EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men’s soccer head coach Damon Rensing has announced the Spartans’ schedule for the 2017 spring season. The schedule features six games, including the final game of the spring season at DeMartin Stadium.
“We are excited about the spring schedule for several reasons,” said head coach Damon Rensing. “First, it’s very competitive so it will test a deep team that returns nine of its 11 starters. Second, we use the spring to also help us evaluate who can break into that starting lineup or be key contributors. These spring games provide a good intensity, which will help our staff see where our team leadership and chemistry is strong and where it needs improvement.”
MSU will open up the spring season against in-state school, Detroit Mercy. The game time is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 19 at the Titan Field.
The following weekend, Saturday, Mach 25 MSU will have two games at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Mich. The Spartans will play Notre Dame at 12:20 p.m. and then will turn around for a 3:30 p.m. game time against Butler. Michigan State met up with both Notre Dame and Butler during the 2016 fall campaign falling to Butler 3-2 on Aug. 20 and defeating Notre Dame 1-0 on Oct. 25.
MSU will open up the month of April on Sunday, Apr. 2 with a game against the Columbus Crew SC (MLS) team at the East Training Center in Obetz, Ohio. Game time is set for 11 a.m.
“We have student athletes who aspire to play professionally,” said Rensing. “Playing against the Columbus Crew will help our guys see firsthand the speed of play, athleticism and overall quality it takes to play at the next level.”
Michigan State will return to the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Mich. to face off against in-state rival Michigan. The game is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 1-0 earlier this season, Sept. 18 to claim the Big Bear Trophy.
The Spartans will conclude the spring season at home in DeMartin Stadium on Friday, April 14. Michigan State will welcome Western Michigan for a start time of 2 p.m. MSU defeated WMU earlier this season 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 5.
“The great thing about the spring schedule is that it is not results driven,” said Rensing. “We can look at a lot of different players and combination of players with the thought of developing these guys as individuals and as a team.”
Michigan State’s 2016 season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament while SIU Edwardsville advanced on penalty kicks. The Spartans finished with an overall record of 13-5-2, including an unbeaten record at DeMartin Stadium with a mark of 9-0-2.