No. 20 Men's Soccer Ties 10th-ranked UIC, 0-0
Sept. 6, 2009
CHICAGO - The 20th-ranked Michigan State men's soccer team tied No. 10 UIC, 0-0, Sunday (Sept. 6) night in Chicago. Spartan junior goalkeeper Avery Steinlage made three stops in all 110:00 of action, setting a new NCAA consecutive shutout minutes record. Steinlage has not allowed a goal in 998:43 of action, breaking the previous mark of 974:20 set by Milos Kocic of Loyola (MD). Steinlage last allowed a goal on Oct. 15, 2008.
"It's exciting and something we, as a team, take a lot of pride in," said Steinlage. "It's the guys in front of me that made it possible. When I look at the names of goalkeepers I passed on the (shutout streak) list, it's a pretty cool feeling."
Steinlage credited the Spartans' defense-first mentality as one of the main reasons for setting the record.
"Joe (Baum) and Damon have always preached hard-nosed defense," said Steinlage. "If you don't get scored on, you don't lose games. That is what this record can be attributed to."
Spartan head coach Damon Rensing was pleased with his team's performance Sunday night and praised Steinlage's effort.
"I thought tonight's game was typical of MSU defense and Avery," said Rensing. "Avery relied on his defense to make plays and he stepped up and made some big saves. It's a special record and hopefully we can keep adding minutes to it."
The Flames outshot MSU, 4-1, in the first half and held a 7-3 advantage at the end of regulation. The Spartans had three shots in the two overtime sessions and held UIC shotless in the extra frames.
"Tonight was a great college game and representative of two top-20 teams," said Rensing. "Each team had quality chances and controlled the action for portions of the game. We saw two of the better goalkeepers in the country tonight as well."
Sunday's game was a rematch of last year's second-round NCAA tournament match up that saw the Flames advance on penalty kicks.
"We had a great team effort tonight," Rensing said. "UIC has a great team but we stuck together and had a fantastic effort."
MSU will next take on Wright State at 5 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 11) in Ann Arbor as part of the Michigan Invitational.
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