Ivy Leaf - Fall 2004

A First for Lions Soccer

Penn State Altoona hosts first soccer tournament

The Penn State Altoona men's and women's soccer teams hosted the first Hoss's/Comfort Inn Lions Challenge Invitational at Spring Run Stadium this fall. The Lions and Lady Lions, with teams from Marietta College, Thiel College, and Juniata College, competed in the two-day tournament.

This was the first tournament of any kind to be hosted at Spring Run Stadium since its opening in 2002.

When deciding which teams to invite to the tournament, Lions head coach John Parente and Lady Lions head coach Jim Fee took into consideration schools that have the same coach for both the men's and women's programs.

"One of the hardest parts of coaching soccer is when coaches must run both the men's and women's teams," states Parente. "There's a percentage of coaches who do both and it's very difficult for them to schedule games and balance a schedule. We were glad to give these coaches a chance to be in the same place at the same time, coaching both teams."

In tournament action, both the Lions and the Lady Lions advanced through the finals to compete against Marietta College for the championship. The men's title game remained scoreless through the first period, although Marietta prevailed in the end. Similarly, the Lady Lions were defeated by Marietta in the women's championship game.

Several Penn State Altoona players were named to the all-tournament team. Adriana Ochipinti, Mandi Freiwald, and Bethany Freiwald represented the Penn State Altoona Lady Lions, while Bryan Pierzga, Matt Cooper, Evan Spence, and Brock Heller were named to the men's all-tournament team.

"The teams that competed were very positive about the tournament and the facilities," said Brent Baird, sports information director. "We had a lot of positive feedback and several teams actually requested to be invited back next year."