EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 10 Michigan State downed Stevens Institute, 4-0, Sunday in East Lansing. The exhibition match marked the first meeting between head coach Damon Rensing and his brother Devin on the pitch.
"We're a soccer family here," said Rensing. "My father played professionally. My two brothers and I played in college. When you get to do this with your brother on the field, it made me appreciate what soccer has been to our family. We've been fortunate to be around soccer and it's been great for our family. It's days like this where I appreciate that."
Michigan State took an early lead in the first half when Tim Kreutz netted a goal in the seventh minute of play. With assists from Jason Stacy and Fatai Alashe, the chance came from a rebounded corner kick.
In the 28th minute of the first half, Adam Montague scored the second goal for the Spartans off a mishandled ball by the goalkeeper. The Spartans picked up speed toward the end of the half, totaling nine shots with four on goal. The half ended with the Spartans up, 2-0.
In the second half, Kreutz scored from 8 yards out off a touch from Montague in the 58th minute of play and the Spartans fourth goal came off a penalty kick from Alashe. The Spartans totaled 19 shots in the game, with nine on goal.
"We scored some goals, which is good," Rensing said. "We took advantage of a couple of mistakes and did some good things. We're certainly not a finished product. It was a nice end of working 10 hard days together."
The teams finished the exhibition session with 20 additional minutes of inter-squad scrimmage.
"I think when you play this games, it's easy to forget that we're still putting some new pieces in here," said Rensing. "As much as we want to have instant success, there is a process to it. We're still fitting some new guys in and 10 days seem like a lot, we do a lot in it, but we need more training and time to get where we want to be. I don't expect us to play our best now, but we just have to keep getting a little bit better everyday."
The Spartans play their first regular-season game of the season on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. against SMU.