Soccer Competes at Harvard, Providence
Michigan State heads east for a pair of contests against out-of-region opponents. On Friday, the Spartans will tangle with Ivy League entry Harvard in Cambridge, Mass in the first-ever meeting of the teams. On Sunday, MSU will take on BIG EAST entry Providence to cap the weekend; it will serve as just the second-ever meeting with the Friars for the MSU men's soccer program.
MSU suffered a tough 1-0 loss to No. 5/1 Connecticut at home in its most recent action. Michigan State gave UConn all it could handle in a Labor Day matinee at DeMartin Stadium, but the numerous chances for the Spartans would not find the back of the net. The Spartans carried the better of play on the afternoon, but despite five shots on net and an impressive team defensive effort from the backline out, MSU's offensive chances yielded no goals for the third straight home game. Bryce Dobbins made three saves for the Spartans in net,
Barone and Montague are the team's leading scorers, as the two goals against Bowling Green equal the team's total on the season. However, MSU's defense has been stingy, allowing just three goals in four games, two of which have gone to double overtime. Dobbins owns a .069 GAA and an .786 save percentage, and earned his first collegiate shutout in a 0-0 battle against Valparaiso in the season opener.
Harvard enters Friday's contest with an 0-1-1 record on the season. In its season opener, Harvard rallied from a goal down to tie Massachusetts, 1-1, in Amherst, Mass. In its last game, Harvard saw a late goal by host Northeastern prove to be the game-winner in a 1-0 loss to the cross-town rival.
Michigan State's only previous game with Providence came in September 2010, a 4-0 win for the Spartans at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans scored twice in each half - and current redshirt sophomore Tim Kreutz scored his first collegiate goal in that contest.
Michigan State was selected third in the pre-season Big Ten men's soccer poll. In conjunction with the pre-season survey, Senior Domenic Barone , junior Kevin Cope and sophomore Adam Montague were mentioned on the Big Ten 2012 Players to Watch List.
Five teams on MSU's 2012 slate appeared in the Soccer America pre-season Top 25. A sixth, Duke, was on MSU's pre-season slate, a game in which the Spartans came away with a 1-0 victory.
Head Coach Damon Rensing is in his fourth season as head coach, but embarks on his 14th on the Spartan sideline after a standout career for the Spartans (1993-96). Rensing is 31-23-9 in his first three seasons as head coach, but MSU boasts an 110-64-21 (.619) overall record with Rensing on the sidelines, including 11 or more wins in eight seasons.
There are lots of great ways to follow the soccer program - as well as all 25 of MSU's varsity sports - other than gameday. Videos, previews, and game recaps can be found at www.MSUSpartans.com, while coverage of the team on twitter can be found at @MSUMSoccer and @MSU_Athletics . On facebook, "like" us at www.facebook.com/pages/Michigan-State-Mens-Soccer
The Big Ten Network will televise three Michigan State men's soccer games live this season. MSU's showdown with 2011 regular-season and Big Ten Tournament champion Northwestern at DeMartin Stadium is the first game (Sept. 30), and the other home game which will be shown is the Oct. 21 date with Wisconsin. The Oct. 14 game at Penn State is the other live broadcast for MSU during the regular season. The Big Ten Network will also televise the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held Nov. 7-11 at Northwestern.
The Spartans will return to the Midwest for its competition next weekend to participate in the Big Ten-BIG EAST Challenge. MSU will play on Friday (Sept. 14) at Notre Dame, then host Marquette on Sunday at DeMartin Stadium. Sunday's game against Marquette will also be MSU Camper Appreciation Day, as all 2012 MSU Soccer Camp participants will be invited to the men's/women's doubleheader with a parent, free of charge.
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