dick Packer (1956); Ron Coder (1960); Chris Bahr (1976); Dan Carter (1984); Nigel Sparks (Canada, 1992)

Scholar Athlete All-American – Nigel Sparks (1991); Stuart Reid (1995)

NCAA Post-Graduate Fellowship – Kevin Scott (1981)

Lowe’s Senior Class Award (Most Outstanding Senior Student Athlete in Men’s Div. I Soccer) – Jason Yeisley (2009)

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