Men's Soccer Downs Duquesne, 3-1, in Season Opener

Sept. 4, 2009

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Coach Damon Rensing | Mark Barone

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 20th-ranked Michigan State men's soccer team defeated Duquesne, 3-1, Friday (Sept. 4) afternoon at DeMartin Stadium in its season opener; giving head coach Damon Rensing his first-career collegiate victory.

"It feels great," Rensing said. "I'm really just happy for the players. They are the ones that win games. It will be good not to talk about the first game again and just move on with the season. I thought our guys came out really well today."

The Spartan offense pressured the Dukes from the outset and got their first quality chance in the 17th minute when Jeff Ricondo's header was tipped by Duquesne goalkeeper Chris Torres and was headed toward the net before it was cleared away by the Dukes' defense.

In the 26th minute, the Spartans got on the board with their eighth shot of the half. After a shot from 10 yards out by Mark Barone, Cyrus Saydee gathered the rebound and got the ball to Rubin Bega who buried it to give MSU a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans outshot the Dukes, 9-1, in the first half.

After being instrumental in setting up the first goal, Mark Barone was rewarded in the 57th minute with his first-career collegiate goal.

"It was special," said Barone. "Domenic and I had a lot of family here today so I got to celebrate with them. I have to thank Rubin though for the ball he gave me."

After a header near midfield by Tim Granaderos, Bega picked up the lose ball and headed down the left side of the field and found a streaking Mark Barone. Mark Barone collected Bega's pass and beat Torres on the inside post for a 2-0 MSU advantage.

Domenic Barone got the Spartans' third and final goal of the day in the 73rd minute when Torres misplayed a ball inside the penalty area and Barone stole it and put it in the open net.

"We talked about it earlier this year that we would have to score by committee and that showed tonight," said Rensing. "We got goals from three different people - three people that played in games last season - and we expect them to contribute."

Duquesne foiled the Spartans' shutout bid in the 85th minute when a deflected ball found its way past Jeremy Clark, who earlier replaced starter Avery Steinlage in net. Steinlage made one save in his 83:40 in goal and now has a shutout streak of 888:43 which dates back to Oct. 15 of last season.

"Defense is really the backbone of Michigan State soccer," said Rensing. "That starts in goal with Avery and I thought Colin (Givens) and Kevin Cope were fantastic. With Timmy (Granaderos) and Jake Fullerton, our back four is so solid."

The Spartans will travel to No. 10 UIC on Sunday for a match with the Flames at 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Steinlage's consecutive shutout streak currently ranks as the fifth-longest in NCAA history. The record of 974:20 was set in 2008 by Milos Kocic of Loyola (MD) ... Rensing became the third coach in MSU men's soccer history to win his inaugural game, joining Gene Kenney (1956) and Ed Rutherford (1974).