MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – These are unprecedented times. But as our student-athletes, coaches and staff have proven time and again, we will respond with unprecedented resolve. Over the next few weeks, we'll look back and move forward with feature stories and retrospectives that highlight Penn State Harrisburg's success over the past year, while honoring the people who made it all possible. Be well and get ready to celebrate some truly memorable moments with us.
(MARCH 24) We continue with an interview with Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball player Clinton Asalu, conducted by men's soccer player Oscar Cartagena Jr. The senior recounts the program's historic campaign that included a conference title, NCAA Tournament appearance and one of the most memorable NCAA Tournament upsets in recent memory, when the Lions knew they could compete on the national stage, what it was like to compete in the big dance without fans and much more.
Asalu, the team's lone senior, served as a team captain this season and proved a valuable rotational player in the post. The Willingboro, N.J. native rejoined the program this year and earned more playing time in key situations as the season progressed. The big man eventually recorded a season-high 11 points in a Senior Day victory over Keuka and finished 2019-20 as one of the Blue & White's top defensive players, particularly in the paint. For the year, Asalu averaged 2.2 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field to go along with 2.6 rebounds per contest.
In 2019-20, Asalu helped lead the Lions to a program-record 21 wins, the program's first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship, its first NCAA Tournament berth and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.
(MARCH 23) In the spring of 2019, Penn State Harrisburg's men's and women's track & field teams had a coming out party at the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Indoor Championships at Christopher Newport. It was the program's final season as a member of the CAC and the Lions went out with a bang.
In total, the Blue & White earned three major awards, won four conference championships and racked up 12 all-conference honors over two days of competition. Rae Rae Taylor won titles in the long jump and triple jump, Jalil Clayton won gold in the 60m hurdles and Alex White secured the conference title in the high jump. Sarah Lehman took silver in the long jump, high jump and 4x400m relay events, while Taylor, Sephora Senestant and Neeyah Turner joined her in earning a runner-up finish in the relay. Clayton secured silver in the 200m dash, as did Shammah Gahomera did the same in the 60m hurdles. As an individual, Taylor racked up an incredible 45 points on the weekend, while Clayton racked up 36 individual points of his own.
For their efforts, Taylor was named the CAC Women's Athlete of the Year, Clayton earned CAC Men's Athlete of the Year honors and head coach Danielle Lynch was voted the CAC Women's Coach of the Year by her peers.
(MARCH 21) We all remember Penn State Harrisburg men's soccer's thrilling overtime victory in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Game but let's not overlook the previous day's contest – a riveting win over Lancaster Bible in penalty kicks in the conference tournament's semifinal round.
After playing 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Lions and Chargers had to settle things with PKs. LBC's first attempt was high and goalkeeper Nicholas Guglielmetti made a great save on the visitors' second attempt. Haydyn Zagorski got things started for Penn State Harrisburg by converting his PK and Luke Myers and Darion Ferreira followed suit. With a chance to end it, Jacob Krantweiss buried the deciding penalty kick to send the Blue & White to the title game the following day.
Each team failed to convert penalty shot opportunities during regulation, with Lancaster Bible being denied by a stellar diving save from Guglielmetti early in the second half. The goalkeeper made another outstanding diving stop on an LBC scoring chance in the 69th minute.
(MARCH 20) After she recently etched her name alongside the elite players in program history, it's only fitting that we continue our series by recognizing women's tennis senior Sydney Nye.
Nye recently matched the program's all-time singles victories mark with 25 solo wins for her career; a number she was on pace to surpass in the coming weeks. During her stellar career, the Schaefferstown, Pa. native also racked up 22 doubles victories, all of which came from the No. 1 position. Her 47 total wins rank her second all-time in program history and had her senior season continued, she almost certainly would have reset the career mark. The team captain earned North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Player of the Week honors in October and looked poised to secure all-conference recognition this spring. Nye picked up Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Player of the Week accolades during her junior campaign last April and she has also impressed in the classroom, as she was twice named to the CAC All-Academic Team during her career.
After helping lead Penn State Harrisburg to a 7-3 record this season, Nye and her teammates were well on their way to earning a NEAC Tournament berth and contending for both a regular season title and a conference championship this spring.
(MARCH 19) We kick things off with an interview with Penn State Harrisburg baseball player Zachary Koroneos, conducted by men's soccer player Oscar Cartagena Jr. Koroneos recounts the shock he and his teammates felt when the news of the NCAA canceling its winter and spring championships was announced, the work that went into preparing for the 2020 campaign, the growing feeling that the Lions were poised for another special season this spring and much more.
Koroneos, a senior first baseman who provided power from the left side of the plate, was named to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division III Players to Watch List prior to the season. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada native turned in a breakout junior campaign that saw him rank eighth in the nation and second among Penn State Harrisburg players with 13 home runs last spring. He slashed .260/.359/.525 with 46 hits, including eight doubles to go along with his impressive home run total. He drove in 52 runs, scored 35 more, walked 17 times and tallied 93 total bases. He also led all infielders with a fielding percentage of .982. Through 12 games this season, Koroneos ranked second among Blue & White players with 11 RBI and five doubles. He's also excelled in the classroom and was named to the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) All-Academic Team following his junior year.
In 2019, Koroneos helped lead the Lions to a program-record 33 wins, a second consecutive CAC Championship Series appearance, an NCAA Tournament berth and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.