An Award for Raquel Rodriguez

We knew Raquel Rodriguez was special back when she was the featured athlete in our Sept./Oct. 2013 issue. Two years later, she won the Hermann Trophy en route to leading Penn State women’s soccer to a national title. Now a professional, Rodriguez on Monday was named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Rookie of the Year.

Rodriguez is the fourth recipient of the award in league history, and the second Penn Stater to win an individual NWSL award – Alyssa Naeher ’10 was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014.

Drafted second overall in the 2016 NWSL Draft by New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC, Rodriguez played in 18 of the team’s 20 matches, recording 17 starts, one goal, and one assist from her spot in the midfield. Her only goal was this right-footed strike during a match against Washington:

Her run of good form extended to the international stage, where Rodriguez was a standout for Costa Rica’s national team during Olympic qualifying earlier this year. While the squad did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics, Costa Rica came in third and Rodriguez tied for the tournament lead with six goals.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 4, 2016 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

Erica Dambach is a Rising Star

via Erica Walsh

via Erica Dambach

The last month or so has been pretty good for Erica Dambach, as Penn State’s women’s soccer team is riding an impressive undefeated streak. The squad hasn’t lost since Sept. 2, going 7-0-1 over its last eight matches. It’s the latest example of the success the program has had under Dambach, as Penn State has won a national championship and eight Big Ten regular season titles under her guidance.

Now, Dambach is receiving praise from Sporting News for being on the verge of stardom. The publication selected nine women whose profiles are on the rise in the world of sports, and Dambach was the only active head coach in any sport to make the list.

According to Sporting News, Dambach’s sustained success, including the Nittany Lions winning the program’s first national title last year, were major factors in her earning this position. Dambach’s stints with the U.S. Women’s National Team as an assistant coach, where she was a member of the squads that won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and were runners-up at the 2011 World Cup, were also cited.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

A Lesson In Trump-ism

via WNEP

via WNEP

A new course at Penn State focuses on the political rise of Donald Trump. The McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s one-credit class is simply called “Trump” and has been offered since mid-September.

According to WNEP, the course on the Republican nominee for the presidency will end one week after Election Day. Dr. Christopher Beem, the Institute’s managing director, said that the course wants to try and answer several questions regarding Trump, including why his campaign has succeeded despite being unorthodox and what a Trump loss this November would mean for the future of the Republican Party.

According to WNEP, the Institute is offering this course as a test run to gauge whether “students are interested in taking a class on short, contemporary topics on a regular basis.”

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

September 29, 2016 at 11:43 am 3 comments

Keegan-Michael Key Wins An Emmy

Keegan-Michael Key ’96g took home a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series for Key & Peele on Monday night. Key & Peele, which celebrated its final season in 2015, won over shows like Saturday Night Live and Portlandia, among others. Key accepted the award alongside co-star Jordan Peele.

This marks the first Emmy win for Key, whose show was nominated each of the last three years. Key & Peele won a Peabody Award in 2014.

Asked about the win, Key explained that he was so excited that he has “no sense” of what he or Peele said while accepting the award.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

September 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm 1 comment

Jill Stein is Coming to Happy Valley

Photo via Jill 2016

Photo via Jill 2016

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s nominee for the White House, will host a rally in State College on Wednesday afternoon. The rally will take place in the HUB’s Freeman Auditorium from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stein will talk policy and attempt to get volunteers for “the fall campaign, and beyond.”

Stein is the first candidate who will be on the ballot in November to make it to Penn State. She is not the first person who sought the Presidency to come to State College, though, as Vermont senator Bernie Sanders made an appearance in Rec Hall back in April. Additionally, Ohio governor John Kasich held an event at Penn State Brandywine.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

September 19, 2016 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

A New Semester Brings Changes to the HUB

HUB roof The new school year has brought a handful of welcome additions to University Park. One of the most noticeable changes is the HUB’s green roof terrace, which opened earlier this summer.

Originally part of the $44.6 million renovation which was approved in 2013, the green roof received additional funding from the 2014 senior class gift that helped “enhance and expand” the project. The green roof provides an outdoor seating space and has a handful of environmental benefits, like reducing the heat island effect (which means that areas covered by pavement are warmer than areas covered by grass) that is caused by traditional roofs. And, of course, the view of Mount Nittany is wonderful.

HUB roof

Full disclosure: I was a member of the class of 2014 and voted for something other than the green roof, so I wasn’t too keen on heading up there. But after reading about the environmental impact and seeing that, you know, it’s a really nice place, I managed to come around. A word to the wise: most of the seats are made of metal, so if you’re going up on a hot day, don’t wear shorts.

If you get the chance to enjoy the new seating area, you might as well do it with lunch from the HUB’s newest restaurant. Grate Chee, a grilled cheese and tomato soup spot, opened up for the fall semester, which is why our deputy editor Ryan Jones didn’t mention it when he ate his way across campus last fall. As HUB Dining Associate Director Vincent Raco told Onward State, the decision to add the restaurant came after feedback said that people wanted more “comfort food options.” By the looks of the menu, Grate Chee is absolutely a comfort food restaurant.

Grate Chee Menu

I picked up a grilled cheese with cheddar and added turkey, and like basically every other grilled cheese sandwich that you’ve ever consumed, it was pretty good. The two criteria for a good grilled cheese are that the bread isn’t burnt and there’s plenty of melted cheese, and this checked both of those boxes. We’ll head back when it’s not 90 degrees outside to try out the soup – and, as we explained in our Nov./Dec. 2015 issue, every restaurant on campus is open to the public, so you can try it out yourself the next time you’re in town.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

September 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm Leave a comment

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