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Aug. 27, 1997

Michigan State Men's Soccer Prepares for Season Opener

HEAD COACH: JOE BAUM (197-143-30/21st year)

Sat.-Sun.   Aug. 30-31   MSU/Quality Suites Soccer Classic   

            Aug. 30      Western Michigan vs. Canisius   Noon
                         Michigan State vs. Duquesne     2:30

            Aug. 31      Western Michigan vs. Duquesne   Noon
                         Michigan State vs. Canisius     2:30

GAME INFO -- The 1997 edition of the Michigan State men's soccer swings into action this Saturday and Sunday when the Spartans host the MSU/Quality Suites Soccer Classic at Old College Field. Joining the Spartans in the tournament will be Western Michigan, Duquesne and Canisius. The Spartans will battle Duquesne on Saturday before meeting Canisius on Sunday. Both of MSU's contests will begin at 2:30 p.m.

SERIES NOTES -- The meetings with Duquesne and Canisius will represent the first time that the Spartans have met either school in men's soccer.

BAUM APPROACHING 200 WINS -- Heading into the season, MSU Head Coach Joe Baum is just three wins shy of reaching the 200 career-win plateau. If the Spartans are able to pull out a pair of wins this weekend, Baum could reach that mark next Wednesday (Sept. 3) when the Green and White host Eastern Michigan starting at 4:00 p.m. The past two years Baum, who was named the Big Ten Conference's Coach of the Year in 1996, has directed the Spartans to an overall slate of 24-8-5.

A LOOK AT MSU -- Michigan State returns 14 letterwinners, including six starters, from last year's squad that posted a 12-5-2 record including a 3-2 slate in Big Ten play, good for second place. Headlining the returnees are defenders Jason Wolff, a senior from Westerville, Ohio, and junior James Whitmore (Ann Arbor), both of whom claimed second-team All-Big Ten honors last season. Offensively, Baum plans to have a balanced attack led by sophomore forward Brady Demling (St. Louis, MO), junior forward Chris Slosar (Grand Blanc), sophomore midfielder Steve Williford (Brighton), senior midfielder Jeremy Guenther (St. Louis, MO) and junior midfielder Jeff Fliss (Plymouth).

GUENTHER TABBED AS MSU CAPTAIN -- Senior midfielder Jeremy Guenther has been named as the Spartans' captain for the 1997 season. Last season, Guenther started 15 of 19 games and registered five points on one goal and three assists. During his career, the three-time letterwinner has played in 53 contests, 22 as a starter, and has compiled 13 points on five goals and three assists.

A LOOK AT THE FIELD -- Canisius returns 14 letterwinners, including seven starters from last season's team that posted an overall record of 5-12-2, but captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title with a 4-1-2 slate. Western Michigan welcomes back 11 letterwinners and six starters from the 1996 squad that manufactured a 4-11-4 ledger. Duquesne claims 14 returning monogram winners, including eight starters, from the '96 squad that finished 5-8-3.

JOE BAUM QUOTES -- (On preseason) "Overall, we have been pleased with the team's performance during the preseason. We have moved the ball well offensively, but we still have to become more organized on the defensive end of the field. Our freshmen have been playing well and making a quick adjustment to the college game, especially Pat Mahoney and Ryan Ferguson."

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