Hazleton, Pa. – The third place Nittany Lions (10-4, 7-2 PSUAC) square off with sixth-seeded Penn State Wilkes-Barre (3-6-1, 3-5-1 PSUAC) in round one of the Penn State University Athletic Conference Soccer Championships on Tuesday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. on the Hazleton campus. The Lions won their regular season contest with Wilkes-Barre back on September 23, when Hazleton pitched a 5-0 shutout against their round one opponent. With a clean slate in the playoffs, both teams will need to be at their best to move on to a round two matchup at second-seeded Penn State Beaver on Thursday, October 29.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre:
Team Overview: Wilkes-Barre started the season well, going 2-0-1 in their first three games, including a 3-2 win over the regular season front-runner in Penn State Beaver on September 12. The team ranks fifth in the PSUAC allowing just 2.4 goals per game to opponents on the year, but scores just 1.7 goals per game. Wilkes-Barre will rely on its defense to keep the game close while looking to make the most of their offensive possessions.
- Ryan Patrick – The junior forward leads all Wilkes-Barre attackers with six goals on the season including a pair of game-winning goals against Penn State Beaver and Greater Allegheny. Patrick ranks fifth in the PSUAC with 39 and leads his team with 18 shots on goal in 2015.
- Michael Hartman – The junior goalkeeper holds a .769 save percentage, the fourth best percentage amongst other keepers in the PSUAC.
Penn State Hazleton:
Team Overview: Hazleton has held a top three spot in the standings for nearly the entire regular season with wins over fellow postseason contenders, Penn State York and Greater Allegheny. The Lions were a force on offense in 2015 averaging 3.2 goals per game and 2.1 assists per contest against PSUAC foes. Hazleton's defense was equally potent in 2015, pitching two shutouts in the conference while allowing 2.1 goals per game to opponents. The Nittany Lions will look to continue to continue its fine movement of the ball and control the tempo in order to move on in the PSUAC post-season.
- Kyle Venditti (Berwick, Pa.) – The junior forward led the PSUAC in assists with 13 while netting a team high 16 goals on the season. Venditti scored 2 goals and two assists in the first match against Wilke-Barre earlier this season.
- Steven Principe (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) – The sophomore was second behind Venditti in scoring for the Lions with 11 goals and four assists on the season, including two game-winning goals against Penn State Mont Alto and an overtime goal in the win over Penn State York.
- Jimmy Fisher (Glen Allen, Va.) – The sophomore captain goalkeeper was second best in the PSUAC with 93 saves on the season and a .782 save percentage on shots on goal. Fisher and his defense led the Lions to a shutout victory over Wilkes-Barre on September 23.