Today was media day for soccer at Penn State. Coach Warming was joined by several players including the red-shirt senior, lately the PAC 12 Goalkeeper of the Year from Oregon State University, Matt Bersano. Together they talked about who Penn State is recruiting the best keepers in the nation to our program.
Q: Matt, can you talk about you decision to come to Penn State. What was it about the school and the program that made you want to come here?
Matt Bersano: “Just through the whole transfer process and communication with the coaching staff here, with Coach Michael Behonick and Coach Warming as well, with what Penn State wanted with their program, what their ideals were, it was something I wanted to step into. We have been in this together from the start; I have one season of eligibility left so there is no time to mess around. We both want to come in here and we both want to win. It was basically from the minute I communicated with them, I came on my visit and loved it. We all wanted the same thing and it wrote itself from there.”
Q: Coach you are a former goalkeeper yourself, what do you see in Matt in the short time he has been here?
Coach Warming: “He is really good, he’s really good. I think the thing that Matt brings to a team that has so many new faces in it, and basically a new backline, is communication. Everyone is new in the backline, Nate didn’t really play much in the back-four last year. Matt’s most important quality that he brings is his experience and leadership with directing a backline. All the guys are trying to sort themselves out and communicate what to do, so their communication skills aren’t what they are going to be later in the season and right now Matt is doing almost all the talking for the backline and keeping their shape straight. As we get better collectively, that responsibility will be less on him and more on the players in front of him.”
Q: What is your pitch to players like Matt when you are trying to recruit them to the program?
Coach Warming: “We self-describe ourselves as Goalkeeper U. It’s been Linebacker U, but we are trying to make ourselves Goalkeeper U. We have a special, special situation with goalkeepers at Penn State. We have the Mack Brady Fund, which is a fund that was fashioned after a young goalkeeper in our community, whose father is the dean of the Schreyer’s Honor College, passed away. It’s the only fund like it that we know of in college soccer. We have an endowment now to recruit, retain and develop the best goalkeepers in the country. That is a special thing to have Mack’s patch on the training gear for the goalkeepers and to have a fund that is devoted solely to developing the best goalkeepers in the country. We are off to a pretty good start with that with Andrew Wolverton being our first guy to graduate in three and a half years from Penn State with a great grade point average and is now playing for the LA Galaxy. He is a pretty good first representative of that and within this group of goalkeepers are some guys that can follow in those same footsteps.”