No. 20 MSU Men's Soccer To Face No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth
Sept. 6, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team broke into the national rankings this week, after its 1-0 upset over 2005 national runner-up New Mexico on Sept. 1. The win over the Lobos, who were ranked as high as third in the National Soccer Coaches Association preseason poll, catapulted the unranked Spartans to No. 20 in the country in the Soccer America poll this week. In its next match, Michigan State will face No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth on Sept. 8, at 5 p.m., as it travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Wolverine Invitational. MSU also meets Butler on Sept. 10, at 2:30 p.m., at the invitational, but will not see host Michigan until Big Ten play.
COACH BAUM'S TAKE -- "Our defense has been solid and we know that if we can keep the other team from scoring, that we are always in the game," MSU head coach Joe Baum stated. "We have a young group of forwards, but they really work well together and the chemistry is coming along. They are competitive, but not with each other, in the sense that sometimes players can get jealous when one guy is getting the goals. They want to see each other do well. Maryland transfer Kevin Reiman is expected to get some minutes over the weekend, and that kid has a natural insight you can't teach."
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE -- The Spartans have opened the 2006 season with a 3-1-0 record, picking up wins against Sacramento State (1-0, OT), UC Riverside (2-1, 2 OT) and third-ranked New Mexico (1-0). MSU's lone defeat was a 1-0 double overtime loss to Northern Illinois. Junior forward Kenzo Webster leads the Spartan attack with two goals, while senior goal keeper Jason Tillman has played every minute in the net, allowing just two goals. The Green and White returns 15 letterwinners from its 2005 squad, which concluded the season with a 8-6-5 mark.
A LOOK AT VCU -- Virginia Commonwealth (2-1-0) is coming off a 3-1 upset over No. 7 UNC Greensboro. The contest was called late in the game in the Rams' favor, after UNCG had its fifth player red-carded in the contest. UNCG also received five yellow cards, while VCU was issued two cautions. VCU began the season with a 2-0 win over Seton Hall and dropped a 2-1 decision to Alabama A&M. Six players have notched one goal a piece for the Rams this season. Virginia Commonwealth is led by head coach Tim O'Sullivan, who is in his 12th year, having guided the Rams to the 2004 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals.
BUTLER AT A GLANCE -- Tabbed to finish sixth in the Horizon League preseason poll, Butler is off to a 2-1-1 start this season. The Bulldogs played to a 1-1 tie with Saint Mary's, and then earned back-to-back wins against IPFW (2-0) and Dayton (2-0). In its last outing, Butler fell to Evansville, 2-1. Butler is under the direction of first-year head coach Kelly Findley and returns five starters from its 9-10-0 campaign in 2005.
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