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Men’s Soccer: Saying Goodbye to the Class Leaving a Legacy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- With the regular season at an end, the Penn State Nittany Lions recognized the senior class post-game on Sunday.

The team was not only able to pull off a win, but also end the regular season with another shutout against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Penn State won the game, 2-0, to put another win on the record for the senior class.  The win was secured by one of the team’s veterans, as senior Austin Maloney assisted on the second goal of the afternoon to sophomore Ethan Beckford to extend the lead and help hold on to the win for Penn State. 

With Maloney’s late play helping the bring home the victory, the moment was a special one for the entire senior class. 

Senior Mac Curran had tears in his eyes as he recalled his time representing Blue and White on and off the field. He said the guys in his class will forever impact him.

“Gally (Ryan Gallagher) has the biggest personality on the team,” Curran shared about his senior teammate. “Honestly he’s probably got the biggest one at the school.  I’m really going to miss him. He does some silly things, but we all can’t help but laugh at him.”

Senior Brennan Ireland added Curran will be someone he is going to miss dearly after they go separate ways.

“He’s a hot head on the field, but we love him on and off,” Ireland said. “We’ve lived together for two years in a row and I am really going to value our friendship more moving forward.”

Looking back at their decision to come to Penn State, the senior class said they are beyond blessed with their choice in a university and thankful for the opportunities Penn State has provided them.

“The tradition,” Ireland said on what Penn State means to him. “The university itself, the soccer team, all the things it stands for and the alumni network, it is an honor to be considered a peer of all these amazing people and it’s something I will always be grateful for.”

Sunday’s match marked the sixth shutout of the season for the Nittany Lions. Penn State ended the regular season 6-8-2 overall and 3-3-2 in the Big Ten. First-year head coach Jeff Cook said the first thing he had to do was congratulate the senior class and the job they have done throughout this season alone.

“We have had some tough moments to handle during the year with some really bad injuries and some tough losses at time,” coach Cook said. “They have shown a tremendous amount of resilience and they have kept the whole team together. I think that has been a big factor as to why we have been able to produce some really good performances late in the season and today was no different.”

Something Cook and the senior class preached this season was wanting to leave a legacy, and they are looking to continue that legacy through Big Ten Tournament play on Sunday, Nov. 4 against Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“Looking back, I think we never stopped,” Curran said. “Every single year, no matter what our record was, no matter what was happening or who the coach was we always worked hard every single day. We worked hard all the way up until the last moment. I’m proud to say we’ve done that.”

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