Sept. 8, 2010
The Michigan State men's soccer team hosts Providence College in its 2010 home opener on Thursday. MSU owns a 1-1-0 overall record, while the Friars come into Thursday's contest with a 1-0-1 mark.
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Sunday's opponent will be Niagara of the MAAC, which will play Friday at Western Michigan. Sunday's game will also be the nightcap of a DeMartin Staduim doubleheader - the women's team will entertain Loyola (Chicago) at noon prior to the men's contest at 2:30.
Scouting the Spartans
Michigan State has plenty of reason for optimism in 2010 - the Spartans return 10 starters from last year's injury-riddled 11-8-2 campaign, and has plenty of veteran depth remaining from its 2008 Big Ten title team. The team split its first road series of the season, capturing a dramatic and emotional 4-3 overtime victory over No. 6 Maryland in its season debut, but fell at Georgetown, 4-0, on Sunday. Domenic Barone has a goal and an assist for MSU, while Rubin Bega and Brent Rosendall also have markers for the Spartans.
At Maryland, the team participated in one of the wildest finishes most spectators or participants can remember seeing. MSU led 2-0, but the host Terps battled back with a penalty kick to pull within 2-1 in the 77th minute. In the 89th minute is when the real madness began - Kaoru Forbess scored at 88:38 to tie the game, and then Maryland took the lead at 88:57 on a Doug Rodkey header. MSU countered with the equalizer at 89:06 from Rosendall - a total of three goals scored in 28 seconds. Domenic Barone got the golden goal in the 96th minute.
A Look at the Friars
Providence captured the inaugural Ocean State Classic as it played Brown to a 0-0 double overtime tie, but posted a 5-4 edge in a penalty kick shootout Monday. The Friars knocked of Rhode Island, 2-1, to advance to Monday's final.
Greg Davis is the leading scorer for Providence, with a pair of goals in the Classic. Keeper Jhojan Obando made both starts for Providence, and owns a 0.43 GAA and .875 save percentage.
Scouting the Purple Eagles
Niagara is 0-1-0 and will play at Western Michigan on Friday before the matchup on Sunday in East Lansing. Freshman striker Gino Corasaniti had the lone goal for Niagara in a season-opening 2-1 loss to Cleveland State. Sophomore keeper Jacob Vertel made one save in that game.
Michigan State moved up a spot in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll. The Spartans are 23rd in the poll which was released on Tuesday.
The Spartan Staff
Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing enters his second season as head coach after serving as an assistant coach for 10 seasons at his alma mater. During his 11 years at Michigan State, Rensing has helped lead the Spartans to 2004 and 2008 Big Ten Tournament championships as well as the 2008 conference regular-season crown.
Rensing's assistants are Kylie Stannard (Creighton `01), former Spartan head coach Joe Baum (who led the Spartans for 32 seasons before announcing his retirement as the head coach) and Okemos native Bill Boyle, who played collegiately at Hartwick.
Big Ten Pundits
Michigan State was picked fifth in the Big Ten preseason poll of Conference coaches. Ohio State is selected as the conference favorite, followed by Indiana at No. 2 and Northwestern and Penn State tied for third place in the survey. Michigan and Wisconsin were picked sixth and seventh, respectively.
Players to Watch
The Big Ten announced its "Players to Watch" list last Saturday (Aug. 28). MSU's Players to Watch are Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate Avery Steinlage, along with senior classmates Spencer Thompson and Colin Givens.