McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Soccer Team (0-0, 0-0) will play their long awaited 2018-2019 season debut on Wednesday when they battle Point Park at 2 p.m. at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. The weather has not cooperated early on in the season causing their game on Sunday to be postponed delaying their start to the season.
The last time the team took the field was in their opening scrimmage against Pitt-Greensburg back on August 25th at the Francis McClure Intermediate School. Despite falling in that contest 3-0 there were some positive signs especially on the defensive side of the ball. Pitt-Greensburg scored all of their goals in the final ten minutes of both halves with PSUGA holding them off the board the rest of the time.
Freshman Idriss Benjelloun (Harrisburg, PA./Susquehanna Township HS) made his presence known as a vocal leader assisting his teammates by helping them get into position to make the best play possible. Goalkeeper Colin Bucsok (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson HS) picked up right where he left off in 2017-2018 recording 11 saves while facing 14 shots on goal in the contest.
PSUGA entered that scrimmage with only 12 players on the roster, however, their numbers have grown since then to 18 players giving second year head coach Dale Odim some depth on the bench to work with. Steeve Djomo (Freshman) and Danial Jalali (Freshman) are just two of the many additions who are looking to make contributions to this year’s team.
Also returning is midfielder Nic Babic (Senior) who contributed in nine games last season finishing as one of six players on the PSUGA roster with an assist while taking 14 shots, six on goal throughout the season.
With 2017-2018 offensive stars Marin Marina and Jake Thieret graduated, it will be up to veteran Belmo Nurkic (Pittsburgh, PA./Baldwin HS) to help lead the offensive attack. Nurkic had his best season in a PSUGA uniform a season ago setting career highs in goals (11), assists (5), Points (27), and shots (41). Serving as one of the team’s three captains this season, Nurkic looks to bring a veteran presence to the field as PSUGA tries to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
This will be PSUGA’s first ever matchup with Point Park on the soccer field as the team faces a tough task in their first game of the season. With Odim returning for his second season and Marina joining him as an assistant, the two look to build upon last season’s strong performance and make a run for the Penn State University Athletic Conference Championship.
Kick-off for Wednesday afternoon’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the gates at Highmark Stadium opening at 1 p.m. If you can’t make it to the game, watch an exclusive livestream of the event at bit.ly/PSUGAYT.