Sep 5, 2013
WATCH: Head Coach Damon Rensing's Press Conference
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team will host a weekend showcase beginning on Friday, Sept. 6 against Oregon State at 5 p.m., followed by a matchup with Valparaiso on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. Both games will be held at DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans will host a meet and greet, and autograph signing with the team following the conclusion of each game.
Friday will be Michigan Chili Club Soccer Day as the team will welcome club players and their families.
The Last Meeting
August 31, 2007
East Lansing, Mich.
DeMartin, MSU Blank Oregon State, 1-0
Junior Doug DeMartin scored the match's lone goal in the 12th minute to give the Michigan State men's soccer team a 1-0 season-opening victory over Oregon State Friday afternoon at Old College Field. Senior goalkeeper Chris Austin posted his first career shutout for the Spartans, who are hosting the MSU/Radisson Soccer Classic for the eighth straight year
The Last Meeting
August 24, 2012
East Lansing, Mich.
Spartans, Crusaders Draw in Season Opener
Michigan State's men's soccer team battled to a scoreless draw with Valparaiso on Friday afternoon in the season opener for both teams. Redshirt junior Bryce Dobbins earned a shutout and four saves in his first collegiate start.
Sunday's game against Valparaiso will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network on Spartan All Access; a paid subscription is necessary for viewing.
Tickets to the games can be purchased on MSUSpartans.com. General public tickets can be purchased for $5, while tickets for groups of 10 or more and youth/seniors (18 & under, 55+) are $3.
In the Rankings
MSU is ranked is No. 21 in the Soccer America's and College Soccer Madness poll, No. 24 by SoccerTimes.com and sits at No. 25 in the College Soccer News Top-30 Poll. The Spartans are also receiving votes in the NSCAA and TopDrawerSoccer.com's poll.
Ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten by TopDrawerSoccer.com, Kevin Cope returns for his final season as a team captain for the Spartans. He was recently recognized on TopDrawerSoccer.com's Preseason Best XI second team and is ranked No. 22 of the top-100 Division I players.
Adam Montague, also a team captain, was ranked sixth in the conference by TopDrawerSoccer.com's heading into the 2013 season after posting a goal in every game of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. He is also No. 47 in the country on TopDrawerSoccer.com's top-100.
Last Time Out
The Spartans officially kicked off the 2013 season with a 4-0 home opening win over Western Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 1. MSU scored early and didn't let up with an offensive attack to build one of the best opening games for Michigan State in the past few seasons. With the win, MSU is 1-0-0 on the season.
A pass from Jay Chapman deflected by the Western keeper was shot in by Adam Montague to score the first goal of 2013 in the sixth minute of the game. Just before the end of the half, a MSU free kick from Sean Conerty led to a loose ball in front of the net. After some deflection by the goalie, Kevin Cope buried it in the net in the 42nd minute to put the Spartans up 2-0 heading into halftime.
Starting in the game as a true freshman, Dewey Lewis scored his first career points as a Spartan on an unassisted goal. A shot from Conerty slipped just past the Western Michigan goalkeeper in the 67th-minute to put the Spartans up 4-0 over the Broncos.
Starting in goal, Zach Bennett earned his first shutout of the season, the 10th of his career. With the rest of the back line, the Spartans were able to hold the Broncos to just five shots, zero on-goal. A total of 15 Spartans made an appearance in the Spartans' collective victory.
As the reigning Big Ten Tournament Champions, MSU enters the season ranked second in the 2013 Big Ten preseason coaches' poll with 21 returning Spartans.
Three members of the team were recognized by the Big Ten coaches as redshirt senior Kevin Cope and juniors Adam Montague and Fatai Alashe were named to the 2013 Players to Watch list.
After recording his first career goal in his inaugural start as a Spartan, freshman Dewey Lewis was named Big Ten Player of the Week by College Soccer Madness on Sept. 2. Lewis stole the ball away from a Bronco defender and beat the keeper to earn an unassisted goal.
