Pennsylvania State University
Despite realistic aspirations of playing in the professional ranks, Yeisley has dedicated himself to not just attaining a degree but excelling in the academic realm. Boasting a 3.61 cumulative grade point average, Yeisley will graduate with a degree in management from Penn State’s prestigious Smeal College of Business in December. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2006 & 2007) and CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first team selection (2007 & 2009), Yeisley plans to attend dental school after graduation. In order to fulfill entrance requirements, he has challenged himself by taking courses in biology, chemistry, and physics in addition to his business curriculum.
Following a brilliant freshman season in which he topped Penn State in scoring and led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Championship, Yeisley was in the midst of a stellar sophomore year when he suffered a season-ending knee injury seven games in. Determined to return to the field as a junior, he made it back to full strength at the outset of the season. After 11 games and establishing himself as a dominant offensive force and a legitimate All-America candidate, he experienced an injury to his other knee, tearing several ligaments. Yeisley embarked on a rigorous rehabilitation program in order to continue his dream of playing collegiate soccer. His second knee injury forced him to miss the entire 2008 season. In recognition of his ability to triumph over adversity, Yeisley was presented with the True Grit Award at the 2009 Penn State Student-Athlete Advisory Board Academic Achievement Awards Banquet. Yeisley is not only prized for his strength of will but also his leadership abilities. He has been selected team captain three times, including for a season when it was known that he would not be healthy enough to compete.
Yeisley has sought to help and raise awareness for a very special friend with a very rare disease, devoting his time and energy to aid in finding a cure for nine-year old Adam Recke, a boy from his hometown who suffers from Niemann Pick Type C (NP-C), a terminal illness which affects just 500 people worldwide. He has hosted Adam and his family at home games, treating them to a view from the sideline and special recognition as honorary team captains. After returning from a spring tour of Brazil with the Penn State men’s soccer team, Yeisley presented Adam with a jersey. Yeisley is also active in the Race for Adam Foundation, a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to funding research projects to find a treatment and cure for NP-C and related neurodegenerative disorders.
Even though injury has prevented him from realizing his full potential in years past, Yeisley is back with a vengeance in 2009 and has established himself as legitimate All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year candidate. Seeing his first action since being injured in October 2007, Yeisley heralded his return to the collegiate soccer scene by notching three goals and one assist through the first three games of the year. In recognition of his performance, Yeisley was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and to the Soccer American Team of the Week. Honors have continued to be garnered by Yeisley as his stellar senior season has progressed. The Nittany Lions’ top offensive weapon was recognized on the all-tournament teams for the Wolstein and Penn State Classics and, most recently, he was selected on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week (Oct. 4) for his contributions in wins over Penn and Michigan State. As a junior, prior to suffering his second knee injury, he was leading the Big Ten in several offensive categories including points per game, goals, and goals per game. Despite missing the final seven games of the season, including three conference games, Yeisley was voted first team All-Big Ten. In 2005, as a true freshman he led Penn State in goals (9) and points (24) and was second on the team in assists (6). A second team All-Big Ten selection, he played an instrumental role in the Nittany Lions’ run to a Big Ten Championship, earning offensive MVP honors for his play in the title game. Yeisley was also selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and was recognized as first team All-Freshman by Soccer America and on the All-Freshman second team by College Soccer News.