ROSEMONT, Ill. — The No. 23 Penn State men's soccer team has been picked to finish third in the Big Ten according to the 2015 Big Ten Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
Maryland was picked to defend its No. 1 finish in the 2014 season after claiming both the Big Ten Championship and Tournament titles in its inaugural season in the conference, while Indiana checked in at No. 2 in the preseason poll.
Along with the preseason poll, three players from each team were named Big Ten Men's Soccer Preseason Players to Watch. The Nittany Lions were represented by redshirt-senior Matt Bersano, senior Brian James and junior Connor Maloney.
Bersano transfers to Penn State after playing three seasons with the Beavers of Oregon State and graduating with a degree in speech communication, while James will look to lead the Big Ten in assists for the second-straight year after transferring to Penn State prior to the 2014 season. Finally, Maloney hopes to continue his success from the 2014 campaign when he was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year after notching 23 points, including 10 goals.
Penn State will be looking to make its third-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament after going to the second round in the 2014 season. The Nittany Lions capped off the 2014 campaign with a 13-6-1 overall record, while returning 18 students from last year's squad and adding nine newcomers in 2015.
Head Coach Bob Warming and his team begin the 2015 campaign Aug. 28 when they take on San Francisco in their season opener. Match time at Jeffrey Field is slated for 5:30 p.m. The match kicks off a two-game opening weekend as Navy visits Happy Valley for a Sunday afternoon match on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. Admission and parking is free for all fans throughout the 2015 season.