Redshirt senior Kevin Cope was chosen as one of 30 candidates for the 2013 men's collegiate soccer 2013 Senior CLASS Award®, presented by Premier Sports Management. He is only the second candidate from MSU men's soccer program to be a candidate for the award established for the sport in 2007, as 2008 captain Doug DeMartin was in the top-30 his senior season.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.The 2013 team captain is one of just two representatives on the list from the Big Ten, along with Indiana's A.J. Corrado.
In true Spartan fashion, MSU is slated for another tough season of quality non-conference games in addition to a challenging Big Ten conference schedule. Seven NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including National Champion Indiana and semifinalist Creighton, help make up the 2013 slate.
Briefing the Beavers
Michigan State is 1-0-0 when playing Oregon State after defeating the Beavers in 2007's home-opening game 1-0. Ranked No. 28 in the College Soccer Madness poll, Oregon State is also receiving votes in the TopDrawerSoccer.com's poll. The Beavers are 2-0-0 on the season after posting wins against Cleveland State (3-0) and UC-Davis (2-0) at the Portland Nike Invitational last weekend.
Head coach Steve Simmons enters his fifth year at the helm of the Beavers and returns 13 letterwinners from the 2012 season when the team finished 6-9-3. Oregon State is led by Khiry Shelton (1-1-3), Ole Sandnes (1-1-3) and Will Seymore (1-0-2), while goalkeeper Matt Bersano has made 14 saves, playing the entirety of the teams two games so far this season.
Checking Out the Crusaders
The Spartans own a 10-1-2 all-time record against Valparaiso, with their most recent meeting ending in a draw (0-0) in the 2012 season opener. The Crusaders are 0-0-2 in non-conference play after tying both Jacksonvile (0-0) and North Florida (1-1).
Valparaiso is led by Mike Avery who is in his seventh season as head coach and owns a 44-51-20 record. He returns a total of 16 letterwinners, including Jordan Aidoud who finished 2012 with four goals and three assists, Todd Vervynckt with three goals and three assists and Eric Nieto who had two goals and two assists.
With thanks to Michigan State Sports Turf Manager Amy Foudy and her staff, DeMartin Stadium was revamped with a new field to open the 2013 season. MSU owns a 51-34-11 record while playing at DeMartin Stadium, which opened its gates in 2008. The Spartans have not had a losing season at Old College Field since 1989. In 57 years of play, MSU has had only two losing seasons at home (1988-89).
At The Helm
Head Coach Damon Rensing is in his fifth season as head coach, but embarks on his 15th on the Spartan sideline after a standout career for the Spartans (1993-96). Rensing is 44-33-9 in his five seasons as head coach, but MSU boasts a 123-74-21 (.622) overall record with Rensing on the sidelines, including 11 or more wins in nine seasons.
Kylie Stannard and Ben Pirmann serve as the Spartan assistants. Pirmann is also a former Spartan letterwinner, and previously served the program as the volunteer assistant before returning to his alma mater after a coaching stint at Western Michigan. Stannard is a graduate of Creighton, which reached the Elite Eight twice in his career and the semifinals once. Prior to coming to MSU, he was an assistant coach at Northern Illinois. Stannard and Pirmann have both served as the head coach of Detroit City FC, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League. Stannard made his debut in 2012, while Pirmann coached the team in 2013. Former MSU keeper Jeremy Clark, who played for MSU 2008-11, is now in his second season as the team's volunteer coach.
Big Ten Broadcast Schedule
The Big Ten Network will televise two Michigan State men's soccer games live this season. MSU's showdown with Ohio State at DeMartin Stadium is the first game (Oct. 13), and the other home game which will be shown is the Nov. 5 matchup with Notre Dame. The Spartans' games against Valparaiso (Sept. 8), Penn State (Oct. 20) and Michigan (Nov. 9) will be broadcast on Big Ten Digital Network. The Big Ten Network will also televise the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held Nov. 15-17 at Ohio State.
Follow along with the game through live stats available on Gametracker on msuspartans.com and follow @MSUMSoccer on twitter for play-by-play updates during the game.
The Spartans will travel to their first road match against Detroit on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. and continue to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 4 p.m.